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George W. Rundlett

Published: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 11:14 a.m. CST

George W. Rundlett, 73, formerly of Oregon, died Friday, April 25, after complications from surgery and a long illness.

At the time of his death he was a resident of Wading River, N.Y., where he was retired from Brookhaven National Laboratory, where he worked for 19 years as a nuclear safety instructor. 

He was born in Rockland, Maine on Aug. 15, 1940, and attended public schools in Standish, Rockland, and Portland, Maine.

While in Rockland in the early 1950s he attended both Rockland Middle School and High School.

His grandmother on his maternal side, Emily Stevens, was employed by the Burpee Funeral Home.

His other Rockland connection was the fact that his mother was at one time married to Stanley Boynton whose picture is on the wall of fame in Rockland City Hall, recognized for his cross-country flying records in the 1940s.

Following high school George enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed in Germany as a medical technician before returning to the United States and settling in Orono, Maine, where he graduated from the University of Maine, receiving a master’s degree in adult education.

After graduation from college he served as a science teacher for the Bangor school system.

During his teaching career in Maine he also went to officer’s candidate school and achieved the rank of captain and was a commander for a National Guard engineering unit in Newport.

He attended the Embry Riddle School of Flight, earning his wings, and became a proficient helicopter pilot which resulted in receiving commendation for performing so-called “missions of mercy” for the medical evacuation of injured people throughout Maine.

He later became a member of the prestigious group known as the Quiet Birdmen. 

He was also a past Commander of American Legion Aviators’ Post 743.

He was an avid sports car enthusiast and won numerous awards driving in rally competitions throughout New England.  

In 1964 he was chairman of the Penobscot Citizens Safety Council and during that year took a team of drivers, including his brother Derry, to Montreal, Canada for an international sports car driving competition, which was recognized on local television and by then Governor John Read.

Fondly known as “Buzz” to his friends, family, and fellow pilots and National Guardsmen, he was known for both his musical and artistic talents.

In Wading River, N.Y. he painted a mural for his local congregational church and served as a trustee, lay minister, and pianist for his church with his wife Linda.  They also co-taught the Confirmation Class for 10 years.

His hobbies were many, among them painting, music, travel, and maintaining family connections.

He was an ambassador of his extended family and was responsible for connecting the many generations of his family heritage all over the United States.  

He also held a deep love for the beauty of nature and respect for animals. 

His wit and story-telling abilities were recognized by all he encountered. He was an excellent public speaker and teacher.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Linda Rundlett, Wading River; his three children, twin daughters, Katherine Rundlett and Christine O’Rourke, Brewer, Maine, and Elizabeth Elowitch of Portland, Maine and Boca Raton, Fla., two brothers Ellsworth (Derry) T. Rundlett III of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and John Boynton, Houston, Texas; and seven grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his father, Ellsworth T. Rundlett II, in 1958; his mother, Esther Nickerson Stevens Rundlett, in 1981; his sister, Barbara Boynton Gerrish, in 2010, and his twin brother, Lawrence Stevens Rundlett in October 2013.

Funeral services were held at the Jones, Rich & Hutchins funeral home, Portland, Maine, on May 3 followed by interment and a Color Guard ceremony at Evergreen Cemetery in Portland, with a reception gathering of family and friends immediately thereafter.

A Holy Service held May 2 at St. Francis Xavier Church, Zagreb, Croatia, by long-time friend, Dr. Marija Sostarko. 

A memorial service is being planned on Long Island, N. Y., on Saturday, May 31 at 1 p.m., at the Wading River Congregational Church, 2057 N. Country Rd., Wading River, with a luncheon to follow.

Donations can be offered to the Wounded Warrior Project.

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