Obituary: The Reverend George R. Laedlein, 93

The Reverend George R. Laedlein died on December 16, 2017. He was 93.

George was born on February 14, 1924, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

When George was 19, he and his friends watched a movie about the Canadian Navy in WWII and enlisted the next day, infuriating George’s parents. He joined the officers’ training program and served as an Ensign on the pocket carrier USS Kasaan Bay(CVE 69) until January 1945.

George was one of the first group of officers to work with the newly invented SONAR. For the rest of his life, his experiences during WWII were among his most powerful memories.

In 1948, George reconnected with a young woman whom he had met briefly at a Christian camp when they were in their teens. Jean Zirkman would become the love of his life. George and Jean were married in June of 1950. Jean passed in 2014.

After returning to the U.S., he attended Trinity College and Philadelphia Divinity School, earning a Masters of Divinity in 1950; he was ordained as an Episcopal the same year.

George served in many parishes, including St. Christopher’s in Linthecum, Maryland; St. Mary’s, Osterley, England; Emmanuel Episcopal, Weston, Connecticut;Emmanuel Church, Southern Pines, North Carolina; and St. Paul’s, Oswego, New York.

In Weston, CT, George was the rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church from 1967 to 1976. He led a progressive Episcopal church and was fortunate to have an engaged and active congregation. He regularly held services with hymns composed by the congregation set to modern melodies. He also encouraged staging plays in the church, conducted a series of historical liturgical reconstructions in period dress, and gave sermons based on the rock Opera Jesus Christ Superstar.

After leaving Weston in 1976, George served as a rector in Southern Pines, North Carolina and in Owego, New York.

George was predeceased by Jean, his wife of 63 years. He is survived by his five children, Paul, Mary, John, Mark, and Margot, eleven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

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