George Kristeller

Published: 8/22/2016 3:00:53 AM
Modified: 8/22/2016 3:00:51 AM

Springfield, Vt. — George Ernest Kristeller, 95, of Springfield, Vt., passed away at about midnight, on Aug. 05, 2016 at Mt. Ascutney Hospital. He was the only son of Ada Behrend Kristeller and Leo Kristeller, a physician. He was born on March 8, 1921, in Berlin, Germany, with the given name of Moritz Siegesmund Ernst Georg Kristeller.

George was preceded in death by his wife, Louise Stegelmann Kristeller, and is survived by his four children, Jean Kristeller of Terre Haute, Ind.; Jeffrey Kristeller, of North Attleboro, Mass.; Julia Kristeller, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Lesley Kristeller, of Lincolnville, Maine. He is also survived by three grandchildren, Samuel Judelson, son of Julia, and Paul and Sarah Kristeller, children of Jeff and Christine Kristeller. His sister, Anne Deimel, passed away in 1966, survived by George’s nieces, Andrea, Marguerite, and Kristina. He is also survived by Susan Rabor Nolan, of Tampa, Fla., granddaughter of his uncle John Kristeller, and Hanna Grossman, of Arlington, Va., granddaughter of his aunt, Alice Kristeller Rosenfeld.

George and Louise had been active members of the Springfield Congregational Church for 30 years before moving to the Historic Homes of Runnemede in Windsor, Vt., three years ago. George had always been active in church membership with Louise, in several congregations, including the Byfield Parish (Congregational) Church, Byfield, Mass., and United Methodist churches in Cranford and Morristown, N.J., and Durham, N.C.

George had a rich international background. As Germany restricted access to university to Jewish families, his parents sent him to secondary school in Buxton, England. He shared memories that on his final trip back to Berlin, he attended the 1936 Olympics, watching Jesse Owens win the gold, while sitting close enough to Hitler to observe his appalled reaction. He attended City and Guilds/Imperial College in London in engineering, leaving in 1942 to join his parents in New York, where they relocated after leaving Germany in 1939. He enlisted in the Army to obtain citizenship, serving his military time in the Pentagon. He then joined the American occupation forces in Japan, working in McArthur’s headquarters from 1945 to 1950, discharged with the civilian rank of Major. There he met Louise, also working in the occupation. They married in Tokyo in 1949. They returned to Louise’s home in the Boston area, where he completed Harvard Business School in 1953.

George worked in multiple positions in business management, moving to New York with Haskins & Sells, and then relocating to Durham, NC in 1967. His final move was to Djarkarta, Indonesia, in 1976, working for the World Bank as a liaison to the Indonesian government in developing their first highway system. Upon returning to the U.S. in 1982, they moved to Vermont, first to Chester and then Springfield, where he was very active in town and church organizations. George loved his pets, camping with his children, and later exploring the world with Louise. He was an avid gardener and disciplined swimmer and walker, who prided himself on improving his health through many challenges, taking long outdoor walks well into his 90’s. Until the end of his life, he also prided himself on his intellectual reflections on his reading, from basic science to sociology to psychology, enjoying sharing his perspectives in many phone calls with his children.

Memorial services will be held at the Springfield Congregational Church onSunday, Aug. 28, at 4 p.m.

Condolences may be expressed to George’s family in an online guestbook

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Springfield Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 143, Springfield, VT 05156, or to Historic Homes of Runnemede, 40 Maxwell Perkins Lane, Windsor, VT. 05089

The Knight Funeral Home in Windsor, VT assisted with arrangements.




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