KG8ZA

Obituary for George Laubach

Dr. George Elliott Laubach, 88, passed peacefully surrounded by family on January 12, 2016 at Tendercare in Traverse City. “We rejoice in the extraordinary life he was privileged to live, and we feel grateful and blessed to have been loved by such an amazing man.”
George is survived by his wife Margaret Ellen (nee Dymond); daughter Susan Baynard (Tony); sons Jim (Sally) and Skip (Beth); grandchildren Parker George Laubach and Elizabeth Margo Laubach; sister in law Edith Overlease, and several nephews and nieces.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Marva Jean Wade and very recently his brother Robert Austin Laubach.
Born March 28, 1927 in Toledo, OH, to Carol and Hazel (Cross) Laubach, George moved with his family to Frankfort, MI in 1935. George graduated from Frankfort High School in 1945, lettering in football and basketball, cheering on his alma mater in retirement. He attended Northern Illinois College of Optometry for two years before enlisting in the Army during the European occupation. Upon completion of duty he returned to optometry school, graduating in 1950. Returning to the Army to serve during the Korean War and stationed in Battle Creek, George met Margaret Dymond while both were sharing a car ride to Benzie County to visit their families for the weekend. They were married in 1953 in Rockford, Illinois. While starting their family in Rockford, George was involved in Church, Boy Scouts, and met life-long friends.
In 1962, George opened an optometry practice in Rochelle, IL where he practiced for 34 years until his retirement in 1996. During these years George’s friendly demeanor and honesty gained many loyal patients and many lifelong friends. He was active in the First United Presbyterian Church of Rochelle and generous in community civic affairs, including the RTHS School Board, Kiwanis, Little League, and helped form the non-profit Ogle County Hospice.
He developed property along the Kyte Creek west of Rochelle, built the first house in the neighborhood, and provided a beautiful natural environment for family, friends and horses. George also enjoyed amateur radio and family genealogy in his spare time. After a memorable family road trip out west and a two-week vacation on Platte Lake, George purchased a second home on Platte Lake where Margaret and the children spent many summers growing up experiencing the beauty of Benzie County.
George and Margaret returned to their roots in Benzie County upon retirement. In retirement, George developed his woodworking skills in his fully furnished wood shop and enjoyed selling his works at the Frankfort farmers’ market on Saturday mornings. He also played trombone in the Benzie County Community Band, continued his HAM and genealogy hobbies, and attended St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Beulah.
Recovering from successful heart surgery in 2014, George fell while bringing two completed bird feeders up from his wood shop. During recovery from the fall George was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, resulting in a very difficult year and a half of nursing home care. The family is very grateful for the extraordinary, caring members of Tendercare Traverse City, Heartland Hospice Care and Golden Intentions who provided a visit to his home in Benzonia (and recliner) a few weeks before passing.
Family and friends will always remember George for his generosity to others, his humor, his contributions to his community, and his love for his family and friends.
Funeral service will be held at 2:00PM Monday January 18, at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Beulah. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. A private burial will take place later this summer. Those desiring may make contributions to St. Andrews Presbyterian Church or the Benzie Area Historical Society. Arrangements by Jowett Family Funeral Homes & Cremation Service.