George Birdt passed away April 28, 2018, following a long and courageous battle with cancer. Hehas been reunited with his lifelong love, Eleanor Snell Birdt.
He was born Sept. 2, 1924, in The Bronx, New York to Louis and Sadie. During his Depression-era childhood, he was a messenger delivering Western Union telegrams. Heattended Theodore Roosevelt High School and was a senior when Pearl Harbor was attacked.
He graduated from Kings Point, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and saw action inthe Pacific. On his 21st birthday, he was on a ship a short distance from the battleship Missouriwhen the Japanese surrender was signed. He had a successful career in the Navy, with tours in Coronado, Calif., Newport R.I, and France, retiring as a captain in 1972.
He earned a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, a masters degree in international affairs from George Washington University and is a graduate of the U.S. Naval War college.
He met his partner in life, Eleanor, while both were working in Point Mugu, Calif., and they were married for 63 years. They moved to Oak Harbor in 1980 and enjoyed golfing, travel and spoiling grandchildren. Eleanor pulled off an epic coup when she orchestrated a huge party to celebrate his 65th birthday, with planning worthy of an strategic planner (George’ssubspecialty).
Although intellectually brilliant, he had a good sense of humor, often saying his only allergieswere gray paint and salt water and referring to his daughters’ marriages as “change of command ceremonies.”
He is survived by his brother Marvin (Lynne), daughters Margi Abbott (Brian), and Barbara Prentice (Michael), grandchildren Steven Abbott (Joanna), Cheryl Jansen (Joshua), ChristopherWolpert (Valerie), Stephanie Merriman (Steven) and Jonathan Wolpert and seven great- children.
A graveside service will take place Tuesday, May 8, 2018, 1 p.m., with military honors by NASWhidbey Honor Guard. Memorial donations are suggested to the March of Dimes. Family and friends are encouraged to share memories and condolences at www.whidbeymemorial.com.