A memorial service will celebrate the life of George Sundstrom, 65, of Lawrence, at 11:00, Sunday, February 16, 2014 at KU’s Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union.
George was born June 19, 1948, in upstate New York, in the Town of Delaware, the son of Charles and Florence(Vargo) Sundstrom, and died Tuesday, February 11, 2014, in Lawrence. George was a Harvard graduate and worked as an environmental scientist for the U. S. government. He attended Roscoe Central School in NY and then Stonybrook College where he also completed an MA in education.
George spent over 25 years in the environmental field in Massachussetts, California, Maryland, and DC, traveling to most states. He was an active member of Earth Watch and an avid world traveler with Global Volunteers and Adventure Travel and on his own. He travelled to 10 countries in Eastern Europe on his own quite recently. This travel may have led to a fascination with other cultures and love of people from around the world.
George married Christine Jensen Sundstrom on May 20, 2007 in Lawrence, KS where they have resided since that time. To quote George from a recent bio, “Nope, haven’t seen a single tornado in my time in Kansas, only a series of water spouts on the Adriatic near Dubrownik a couple years ago. The high pressure system parked over us for the last couple years hampers tornado formation, a fringe benefit of the current drought.” His friends and family valued his intellectual resources and found his physical activity level daunting, no matter their age and condition.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother. He is survived by Christine, family, and many friends. George’s previous wife, Hang, was his partner for 14 years before she succumbed to breast cancer. George treasured his connections to her family and to his friends on the East and West coasts, as well as locally.
Memorial contributions may be made in his name to Earth Watch, an organization George travelled with to study and help preserve the plants and animals of the world. These contributions can be made directly or in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.
George was one of my oldest and dearest friends. I will miss him greatly. He had a beautiful spirit and very original way of seeing the world. He appreciated beauty and the natural world as well as all of the arts. He was a kind, loving man and brought joy to all who knew him.
My wife and I were so saddened to hear about George. I considered George a great friend throughout our high school years in Roscoe. Our conversations were always memorable, and I just knew George would leave his mark in this world. We lost track of each other over the years as our paths took different turns. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, his family and dear friends, at this time. Sincerely, Tim Bestenheider
I always knew there was something special about George. His humor and intellect were outstanding. He was a good friend through High School. I’m sorry that we lost touch, like so many of us. I was hoping to get to see him at one of our recent re-unions.
If it wasn’t for George I would have had a tougher time in math. George wherever you are be at peace.
I was so sorry to hear of George’s passing. I have fond memories of our elementary & high school days together at Roscoe Central School. I am very glad we reconnected over the past several years by phone & email. We were all looking forward to seeing him in person at our class reunion. He was smart & witty and will always be remembered in our hearts.
We are very sad to hear this news and are thinking of you. We’ll miss George’s neighborliness and friendship.
Blessings to you!
I met George in our exercise class. I stood next to him and we bonded over horticulture, world travel and obscure rock tunes. Since I live about a half a block away we’d occasionally walk home from class together. Once he gave me a tour of the garden calling all the plants by their horticultural names, but of course.
I see the helleborus he had planted in the front yard are coming up now. It is cheering to see some of his labor coming back to life.
George was always someone I looked forward to seeing. He always had something interesting to talk about. I will miss seeing him around.