George Irvin Ether, Sr., a resident of the Birdwood Farms section of Northeast Philadelphia for 67 years, died Tuesday, February 18, 2020. He was 92.
Born in Philadelphia, George was the son of the late Lawrence and Marie (Weber) Ether. He was raised in the Harrowgate section of the city and was a graduate of Mastbaum Technical School. While in high school, George was an apprentice at a wood-work shop; he enlisted in the US Navy while still in high school but had to wait until he graduated and turned 18; George entered into active service in May of 1945.
His duty stations included the US Navy base in Sampson, New York; the US Navy Base in Davisville, Rhode Island (a navy construction battalion station); and Camp Parks in California (home to the Navy Seabees). He was with the 103rd and 134th Naval Construction Battalions and also served aboard the USS Latimer out of the US Naval Air Station in Norfolk, Virginia. He was discharged in 1954 with the rank of Machinist's Mate Petty Officier 2nd Class.
George married the former Margaret S. Ball on April 24, 1948 and they lived in Kensington until they moved to their current home in 1953.
After his discharge from the US Navy, George joined Reading Railroad as a trainman but later took a position as conductor when he found he could make $ .25 more per week. It was a position he enjoyed since he liked to talk to people; George was given the honor in November, 1984 of working the "Last Train from Reading Terminal" which ran from that point to Lansdale, with Hugh T. Jenkins as the engineer. He retired from the railroad in 1989. After retirement, he worked for a railroad hobby store in Broomall, PA and then (to be closer to home) worked in maintenance at a local car wash. He also devoted a lot of his time to his church, Lehigh Baptist Church.
Proud of his military service in the US Navy, George would be sure to attend the Rockledge Memorial Day Parade in his dress blues; he was a member of the Cpl. John Loudenslager American Legion Post 366.
George is survived by his children: Gail Ruth Deppen and her husband Christopher, George I. Ether, Jr. and his wife Grace, and Glenn Andrew Ether and his wife Robin; and his grandchildren: Andrew, Dustin, Danielle, Amanda, Andrew and Lindsey. He is predeceased by his wife Margaret who died in 2018.
Relatives and friends are invited to his viewing on Thursday at 9:30 AM at Lehigh Baptist Church. Services will begin at 11 AM. Burial with Military Honors will follow at Washington Crossing National Cemetery, Newtown, PA.
In lieu of flowers, donations in George's memory may be made to: Wounded Warrior Project, Tunnel to Towers or the USO.
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Wounded Warrior Project
7020 A.C. Skinner Parkway, Suite 100, Jacksonville FL 32256
Tunnel to Towers Foundation
2361 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island NY 10306
2700 Southampton Road, Philadelphia PA 19154