George Richard Sheff

George Richard Sheff, retired aircraft production planning and control, died in Colorado Springs of Parkinson’s complications. Memorial Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 17, 2012, at the Shrine of Remembrance “America the Beautiful” Chapel with private entombment in the Garden of Angels Mausoleum.

George was born at Glockner Hospital, Colorado Springs, February 22, 1922 to William Daniel and Mary E. (Atkins) Sheff, both deceased. He was married July 15, 1950 at the Community Church in Gunnison, Colorado to Alma Lois (Ellis) Sheff. Alma preceded him in death on May 1, 2012. Survivors include nieces: Tamia Duggan of Seattle, Washington, Lorrie Gray of Kelseyville, California and Kerry Ellis of South San Francisco, California; and cousins: Jack Sheff of Denver area and Jim Sheff of Boston. He was predeceased by cousins Gerald Sheff and Thomas Bender.

George began his education in Columbia Elementary in Colorado Springs. From 1929 to 1934 he attended Ninth Street School in Leadville. He returned to Colorado Springs, enrolling at North Junior and graduated from Colorado Springs High School in 1940. He was a basketball team starter at Ninth Street and North Junior. With the CSHS team he participated three years and lettered as a senior. In CSHS he was also active in track, cross country, debate and drama, National Honor Society, and a reporter for the LEVER, school newspaper. He was Exchange Editor, responsible for exchanging newspapers with schools in the region. During 1940-1941 he took postgraduate courses at CSHS, also reporting on sports events for the LEVER and the GAZETTE.

In 1941 he moved to Wichita to work at Culver Aircraft Corp., and remained there during World War II. He joined North Start AF&AM Lodge, being active only a few years. In 1946 he enrolled at Western State College in Gunnison, graduating in 1950, with majors in Physics and Math. George was senior class President, with the class gift to the college being an electric scoreboard for the new Mountaineer Bowl. He was a member of Kappa Delta Mu social fraternity and Epsilon Rho Epsilon honorary science fraternity. He served as student athletic manager, and participated in intramural sports. His adult life included playing with various recreational sports teams. In Wichita he coached the junior high team for the Trinity E.U.B. Church in a city league.

He and his bride moved to Wichita in 1950 with promise of work in the aircraft industry; employment followed at Boeing, Swallow and Beech, and at Aircapital Lawn Mower company. Each was a pioneer in manufacturing.

In 1953 he went to Kerrville, Texas, to work for Mooney Aircraft, operated by the Mooney brothers, who had worked at Alexander Film Company in the 1930’s. Before leaving Mooney in 1959, he established a production planning and control system, preparing the factory for technological control advances. While in Texas he was an organizer and officer of Mooney Employees Association, and was instrumental in raising funds for library growth in the community. From 1959 to 1964 he was employed at Aircraft Mechanics in Colorado Springs. He was an active member of North End Rotary, National Association of Accountants, Colorado Natives Club and Friends of the Library. From 1968 to 1974 he was an equipment assistant with The Colorado College athletic department.

As an alumnus of Western State he took great interest in activities and events of the College. The Sheffs were honored as Loyalty Couple at Homecoming, 1982, often attending local and out of town Alumni Association gatherings. They were avid sports boosters. They hosted many meals for WSC basketball teams performing locally. They later established a fund for sponsoring the annual Basketball Awards Banquet in Gunnison.

No flowers, please. Memorials may be directed to Western State College Foundation P.O. Box 1264, Gunnison, CO 81230 or the Pikes Peak Library Foundation, P.O. Box 1579, Colorado Springs, CO 80903.

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