George Auerbach, a man who broke medical records, passed peacefully into the outstretched arms of his mother, his family and his Maker on July 19, 2021.
George was born in 1930 to John Karl and Katharine (Yeager) Auerbach in Roxborough, Philadelphia, the youngest of 5 children. George’s parents and siblings pre-deceased him: John Joseph, Martin John, Madeline Marie (Meininger) and Marie Catherine (VanArtsdalen) Auerbach. George is survived by his wife of 28 years, Celia Roslyn (Mathews) Auerbach, her extended family from a previous marriage; nephew: John Stephen Auerbach (Teena), nieces: Kathryn Ann Auerbach (John Pivarnik, deceased), Mary Elizabeth Meininger, two grand-nieces: Kristen Sarah (Auerbach) Fronheiser, Anika Theresa Pivarnik, one great grand-niece, Lilly Fronheiser and his beloved cat, Jelly Bean.
The onset of double pneumonia and Cerebral Bacterial Meningitis in George while an infant of 6 months brought the Last Rites to his crib, and a remarkable recovery to a lifetime of overcoming odds, solving complex problems, and working to conquer challenges, ultimately too great to overcome. George’s mother sought innovative and alternative treatments early on, coaxing him with “come here and I will pick you up!” His father saw an opportunity to move the family to a healthy lifestyle on a beautiful Bucks County farm and purchased “Oakleigh” in 1932. This farm would become the beloved seat of the family and George’s home and hobby for 63 years. Acceptance into the Army draft at the end of WWII proved George’s success in conquering his childhood spine handicaps- shocking doctors who knew George when he could not walk, as he stood defiantly tall and strong.
George would often credit the patient Nuns at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel St. Joseph’s School for seeing his talents and inspiring his lifelong interest in science and chemistry. He later produced special metal finishes, developed a formula for easy removal of historic milk paint and more recently experimented with in-home water recycling solutions.
George took on every job with the goal of perfection and artistry – from mowing neatly along state highways or the extensive lawns of Oakleigh Farm, managing the county landfill using innovative sanitary and efficient recycling techniques to set industry standards, to conducting test trials for the International Farmall Cub tractor and providing detailed records and valued technical design improvements. George was also an expert lumberman, handling a 40” Disston chain saw with ease.
The creation of reproduction antique copper street-lamps, lanterns & chandeliers won George regional acclaim, with examples currently seen at the old Deep Run Irish Meetinghouse and the Court Inn in Newtown. Clients from as far as Tennessee came to Oakleigh to order lamps from George.
George rehabilitated or restored several historic buildings, including the Blooming Glen Post Office. He was most proud of his restoration of the ca. 1744-1800-1878 farmhouse at Oakleigh, and for the creation of the one-acre spring and stream fed pond which reflected the farm’s beauty. The pond was the weekend gathering spot for the entire family, friends, Boy Scout Jamborees, with water-skiing behind George’s mahogany Wagemaker speed boat, or simply offering quiet, reflective solace to those plying its soft waters in a wooden rowboat.
After marrying his love Roslyn in 1993, George took great satisfaction in purchasing, enhancing, and expanding their home. He also enjoyed mentoring the youth around him, providing help to those in need, and being the simple trusted ear of a confidant. Many credit an advanced knowledge of wood and metal work, historic restoration and other skills to George’s precise instructions coupled with his sage advice.
A serious accident in 1972 renewed George’s spine and mobility challenges, causing frustration at his diminished ability to create. Yet George, unstoppable and determined, studied his medical conditions, and designed equipment to serve his needs. He constantly sought solutions and worked with physicians to explore innovative surgeries, including a 13-hour pedicle subtraction osteotomy and a more recent surgery for his debilitating cervical myelopathy.
While often seemingly colorful or irreverent in his conversation, George held a deep faith, loved to discuss church history, and held his copy of the “Lord’s Prayer” within reach. He enjoyed poetry, including “the Ancient Mariner,” Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” and Omar Khayyam’s “Rubaiyat”:
“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy tears wash out a Word of it.”
A Memorial Mass will be held at Noon on Tuesday, August 10, 2021, at Old St. John Baptist Church, 453 Haycock Run Road, Haycock, PA. Interment will be private.
Contributions in George’s name can be made to Bucks County SPCA, P. O. Box 277, Lahaska, PA 18931.