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George Shumlin 

1925-2014, Westminster West

click to enlarge George Shumlin
  • George Shumlin

George Shumlin died April 10 at his home after a short illness, surrounded by his wife and children, who loved him.

Born in May, 1925, in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Elliott and Betty Shumlin, he graduated from Plainfield High School in 1942. His college education was interrupted by World War II in which, after five months’ training at the Newport, Rhode Island, naval training station, he served for three years as quartermaster and as senior petty-officer of the Ship’s Control Division of a U.S. navy amphibious landing ship, the LST 1011.  The 1011 participated in landings and in resupply operations in both the European and the Pacific theaters of war.  George was awarded the European and the Asiatic-Pacific service ribbons with battle stars.

George received a BA in English and theater from Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio. He attended graduate school in theater arts at the University of Iowa and later earned a master’s degree in education at the Putney (Vt.) Graduate School of Teacher Education (now known as Antioch New England). He served as a trustee and as chairman pro-tem of the board of trustees of the Graduate School, and he also worked on the school’s faculty as the supervisor of apprentice teaching.

George worked as an actor, a stage manager, and a director in regional theaters and summer theaters, as well as on Broadway and on network television. Later, he taught at the Putney School and at the Verde Valley School in Arizona.

In 1952, George married Kitty A. Prins of the Hague, Holland. The Shumlins settled in Westminster West, Vt., in 1955. Together, they founded Putney Student Travel, an international, educational experience for high-school students, of which George was president for 33 years.  He was cofounder of the Grammar School in Putney and served for eight years on its board of trustees, the first six years as treasurer. He was one of many cofounders of the Vermont Civil Liberties Union.

George loved hiking, cross-country skiing and working in the Vermont woods, maintaining the family woodlot for sustainable production and recreation. He especially enjoyed his family, and he took great pride in their achievements.

George Shumlin is survived by Kitty, his wife of 62 years, and by his daughter, Kate Shumlin, of South Burlington and his two sons, Jeffrey Shumlin of Westminster West and Peter Shumlin of East Montpelier.  He is survived also by five grandchildren, Kyle Arnold and Olivia, Becca, Julia and Ben Shumlin; by a great-grandson, George Arnold; and by the mothers of his grandchildren and great-grandchild. A celebration of George’s life will be held at a later date.

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