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George McCrea

October 20, 2019
Kalamazoo, MI

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George McCrea was born in 1929 in Kingsport, Tennessee to his parents, George F. McCrea and Ruth (Gebhart) McCrea. He was predeceased by his parents George & Ruth McCrea, his brother James McCrea and his sister Mary (McCrea) Halagan. He graduated from Lafayette College (Easton, PA) in 1952 where he was a member of the Chi Phi fraternity. From 1953-56 he served in the United States Army and was stationed in Orleans, France. After completing his service, he attended Ohio State University where he took graduate courses in finance and accounting. Following his studies at Ohio State, he accepted a position in 1957 at the Upjohn Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he spent his entire career until his retirement in 1990. George lived life to the fullest and believed the best about everybody. His love of the outdoors began as a boy in the Appalachian Mountains where he hiked the trails, climbed the rocks, and crawled through the caves. A lifelong avid fisherman and camper, he liked nothing better than camping in the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming with his family. He also loved to travel and lived abroad for a time with his wife Barbara in Croatia and Estonia. He cared deeply for the people he met and volunteered and served in many capacities. George firmly believed that everybody was valuable and that all people deserved an equal chance. Through his numerous years of service, he made a positive impact on many lives. George was part of the group that founded the Hospice program in Kalamazoo, now Hospice of Southwest Michigan, and was actively involved in People's Church for 40 years. In addition, he worked for several years as a mentor through the church in Center for Transformation's prisoner re-entry program. Known by his friends and family for his compassion, he was even seen at one time giving someone in need the coat off his back. He is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Barbara, of Kalamazoo; his three children – Douglas McCrea of Baton Rouge, LA, Ellen Molle of Boston, MA, and Sarah Reidy, of Arlington, Virginia; and three grandchildren – Ella McCrea Capetola, Bryan McCrea, and Kevin Reidy. He was a loving husband and father and will be sorely missed by his family and friends. Memorial services will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to: Center for Transformation, 5047 West Main Street, Suite 211, Kalamazoo, MI 49009 (online at www.cftmi.net), or to People's Church at 1758 10th Street, Kalamazoo, MI 29009. The family is being assisted by the Avink Funeral Home & Cremation Society, 129 S. Grand, Schoolcraft, MI 49087 269-679-5622