Age 88, formerly of Portage, Michigan, passed away on Saturday, August 26, one day after celebrating the 66th anniversary of marriage to James J. (Jim) Vavra. Georgia was born on September 13, 1928 in Denver, Colorado to George and Fannie Woelbing. She was a graduate of the class of 1946 at Denver West High School and a graduate of the University of Colorado, class of 1950. Georgia met Jim in an abnormal psychology class they shared as undergraduates in Boulder. She always joked that she had taken on Jim as a "research project." The couple married on August 25, 1951 in Denver, then moved to Madison, Wisconsin where Jim was attending graduate school. Georgia took a position at the university in the department of student statistics until the birth of their first son. In 1955, the young couple moved to Kalamazoo. Over the course of the next decade the family grew to five children. Georgia held the roles of chief child wrangler, meal planner, bookkeeper, chauffeur, schedule coordinator, nurse, confidante and advisor. In addition to managing a seven-member family, Georgia volunteered for church and school. At Westminster Presbyterian Church, she sang in the adult choir, served as assistant to the director of the youth choir, and participated in the Women's Association. At Woodland Elementary School, she worked as a parent library volunteer and treasurer for the school PTO. Managing the finances for a seven-member family gave Georgia a firm grounding in bookkeeping, for which she had a natural gift. After her children were grown, she pursued additional training in business and finance at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. In 1980, she served as volunteer bookkeeper for the Portage Community Outreach Center (PCOC). In 1981 as a Hospice volunteer, Georgia used her bookkeeping skills to help widows with household finances after their husbands died. Georgia started a long period of service with Portage city government in 1974 when Mayor Betty Ongley appointed her to the Portage Planning Commission. During ten years in that capacity, she developed a reputation as a quick study. She not only thoroughly read board packets for recommended changes, she often traveled on site to visualize proposed projects firsthand. In 1985, she was elected to the Portage City Council for a four-year term, and in 1999, she was appointed to fill a council vacancy. While on council she served as representative to the County Criminal Justice Committee, the Airport Advisory, the Kalamazoo Forum, the Portage 2000 Committee, the Portage Economic Development Network, and the Portage Major Street Committee. She also served on the commission that proposed the city's Bicentennial Park. She participated in the New Perspectives-Community Leadership Development Program, the Portage Local Development Finance Authority, and the Parent Committee on the Study of Growth and Development Curriculum for the Portage Public Schools. She was also appointed as chair of the Human Reproduction/Family Planning Advisory Board. In all her service to the city, Georgia developed the reputation as an informed, thorough, and principled representative, who sought the best outcomes for the city of Portage. Georgia took her responsibility in this capacity seriously, but never lost her sense of humor. After women started to be accepted into the Rotary Club thirty years ago, Georgia was one of the first women recognized by the organization with their annual Community Service Award. Of all her accomplishments Georgia was most proud of her efforts in helping to make recycling and environmental concerns a major priority for the city as well as facilitating the building of City Hall in the Civic Center area as chairperson of the City Hall Building Committee. Georgia and Jim both enjoyed their retirement, actively engaged in their children and grandchildren's lives. They visited many parts of the United States in their RV, and became seasoned world travelers. They built a summer cottage (the Chalet) on Bristol Lake in the 1960s, which became a focal point for the family's fun and fellowship throughout their lives. Georgia was the loving mother to four sons and one daughter and the cherished grandmother (babi) to 15 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Georgia is survived by her husband, Dr. James Vavra, her children, Charlie (Nancy) of Colorado, Stan (Debbie) of Oklahoma, Steve (Karen) of Iowa, Mark (Mary Jane) and son-in-law Gregg Charlton of Michigan; and her sisters, Betty Ridenour of Colorado and Marge (Don) Imgrund of Oklahoma. She was preceded in death by her parents, her beloved daughter, Lee Ann Charlton, and her granddaughter and namesake, Georgia Tylar-Ruth Vavra of Iowa. For all her remarkable civic and professional accomplishments, to her family Georgia Vavra will forever be remembered as half of the compound name of "Babi and Deda" a pair of parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents who modeled integrity, commitment, good-humor, and unconditional love to a large extended family that will miss her always. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice of Southwest Michigan. An open house and remembrance was held for Georgia on Saturday, September 2, for family and friends at the family property at Bristol Lake in Dowling, Michigan.