• Mobile Menu

The Buzz

Enjoy a window into the Proctor community provided through news stories, blog posts, video, assembly podcasts, and images of day-to-day life on and off-campus.

George's Gift

Fifty years ago, a young Ohio native signed on to teach chemistry at Proctor for the 1964-65 academic year. He was to coach football and J.V. lacrosse.

DSCN7182-2

The little school George Emeny joined had 45 seniors and a grand total of 165 students, but the fact that the junior and sophomore classes were large suggested a stronger future. George became an instrumental part of that future! He flourished in the hands-on, outdoorsy, real-world environment that the school advanced in the 1970s and 80s.

George-2

He excelled as a teacher across disciplines, and following a twenty-year hiatus--teaching in the Southwest--George returned in 2007 to Proctor as a teacher of (primarily) mathematics.

George

George-9-2

B
ut his contributions to Proctor transcended math, reflecting the breadth of his interests and areas of expertise. He was an accomplished student of Native--and specifically Lakota Indian--culture, and established a relationship with Albert White Hat that transformed the ethics of this community. 

George-6

I
t seemed George could draw on experience to teach anything.

George-12

George-16

George-13

B
ut the truth is that he shared only a fraction of his knowledge. He was an afficionado of bagpipe music. He collected tipis, Lionel trains, tractors, sports cars (to be rebuilt in the future!). The basement of his new home is a fully outfitted workshop complete with bandsaws and lathes. A couple of years ago, he told me he was ready to build a boat. A moment later, he announced that he wanted to study and master an obscure language. He lived as if every moment was precious, and he lived with confidence that he would live to be 100. He lived to be 72.

Funny, trusting and loving, George's gift was not limited to his vast knowledge and extraordinary skill set. His gift was his ability to communicate his passions to people he loved, and he loved people. George was a great friend to his students, and the ability to craft a relationship of friend-and-mentor with a teenager is his lasting gift to Proctor. 


George-20

H
e wants us to treasure his gift!

George-21
Back
Date Posted
  • Diane Malinak
    What a legacy George left! As the mom of the Schwarz family and host for a 70's Mountain Classroom in the Bear's Paw Mtns in MT, I experienced the gentle man, the astute teacher/ coach that this caring mentor gave my son, Brynn and the 'class' who lived at our ranch. We lift family (Amy & Brooks came too)as well as his colleagues at Proctor, in prayer & love.
  • george bowman
    to your sisters,i'm so sorry. Bo
  • Walter Perry
    George had the ability to talk to a student and understand what their personal interests were and use that to connect and guide them in their learning. I had a love for skiing which he understood and I spent 4 years on the Ski Patrol at the Blackwater under his guidance. In the early 70’s he was a member of the National Ski Patrol and was responsible for the ski patrol at the Blackwater. By teaching me the skills to be ski patrol, I learned many life skills that I have nurtured and developed over the years. I look back with great memories. Thank you for the wonderful conversation we had last October.
  • James Morris
    “Mr. Emeny,” so youthful in 1964 that he was quickly dubbed “surfer,”* blew me up with a volcano experiment gone awry. But “blew-me-away” as my first accessible professor is my primary memory! He was professionally concerned when I & others lagged on a section. He personally took care to be sure we understood a detailed explanation during & after class, rather turning away in a “ok, job done” manner. Indeed, I later opted for extra chemistry in school enough to earn a living at it. Thank you, Sir. *absolutely not a derogatory nickname, resultant of ”long blond hair” still shorter than the strictly forbidden “Beatle-bangs” length!
  • Kim Findlay
    What a warm, thoughtful, and generous man, and what a loss for the Proctor community and everyone who ever knew him. My two Proctor kids thought the world of him and he taught them so much both directly and by example. We will miss him.
  • Wendy Chambers Brown
    George Emeny was one of the people who had a profound impact on my PA experience. His smile and sparkly eyes are a memory I treasure. I have told the story many times how he ate bugs during orientation - and was always there with a hug. I was so blessed to have known him! I believe he and Tom Eslick are hanging out in heaven feeling the love from their PA community.
  • Jim Miller
    George just seemed to know everything mechanical. I always felt smarter for having been in the room with him but never dumb when I was there. I remember looking forward to the open shop nights when he was working in the wood shop. What a guy.
  • Richard Parker
    Having been a friend of George's since 1977, I can say that George was a wonderful friend, while we were colleagues at Proctor and in all the years since the late 80's when George headed west and we ceased to be colleagues. One of the great pleasures of being a lifelong educator are the thousands of human beings one interacts with…students, faculty, staff, trustees, etc. Of all of the people I have known in my life, George is one of the most amazing. Few know of the depth of his skills and talents, but we all felt the amazing warmth of his heart. Loyal, inquisitive, loving, sincere, humble, ethical are but a few adjectives that describe George. Frankly, I can name no finer person than George Emeny, and how fortunate was I to be his friend for nearly 40 years…also, how fortunate was Proctor Academy to have had him grace the faculty twice! Thanks, Chuck, for posting this piece, and I hope to participate in whatever memorial Proctor plans to honor George's work and memory in the future.
  • Tom Rudkin
    I first met George and his family when I arrived at Ives House as a freshman in 1966. He welcomed me and others into his family as if he had know us for years. He had a special quality of making everything so easy. He was Curious George. Always interested in new things. I enjoyed knowing him and his family during my four years at Proctor. What a wonderful person. He has touched some many of us in so many ways. He will truly be missed. Tom
  • Jon Siegel
    George loved old things, and he taught so many of us to love them also. Whether it was 18th century furniture, 19th century machine tools, or early 20th century vehicles --- his depth of knowledge was remarkable. But it wasn’t the things that fascinated him so much as the people who made them. George understood that one can turn an artifact into a crystal ball to peer into the world of the person who made it. His interest in history did not merely extend back to these relatively modern times, because he was always on a quest to discover the origins of things. For George it was not enough to know that at some time at the dawn of history humans discovered how to make fire, stone points, bows and arrows, atlatls, or bow drills—he had to make them himself—because only then was he satisfied that he understood the thing. When he could feel with his own hands the stone tool cutting the wood or leather, he could imagine for a moment that he was one of the people who, in ancient times, advanced technology in that world.
  • Jacob Dombroski
    An image of Proctor without George just doesn't seem right somehow. This will be a trying time for all of us, but it helps me to remember how George loved every second of his life. I doubt he would want us to despair, though I'm sure he understands. My thoughts and prayers to all who were blessed enough, as I was, to have known him. And Chuck, I can't thank you enough for this tribute. If any piece of writing could ever fully capture George's impact on all of us, it is surely what you've made here.
  • Beth Dombroski
    George was one of the first people we came to know and love at Proctor and our son, Jake, was blessed to have him for both Algebra and Woodworking. I remember once being in a panic that Jake (only a freshman) was not on the "fast track" for math and George gently reminded me that not being on the "fast track" wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Turns out he was right! His gentle wisdom and reassurance was greatly appreciated by us and our son. Jake used to say, "There is something so special about George Emeny. He always has a smile no matter what." Thank you, Chuck, for this beautiful tribute to George. Our love and prayers to George's family and our Proctor family.
  • Chuck .
    Hi, Cathy. George battled cancer for 17 months, knowing that it would eventually prevail. He called his brain tumor "The Alien"!
  • Cathy Breen
    Hi, Chuck, I'm Aaron Geller's mom. Thanks for this remembrance of the wonderful George Emeny. Can I ask what happened? Was he sick? Or was it sudden? Thanks,
  • Hilary McCamic
    The picture of George in the 80s is how I will always remember him. He had such a wonderful spirit.
  • Jay Brooks
    Hey, George, my buddy, you and I embarked on and completed many many wonderful adventures. Now you have completed this life-long adventure ahead of me, and I profoundly miss you. No doubt, true to your form, you will be ready and willing to "show me the ropes" when I join you on the post-earth-life adventure.
  • Emily Montag Vaughan
    I am so sad to hear of this! I remember my first encounter with George in his office with all the notes of who and what classes were going on at Proctor! By this time in the fall of 1979 there were 250 students and he knew where each one would be each term and what class they would be taking! Amazing to think now with the ease of computers! I had him in Geometry my junior year, i think I learned more about life than math, but loved his class! He inspired everyone he was in contact with and will be missed! :(
  • Laurie Zimmerman
    The labels "treasure" and "icon" are used far too often these days, but to know the apt use of those words, we only needed to know George. His gifts to us will continue. I love you, George.
  • Jane Paige
    What a treasure George was! We loved him then and always, Jane and Tom Paige
  • Doug Windsor
    "Girge" was my first chemistry teacher and lacrosse coach with David in 1970. In 2013 George was my son, Lucas' Orientation leader on a canoe trip. How special is that and how relaxed as a father that made me. Perhaps George was destined to make the connection between Proctor and Native America, perhaps it came from fixing all of those gut walls on the individually Indian made Lacrosse sticks-real stixs!George is the last to teach at Proctor before David in the Farrell era and also after David. He was at Ives House with then Brooks and Amy such little tykes and now today with their children his grandchildren also at Proctor. He was Proctor's first Girls lacrosse coach- of course! Tosha Ake George. In Lakota there is no word for Goodbye. Tosha Ake means I will see you again someday.
  • Pinky Fifield
    Today the world, and the Proctor Community lost one hell of man, teacher and an individual. I am gonna miss those Proctor days working on campus and I would walk to lunch with George talking about the up coming soccer or basketball seasons, talking to him after games, talking to him the day before games and most of all I am gonna miss those Proctor days when he would always walk by me with a huge smile and he would always wish me the best. Mr. Emeny you will be missed. But I know that deep, deep, down in my heart you are watching over us all and you are doing just fine, I can see you smiling down on us right now. Thank you, and I am very privileged to have meet you and had you in my life, although it was a short time, it was well worth it. My thoughts and prayers are with the Emeny Family. R.I.P George Emeny
  • Dana Berenson
    Such sad news, what a great teacher and an even greater man. Condolences to the entire Emeny family and also the Proctor family… both faculty and students who will miss him so.
  • Teri Sweeney
    Our condolences to the Emeny family, George was truly a special and positive presence in the Proctor community..
  • Karen White
    Thank you Chuck for providing this beautiful tribute to George….my daughter Emily was blessed to live with he an Deb in 2008 & 2009. To actually see all the photo's "through the years" makes me realize just how many lives he touched. A constant support system for so many - with that wonderful sense of humor…our thoughts are with his entire family.
  • Greg Shine
    He was a gift to the Shine family and so welcoming when our daughter arrived at Proctor in 2008! One of a kind for sure.
  • David Page
    Thank you Chuck for the very nice collection of pictures and memories of George! I feel very fortunate to have known George as he was my advisor for my 4 years and through my Proctor experience became the person most influential to me as a friend, mentor, and father figure while I was away from home. In the classroom, on project period or around campus, his high energy & love of life always made me smile; even when I was getting some tough love advice, I knew how much he cared. My condolences to the Emeny family, I am very sad today.
  • David Fowler
    George and I came to Proctor at the same time, 1964. We coached lacrosse together.In those days we played with wooden sticks which had a habit of breaking.One evening, I came over to Ives House, George's dorm,to ponder our teams' broken stick problem. I found George down in the basement surrounded by broken lacrosse sticks that he was busily repairing.He was down in that basement every night.The incident revealed to me two of George's many talents-- patience and craftmanship. He had incredible talent in so many areas. In the best sence of the phrase he was the ultimate "curious George" He has been a loyal and consistent friend since 1964 never failing to connect even when his life's journey took him on other paths Goodby George, I love you.
  • Michelle DesLauriers
    George was one of the first people to welcome me into the Proctor community. I lived in Farmhouse my freshman year, with George and Deb as my dorm parents, and like family, they were always there for me to lean on, especially during my transition to the school. George's welcoming smile and warm heart never failed to brighten my day, and I am blessed to have known him. George was an exceptional person who will be missed tremendously, but he will live on through all of the lives he has touched. My love and thoughts go out to his family.
  • Russ Keat
    George was both a gentleman and a gentle man. He crafted the future one student at a time by empowering dreams. To look into those eyes was to see a kind soul that was connected to a beautiful universe. He was and always will be is Grace and Wisdom personified.
  • Tara Goodrich
    I am so touched to read your post, Chuck about George. I am so moved and tearful thinking about George. He was one of my very favorite people and teachers. Whenever I had a difficult time or needed support, I always felt like George understood me. I feel honored that I knew him, and I hope that I can carry on his warmth, and generosity in my work (as a psychologist) and as a person. Thank you all for posting these wonderful memories. Sending all my love to the family. Tara
  • henry vaughan
    He was a great man and teacher. He taught me a lot about life and the real world. Was my project leader in the fire department, restoring my fire engine, putting the concret floor in the boat shop, turning the carage shed into the fire house. The list goes on and on. He was on the PAFD, the New London FD. He was a friend and advisor. A sad day!
  • mary shine
    A beautiful man who will be greatly missed!
  • Heather Putnam
    This is the most wonderful video of an amazing mans life journey. I am deeply touched . Heather
  • johnny Buck
    George was the best of the best! Always positive, smiling and would always take the time for anyone anytime. As a teacher I try to do as George always did. He will be missed tremendously. Thoughts and prayers go out to his amazing family!
  • cat hay corey
    George was the best of the best!!!!!! Sad news for me.
  • Alex Estin
    I got this message from Bob Applegarth '65: I was fortunate to be in Mr. Emeny's Chemistry class during his and your first year at Proctor (1964-1965). I certainly wasn't the brightest student in class, but I really liked going to his lab for class. The one, lasting and hysterical memory, I have was during one class when Mr. Emeny thought it would be a good idea to demonstrate the the reaction of several properties of various chemicals when combined together that when ignited would produce what he explained should result in "...a small surprise..." for us. Small? NO, when he lite the powder of one element, the fuse, it did its job and created one H E L L of a BANG and EXPLOSION!!!! I think most of the class ducked, but I saw the container which housed the explosive element SKYROCKET to the ceiling, HIT one of the ceiling tile supports and SLAM back down to the launch pad and then hit the floor!!!! WOW!!!!! WHAT an EXPERIMENT!!!! The class was somewhat stunned, as could be expected. In the meantime, it appeared to the class that Mr. Emeny had disappeared? He appeared about 30 seconds later none too worse for ware. He was somewhat stunned to say the least. His blond hair was not so light in color, his eyebrows and glasses were blackened, as well as his face and his lab coat. He was as surprised as the class as to the magnitude of his l-i-t-t-l-e experiment. I think he said he MAY have used too much of one of the elements for the experiment and had a very BIG, if not somewhat sheepish smile and expression on his face while making that understatement of events. In conclusion, I have never been in any class, elementary, middle school, high school or college where there was soooooooooo much laughter at the expense of the teacher. What a joy it was to have spent time in Mr. Emeny's Lab. Mr. Emeny, Thank You, Sir! Sincerely, Bob Applegarth,'65
  • Peter Tehan
    Nigel and his parents are very sad over this news. Will there be a Memorial Service? Thank you, PT
Located in  Andover, NH,  Proctor Academy is a private coeducational day and boarding school for grades 912. Students benefit from a rigorous academic program, experiential off-campus programs, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.
204 Main Street  .  PO Box 500  .  Andover, NH 03216
p. (603) 735-6000   f. (603) 735-6300   webmaster@proctoracademy.org