George O’Bryan Trabue Jr., of Kingsport, Tennessee passed away, ready and at peace, on August 10, 2019 at his home surrounded by family. He was met at St Peter’s gate by his daughter, Michelle “Shelly” Castell; grandchildren, Louis Castell and Madeline Grace Hanes; parents; and sister, Lucinda.
He was born in 1933 in Franklin, TN to George O’Bryan Trabue and Harriett Morton Baugh, both of whom were from pioneer Nashville families. He lost his father at 7 months of life, but was left with a letter written by him in his final days filled with advice and guidance. George lived his life full of integrity, courage, generosity and honor, as instructed by his father some 86 years prior.
George graduated from Battle Ground Academy in Franklin, Tennessee, and then in 1955, received a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Vanderbilt University where he was president of Beta Theta Phi fraternity. He went on to do postgraduate work at the London School of Economics. In 1993, he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award of the School of Engineering at Vanderbilt. He was a member of the Engineering Council of Vanderbilt and the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association.
George served as a Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corp as a Rifle Platoon Commander and a General Officer’s aide-de-camp from 1955-1958. He treasured his fellow Marine comrades and enjoyed their many reunions together. Once a Marine, always a Marine. Semper Fi!
In 1960, George met the love of his life, Mary “Mike” Olmstead on a blind date and they were married for 59 years. Their family includes four daughters: Katie Puryear and husband Colt of Madison, VA; Julie Hanes and husband Scott of Winston-Salem, NC; the late Michelle “Shelly” Castell and husband Paul of Atlanta, GA; Laura Wissert and husband Robert of Kingsport, TN; as well as grandchildren: Maggie Lovett and husband Lewis, George ”Clay” Puryear, Isabelle Rasnick and husband Brian, Victoria Puryear, Connor Puryear, Cory Hanes, Emma Hanes, Lucy Castell, George Wissert, Charlie Wissert, Emmett Wissert, Michael Wissert, Florence Wissert and four great-granddaughters, Ellie Kate, Ruth, Caroline and Betsy Lovett. He is also survived by his sister, Anne T. Rutherford of Franklin, TN and many nieces and nephews.
He loved making memories on annual vacations that included hosting family members for cruises, family camps, ski trips, or his very favorite beach front condo on Hilton Head Island, SC.
George retired as President of Eastman Chemical Products, Inc., a subsidiary of Eastman Kodak Company after a 38 year career with the company. Prior to assuming this position, he was a Senior Vice President, Vice President, and held several other management positions including Director of Eastman International Division and Manager of the European operations in Switzerland for eight years.
He served his community as the Director and Chairman of the Kingsport Chapter of the American Red Cross, Director of the Girls Club of Kingsport, and Chairman of Contact Concern. He was a member and generous supporter of St. Dominic’s Catholic Church and School.
George will be remembered as a generous southern Christian gentleman who honored God, Family and Country.
A Catholic mass and inurnment will be held at 11:30 am on Saturday, August 17, 2019 at St. Dominic’s Church, 2517 N. John B. Dennis Hwy, Kingsport, Tennessee 37660 with Father Michael Cummins officiating. Family will receive friends from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. at the church.
Memorials may be made to St. Dominic’s Catholic School or to a charity of your choice.