George Breiding, 89, Naturalist and teacher, died peacefully at his home in Morgantown on Feb 02, 2007. He remained alert, active and busy until his final moments.
George was born in Wheeling, WV on August 11, 1917. At an early age he developed a love for the outdoors. He became deeply interested in nature study, wildlife and resource conservation, and in particular, ornithology, the study of birds. This interest was to last a lifetime and he shared it with all those he met.
He graduated from Central Catholic High School in Wheeling and went on to serve as a sargeant in the Army Air Force from 1941 to 1943 at Lowry Field, Colorado.
He attended the University of Denver in 1941-42 and graduated from Ohio State University in 1948 with a BS in Wildlife Conservation. He went on to work for the Ohio Division of Conservation and the National Park Service.
From 1950 to 1963 George held the position of Director of Nature Education and Naturalist at Oglebay Institute Nature Department, A.B. Brooks Nature Center, Oglebay Park, in Wheeling. During that period he also wrote a weekly nature column in the Wheeling Intelligencer and participated in nature education oriented local radio broadcasts. He was also published in the ornithology journals The Auk and The Wilson Bulletin and popular publications such as Wonderful West Virginia Magazine and Bird Watchers Digest
In 1963 he accepted a position as State Program Leader for Outdoor Recreation with the WVU Extension Service in Morgantown. He retired in 1979.
In his lifelong pursuit of furthering his nature education, George travelled widely. He explored 49 of the 50 states and travelled to Kenya, Uganda,Tanzania, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Canada, Trinidad, Fiji Islands, Equador, Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Galapagos Islands, England, and Scotland.
George used his constantly expanding knowledge to educate others about the world of nature, wildlife and resource conservation. His lifelong teaching passion was evangelical in it's scope, longevity and importance and he touched the lives of thousands of people while spreading the gospel of loving, understanding and appreciating the world of nature.
George was a lifelong Catholic and attended weekly Mass at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Morgantown.
He is survived by his 6 children: Joan, Susan, Sutton, Michael, Wayne and William; two grand children: William Taymor and Miguel Marqueda; and Jane Rector Donaldson, his former wife.
Persuant to his wishes there will be no funeral or memorial service. Burial will be in the family plot at Mt. Calvary Cemetary in Wheeling.
In his memory a scholarship fund is to be established for Oglebay Institute's Junior Nature Camp.
Memorial donations should be sent to:
George Breiding Scholarship Fund
1330 National Road
Wheeling, WV 26003