xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

George A. Gebelein, McDonogh alumni director

George A. Gebelein, former director of alumni relations at McDonogh School who later designed, coordinated and expanded the Owings Mills private school's stewardship program, died Monday of pneumonia at Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie.

The Glen Burnie resident was 72.

Advertisement

"George was probably one of the most beloved people at McDonogh. And as director of alumni relations, he touched the lives of so many and got people to connect and reconnect to the school. He just loved people," said Barry Rollins, director of gift planning at McDonogh, who worked closely with Mr. Gebelein.

"If one said his wealth would be measured by what he gives, then George would be a billionaire," said Mr. Rollins. "He was all about relationships."

Advertisement
Advertisement

The son of Andrew Gebelein, an upholsterer, and Rosa Gebelein, a homemaker, George Andrew Gebelein was born in Baltimore and raised in Waverly.

After graduating from McDonogh in 1960, he earned a bachelor's degree in physics with a minor in mathematics at what is now McDaniel College, where he was also enrolled in the ROTC program.

Mr. Gebelein served in the Army Signal Corps as a radio communications specialist in Ethiopia for two years until being discharged in 1966. He remained an active reservist and attained the rank of captain.

After leaving the Army, he took a job with the old Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. He later held management positions with successor companies Bell Atlantic, Lucent Technologies and Verizon, retiring in 2000.

Advertisement

While working in the telecommunications industry, Mr. Gebelein earned a master's degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.

He returned to McDonogh in 2003 when he was named director of alumni relations. Four years later, he "stepped into a newly created part-time position designed to coordinate and expand McDonogh's stewardship program," Headmaster Charles W. Britton said in remarks delivered when Mr. Gebelein retired this year.

"In this role," Mr. Britton said in his prepared remarks, "he has assisted in generating millions of dollars in support of scholarship. He has taken great pride in coordinating the annual scholarship luncheon, which has evolved into one of the highlights of our school year."

"George loved both McDonogh and McDaniel College, and he did a wonderful job steering donors and potential donors to the schools," said Mr. Rollins.

"He was a quiet but funny man who put so much attention to detail, and at the end of the day, he wanted it to be right," he said. "We all had a great deal of respect for him. His funeral Friday at McDonogh will be a fitting tribute to his life."

Mr. Britton said in his remarks earlier this year that Mr. Gebelein had become "well known for selling everything from cars to TVs and cameras on McDonogh's classified email system. He thoroughly enjoys tinkering with everything electronic and is happy to help anyone fix their gadgets."

He added: "He will truly be missed by all. ... He personifies the words of John McDonogh … 'We give something more than we take.' "

Mr. Gebelein and several classmates from McDonogh and college formed a group called the Crab Guys, who met once a month to dine on crabs and shrimp.

"He was a very compassionate person and was always fun to be around," said Craig H. Gebelein, a nephew who lives in Arnold. "He had a very jovial manner and was unassuming. He was also a die-hard Orioles and Ravens fan."

Mr. Gebelein, who enjoyed skiing and working with his computer, also was a dog lover.

The Glen Burnie resident formerly had been a longtime Arnold resident.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at the Tagart Chapel on the campus of McDonogh, 8600 McDonogh Road.

In addition to his nephew, Mr. Gebelein is survived by his son, Justin A. Gebelein of Arnold; another nephew; a niece; and two grandchildren. His marriage to Dixie L. Gebelein ended in divorce.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement