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George M. Shriver III, retired Federal Energy Regulatory Commission financial analyst and avid gardener, dies

George M. Shriver III had an extensive vegetable garden and orchard.
George M. Shriver III had an extensive vegetable garden and orchard. (handout)

George M. Shriver III, a retired Federal Energy Regulatory Commission financial analyst, died of a heart attack July 24 while doing what he loved best, working in the garden of his Glyndon home. He was 88.

“George was an absolute delight and I always considered him the consummate country gentleman, and he always looked especially sharp in his signature bow tie, as did his father before him who wore one,” said Jane Shriver Sewell, a cousin, who lives in Reisterstown.

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“He was especially knowledgeable about Shriver family history and had traced our roots back to Germany,” Mrs. Sewell said. “George was a lot of fun and had a great sense of humor.”

George McLean Shriver III, son of George McLean Shriver Jr., an executive with United States Lines, a steamship company, and his wife, Virginia Spencer Warren Shriver, a homemaker, was born in Baltimore and raised on Old Court Road in Pikesville. The home was adjacent to Alsenborn, his grandfather George M. Shriver’s farm, who was senior vice president for finance and a director of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Co.

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He spent his childhood roaming the woods, fields and streams of the farm, which today is the site of Beth Tfiloh Congregation.

He began school at Garrison Forest School in Owings Mills, which in those days was coed, until entering Boys’ Latin School in 1940, which at the time was located on Brevard Street in downtown Baltimore.

During his years at BL, he remained first in his class and earned nine varsity letters, two in football, four in basketball and three in lacrosse, his favorite sport, family members said. He also had been a member of the Press and Poster Clubs, and from 1948 to 1949, was editor of The Ink Well, the school newspaper.

At the time of his graduation in 1950, Mr. Shriver was voted “Most Brilliant” by his classmates and was awarded the Alumni Cup for “leadership based on character,” something his father and an uncle also won.

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He earned a bachelor’s degree in history in 1954 and lettered in lacrosse where he was an attackman. He was also a member of the Ivy Club at Princeton.

Mr. Shriver served in the Marine Corps from 1955 to 1960 where he attained the rank of lieutenant, and after being discharged, entered the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he obtained a master’s degree in business in 1962.

While at Penn, he met and fell in love with the former Suzanne Theresa “Sue” Morris, who he married in 1965.

Mr. Shriver began his business career as a financial analyst for Legg & Company, which later became Legg Mason, where he worked for a decade. He spent the last 30 years of his career in the same capacity with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, where he specialized in natural gas pipeline regulation, and commuted daily from his Glyndon home to Washington.

He retired in 2008.

From 1963 to 2010, he served either as a trustee of Boys’ Latin, or as a member of the alumni board of directors, the latter which he served as president for eight years. He was also an ubiquitous presence on the school’s North Roland Park campus where he enjoyed watching varsity lacrosse games.

In 1994, he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the school.

“He came to all of the varsity lacrosse games including the away games. He just loved lacrosse,” said J. McDonald “Mac” Kennedy, who is director of alumni relations at Boys’ Latin. “He was a real quiet gentleman and I bet had no enemies. He was a remarkably sweet guy.”

Mr. Shriver’s philanthropy included endowing the George M. Shriver Scholarship at the school.

“We could rely on him for anything. He’d come and do phone-a-thons,” Mr. Kennedy said.

Mr. Shriver was a member and past president of the board of the Union Mills Homestead Foundation, a nonprofit foundation, whose proceeds are allocated to the preservation and restoration of the Union Mills Homestead in Carroll County, that was built in 1797 by Andrew Shriver and David Shriver, and was home for six generations of the Shriver family. Since 1971, the property, which is open to the public, has been on the National Register of Historic Places.

Mr. Shriver enjoyed serving trays of steamed corn at the annual Union Mills August corn roast, family members said.

“He was committed to Union Mills literally all of his life,” said Mrs. Sewell, who stepped down in February after 20 years as director of the Union Mills Homestead.

He derived great pleasure working in his extensive vegetable garden where he grew tomatoes, corn, various greens and other staples that would augment family dinners throughout the year. Desserts of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches and apples came from an orchard depending upon the season.

Mr. Shriver’s fruits often became the source of jams and jellies, which he distributed at his office. When he retired from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, his colleagues gave him a scarecrow as a testament to his love of gardening.

“George loved entertaining and loved his country estate and working in the garden,” Mrs. Sewell said. “He was just a very kind and passionate individual who was fun to be around. He was always interested in family and people.”

He also enjoyed hunting with Basset Hounds and during the 1970s and 1980s, he’d spend Sunday afternoons from October to March as a whipper-in for the Timber Ridge Bassets chasing quarry with his wife across the countryside on farms from Carroll to Baltimore to Harford counties.

“He was always sharp in his green jacket and velvet cap when he was a whipper,” Mrs. Sewell said.

Mr. Shriver was an inveterate student of military history and spent evenings studying books that ranged from the Civil War to World War II, as well as the Thirty Years’ War and the military campaigns of King Karl XII, who reigned from 1682 to 1718. The king is considered by historians to be a brilliant military tactician.

He was a longtime communicant of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Western Run Parish, where he taught Sunday school and confirmation classes for more than 30 years.

A celebration-of-life service will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 23 at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, 63 Sacred Heart Lane, Glyndon.

In addition to his wife of 56 years, Mr. Shriver is survived by two sons, George McLean Shriver IV of Glyndon and Charles Moore Shriver of Roland Park; a sister, Elizabeth Shriver Kant of Stockholm, Sweden; and five grandchildren.

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