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1926 George Barlow 2023

George Barlow

December 13, 1926 — October 8, 2023

Dublin

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George Barlow (Jr.), 96, Professor Emeritus of Biology at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio, and Chairperson of its Department of Biology for many years, passed from this life on October 8, 2023, at Friendship Village of Dublin where he and his wife, Marilyn, have lived since December 1998.

Born December 13, 1926, in Springfield, MA, he was the son of George and Edith (Jones) Barlow, both emigres from England via Canada. Two sisters preceded him in death, Edith (Vail) Fleischman and Ruth (Donald) Shult.  He married Marilyn Irene Cheney August 18, 1951.

George grew up in Marcy, NY, where he attended a two-room elementary school, graduated from Whitesboro Central High School in 1944, and immediately joined the US Navy earning the rank of Hospital Corpsman Pharmacist Mate III. While serving on the USS Burleson, APA 7, he participated in the first two Pacific Ocean atomic bomb tests at Bikini, performing hundreds of laboratory tests before and after each bomb explosion.

In 1950 George graduated with majors in biology and chemistry from the newly created Utica College of Syracuse University in Utica, NY, subsequently earning his PhD in Biology from Princeton University in 1953. He began his teaching career that same year at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis, TN, teaching physiology and researching the effects of whole-body radiation using radioactive isotopes. The Rockefeller Foundation sponsored George for 14 months (1959-1960) to teach and conduct research in the Departmento de Fisiologia of the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia, while advising clinicians in the teaching hospital on the proper use of radioactive isotopes. Returning to the University of Tennessee, George continued his teaching and research, publishing many scientific papers.   

In 1964 George changed the direction of his life by leaving graduate teaching and research and joining the Biology Department faculty at Heidelberg College (now University). He taught introductory to advanced undergraduate courses in physiology and anatomy and served as the department chair for many years. Teaching and advising all health science majors brought him much satisfaction, and his positive influence on students has been expressed in many letters, visits and a scholarship in his honor. Upon retirement in 1978, he realized that the “road less traveled” had, as the poet Robert Frost suggests, “made all the difference” in building a successful and fulfilling career.

In retirement George authored a book, “Teaching the Natural Sciences at Heidelberg College: 150 Years of Biology and Geology,” published in 2005, as well as a 250-page memoir for his family. He was a member of Kiwanis International, served in the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and volunteered with Seneca Habitat for Humanity for ten years. At Friendship Village Retirement Community, he served in positions of leadership and gave many popular talks. He enjoyed wood-working, especially enjoyed all family gatherings, Elderhostel adventures, family camping trips, sailing, and giving talks whenever he was asked.

George is survived by his loving wife of 72 years, his beloved daughters, Deborah L. Barlow (Jacob Fisch) and Suzanne C. (Robert) Steensen; and his much-loved grandchildren Leigh Fisch (Sean Macrae), Alexander Fisch, Luke (Sarah) Steensen, Bonnie (Patrick) Nocheck, Samantha Steensen and Casey Steensen. Everyone who has known George will miss his charm, ready wit, infectious smile, resonant voice, humility, inquisitive mind, and his listening ear and wise counsel.

The family wishes to express their heartfelt appreciation to the nurses, associates and medical staff of Waterford Place of Friendship Village of Dublin for their expertise and sincere affection in caring for our loved one. National Church Residences Hospice is thanked with deep appreciation for their compassionate and excellent care.

Shaw-Davis Funeral Homes is assisting the family and the interment will be at the Worthington Presbyterian Church Columbarium, 773 High St., Worthington, OH. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to: Friendship Village of Dublin, Residents’ Benevolent Fund, 6000 Riverside Dr., Dublin 43017, or to Dr. John C. & Eleanor L. Hoffmeier Biology Scholarship, Heidelberg University, 310 E. Market St., Tiffin, OH 44883.

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