George Kalbouss was born in New York City, New York, on June 21,1939, and passed away on Sunday, December 13, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth (Libby) Kalbouss, daughter Christina McGarvey (husband David and grandsons Paul and Ben), daughter Katherine Mielke (husband John, granddaughters Sasha and Ashley), brother Alexander Kalbouss (wife Paula, niece Elizabeth and nephew Robert), and many, many friends.
George was raised in a Russian-American family on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, attending PS 93, Joan of Arc Junior High School and Stuyvesant High School. He was fortunate to have been in contact with many of his classmates throughout his life. He received a BA (1960) and and MA (1961) from Columbia University as a Russian Major.
After graduation from Columbia College, George worked for 5 years for the New York Port Authority and also attended New York University evening classes to receive his doctorate. At the same time (1962) he enlisted in the US Army Reserves, and received a Direct Commission in 1964.
In 1967, George decided to use his Russian and entered the world of academe. He ended up making College Teaching his life’s work, having taught at Dartmouth College, Perdue University and The Ohio State University. At Dartmouth, he created a multi-level Russian Culture course which he then introduced at The Ohio State University. Over a span of 40 years he taught over 18,000 students and enjoyed every second of it.
At the same time, George continued being active in the Army Reserves, serving in various units, guest lecturing at the Command and General Staff College and the Army’s Russian Institute as well as assignments in the Pentagon. He retired in 1991 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
George always loved music, especially popular tunes and frequently performed them at Retirement Homes, Memory Units, Health Care Facilities, Civic Groups, etc. and for many friends. After his retirement from academe, he performed 855 times in various venues with his program, “Song Stories” in which he related various sagas of how the great American stories were written and the songs that came out of that era.
George was a frequent visitor to the USSR taking students to study Russian at The Pushkin State Russian Language Institute. He felt lucky to be there at crucial moments in its history, including the death of Brezhnev and the last day of the USSR and the first day of the new Russia.
As George always said about life is that you have to keep making nudges for the right thing to happen. He hoped that when his life ended his former colleagues, students and past and present friends would always keep nudging.
George was cremated and asked only that on his Birthday in June, 2021, a party would be held to honor his wonderful life.