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George F. Booth II
December 24, 2023
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George F. Booth II (Geof) died on Sunday, December 24, 2023, after a sudden decline in health. He leaves behind his loving wife, Penny Booth (née Dewar).
Geof was born on August 17, 1944, in Worcester MA. He attended Bancroft School, Tabor Academy and Denison University, where he graduated with a liberal arts degree. There, he was an active member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and Denison lacrosse team.
It was the summer after his sophomore year that his life began to be enriched by travel. He and a friend spent three months driving more than 3,000 miles and exploring Europe in depth from Spain to the Greek Islands and back. Equipped with only sleeping bags, they slept in fields and barns, bathing in rivers and lakes – proudly spending less than $3.00 a day.
Upon graduation from Denison, he entered U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School and was assigned to Amphibious Warfare School in Virginia. He served in Vietnam on a converted LST as part of the Brown Water Navy on the Mekong Delta and the Co Chien River. He was honorably discharged as a Lt.(jg). He received the National Service Ribbon, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device, the Vietnam Service Medal with three Bronze Stars and the Combat Action Ribbon.
After his military service, Geof went to Chicago seeking job interviews. He accepted his first job at Time/Life as a media salesman for Life Magazine, after which Time/Life moved him to New York City to work at Money Magazine. He was soon promoted in succession to their Travel & Leisure, Food & Wine and Gourmet magazines and finished his career at The Washington Post. The majority of his professional career was spent in New York City as a senior executive in the publishing industry. Upon retirement he returned to the Worcester area.
In midwinter 1987 Geof met Penny in Quebec City. They commuted between Toronto and New York for some time before Penny was able to move to the U.S. They shared 37 years together. Thanks to Geof’s love of the sea, he and Penny, whom he called Scout, enjoyed time on their boat Co Chien, and cruising worldwide became very much a part of their lives. The South of France became their annual summer destination, where they made many friends during the 30+ years they were there. Closer to home, they loved Brooks Pond, but relished the 23 years they spent at their beloved country home, Wildwood. Penny and Geof always felt very blessed to have met each other later in life.
Geof carried on the Booth family tradition of supporting Old Sturbridge Village and the Greater Worcester Community Foundation. At Old Sturbridge Village, he was a member for 40 years and in volunteer leadership positions spanning 30 years, including chairman of the board. He was involved at the EcoTarium for more than 21 years and was a long-time supporter of the John Green Society at the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill. Geof supported many other non-profit organizations in the Worcester area. He was a member of the American Antiquarian Society since 1978, a former trustee at Tabor Academy and a strong supporter of Denison University. In addition, Geof was a long-time member of the Racquet & Tennis Club in New York City, as well as Argonauts and Bohemians in Worcester.
Geof had a passion for history, and he was very proud of the fact that his five-times grandfather fought at Bunker Hill and his great-grandfather was a Civil War veteran. He had a wonderful sense of humor, and there were always very interesting conversations with him on nearly any subject. Geof was respected and enjoyed by his many friends and was regarded as a true gentleman. He was a fighter and battled cancer for many years. He will be dearly missed by many.
The son of Howard M. Booth and Mrs. Barbara A. Booth, he leaves his sister Brenda Clapp, niece Hilary Kreitenstein and her family. He was predeceased by his parents and his sister Pene Rockwell.
The memorial service will be held Thursday, February 1, at 11 a.m. in the First Unitarian Church, 90 Main Street, Worcester. There will be no calling hours, and burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Geof may be made to UMass Chan Medical School Foundation – Colorectal Cancer Fund. Please note the gift is in memory of George F. Booth II. Gifts can be made online at www.umassmed.edu/give or mailed to: Office of Advancement, UMass Chan Medical School, 333 South Street, Shrewsbury, MA 01545.