George Range

From IAGSDCWiki

George William Range
07 Nov 1939 - 15 May 2004
Times Squares

George was the 1994 recipient of the Times Squares Service Award.


Obituary

A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 29, 2004, in First Christian Church in Portland for George W. Range, who died May 15 at age 64.

Mr. Range was born Nov. 7, 1939, in Portland. He graduated from Franklin High School and Lewis & Clark College, and received a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He taught high school in Central Point and Rockaway Beach, and taught at the Oregon Institute of Technology. He was an organist and pianist for several churches and was an executive assistant in New York City, where he lived for 20 years.

Survivors include his daughters, Janet and Carolyn; sister, Marilyn McCabe; brother, Walter "Buzz"; companion, Douglas Light; and four grandchildren.

Remembrances to the Alzheimer's Association. Arrangements by Tuality Valley Funeral Alternatives.[1]


Recollections

Remembering George Range

One of our most devoted and delightful ex-TIMES SQUARES members, George Range, passed away in mid-May after suffering from a severe case of Alzheimer's disease.

In November, 1939, George was born in Oregon, where his father ran a roller skating rink. It was there that young George became a skilled roller skater and entered a number of roller skating competitions. It is interesting to note that another of our TIMES SQUARES members, Joe Davis, also entered many of these competitions, but they did not know each other personally during these years.

George married his college sweetheart and had two daughters, Janet and Carolyn. Today Janet resides in the Portland, Oregon family home, and Carolyn lives in California. Each daughter has two children. George was proud of his family.

After George came out, he moved to San Francisco and then to New York City, where he was a member of the TIMES SQUARES 1990 Mainstream Class. Soon George became an active club member who attended dances regularly, served frequently as a class Angel, became secretary of the Board, was a co-chairman of PEEL THE PUMPKIN 1995 with me, and helped organize various dance workshops.

Everyone on the dance floor enjoyed dancing with George, who was always cheerful and helpful. He was so proud of our club that he brought his daughters, grandchildren and other family members to club night to watch us dance whenever they visited him in NYC.

In the early 90's George was one of our dancers who dared to venture out with a same sex partner to the straight dances. We were not always greeted kindly by everyone, but soon the majority of the straight dancers welcomed us into their squares.

Since George was such a good dancer, it always amazes me when I recall that he somehow failed to pass the audition to enroll in the TIMES SQUARES Advanced class. During those years our club members were required to dance in a square while being observed by a panel of judges who took notes and later met together to decide which dancers were skilled enough at the Plus level to take Advanced lessons.

Not being permitted to enroll in the Advanced class did not stop George from obtaining an Al-A2 dance manual and learning it on his own by memorizing the calls and observing dancers during A2 tips. In a matter of months George was able to dance A2 better than many of the dancers who took the lessons. In the next few years George became a skilled Cl and C2 dancer.

In the late 90's George moved to Connecticut and later to Boothbay Harbor, Maine, where he became a church organist and choir director. One of his most remarkable skills was an outstanding ability to play popular tunes by ear on the piano. He soon became known in Maine for his "Cocktail Piano" appearances at private parties and restaurants.

George's final years in Boothbay Harbor were spent with a devoted partner, Douglas Light, who gave George an abundance of love and support until the end. George requested that his body be cremated and his ashes be scattered into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Oregon. His family is honoring those wishes.

Those of us who knew George Range will be grateful for the times we spent with him and will cherish those memories. -- Greeley Walker[2]

Sources

  1. The Oregonian (Portland, OR), May 22, 2004
  2. Times Squared newsletter v.19 no.7 (June 2004) p.4