George M. Epple, 79, of Bedford died peacefully on Dec. 24, 2022, following a lengthy illness. He is survived by his wife, Carol; his son, Scott and his daughter-in-law, Colleen, grandchildren Grace, Miles and Lincoln; and his brother, William.
George received his Ph.D. in anthropology from Brandeis University in 1973. He taught at Northeastern University and Boston University, and did field work in Trinidad, Grenada, and in small scale fisheries on the northeast coast of the U.S.
Before his retirement in 2009, George was professor emeritus of Anthropology at Rhode Island College, Providence, R.I. For 21 years, he was Chair of the Anthropology-Geography Department and received the Patrick J. O’ Regan Award for Distinguished Service to the college in 1999. During his tenure there, he amazingly served on 121 committees and chaired every major committee college-wide.
George was born on May 30, 1943, to Winnie and George Epple in Paterson, N.J. He graduated from Brown University where he was a member of the crew team. He married Carol Hunt, a classmate at Brown, on Dec. 27, 1967.
George was an Eagle Scout, a recipient of the Order of the Arrow Lifetime Achievement Award, and served as the Senior Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 114 in Bedford.
George was an avid fisherman, lover of classical, reggae, calypso and rock and roll music, and a model train enthusiast and member of the North Shore and the Providence and Worcester Model RR clubs. With Carol, he enjoyed hiking, kayaking, gardening and “raising” four dogs and four cats.
George was an active and devoted member of the First Parish in Bedford Unitarian Universalist.
He was the driving force for their Equal Exchange and grocery card donation programs, served on the Music Committee and contributed to fundraisers for the grand piano and related equipment, and an avid “chef” for countless Mongolian Firepot and other dinner offerings at church auctions.
As the President and Manager of the Kammerwerke Double Woodwind Quintet (of which Carol is a member), George brought many wonderful concerts to First Parish for all to enjoy.
The town of Bedford, his home for 51 years, benefited from George’s many civic involvements. In addition to his devotion to and leadership in Boy Scout Troop 114, George coached youth baseball, soccer, and basketball. He served on the town’s Capital Expenditure Committee and was active on the Bedford Cultural Council.
A memorial service at the First Parish in Bedford will be held in the future. His family requests that memorial donations be made to First Parish in Bedford, 75 The Great Road, Bedford, MA 01730.
His family extends sincere thanks to their friends from First Parish and to the staff of Encompass Rehabilitation Hospital, Woburn.