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George Helling AMP ’44

George Helling AMP ’44, July 28, 2005, in Northfield, Minnesota. George attended Reed in the U.S. Army premeteorology program. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps, continuing in service after the war in India and China. In 1948, he graduated from Hamline University with a BA in political science, and took a teaching position in Turkey, where he met Barbara Burns; they married in 1951. When they returned to the U.S., George enrolled in the PhD program in sociology at the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1959. During his graduate years, he taught at St. Olaf College, and studied social change in rural Turkey with a grant from the Ford Foundation. His interest in Turkey extended throughout his life; he did research in Turkey also on a Fulbright scholarship. From 1962 to 1969, George was chair of the sociology department at the University of Nebraska–Omaha, after which he returned to St. Olaf; he retired in 1986. He was a member of the original faculty of the St. Olaf Paracollege and taught in the Paracollege until retirement. He was also a founding member of the Sociologists of Minnesota, and was designated their distinguished sociologist in 2000. His interests outside of academia included bird watching and growing wine grapes. Survivors include his wife, two daughters, two sons, two brothers, and six grandchildren.

Appeared in Reed magazine: May 2006

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