April 28, 1936 - January 18, 2022
George Robertson Hollington III was born in Santa Monica, California on April 28, 1936, and passed away peacefully on January 18, 2022, with his wife Margaret at his side, two days prior to what would have been their 60 th wedding anniversary. Although born in Santa Monica, George was raised mostly in West Los Angeles, just a few blocks from the UCLA campus. His childhood was mostly uneventful but included living through World War II in wartime Los Angeles, where his dad supported the war effort by working at Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica. The most notable event in his childhood came after the war, when his only sibling, Bruce, was born in February 1948. Bruce’s arrival provided George with many convenient opportunities for hazing, later repaid by Bruce in his role as the fun young uncle to George’s impressionable teenage children. He graduated from Los Angeles University High School in spring 1955, and although the concept of the “gap year” had not yet been invented, George and his friends embarked upon that path, with frequent trips to the beach punctuated by occasional maintenance work on the famous Santa Monica Ferris wheel. He soon tired of the fun, however, and reversed course by joining the United States Marine Corps as a reservist. In the Marines he was trained as part of a two-man crew operating the Browning Automatic Rifle. He returned to USMC Camp Pendleton frequently through the late 1950s, and his service in the Marines became a central part of his life for the rest of his life. The late 1950s found him dividing his time between odd jobs in Los Angeles, Marine training at Camp Pendleton, and a few semesters of college at Santa Monica City College. In 1958, he found a job at Douglas Aircraft, where his dad had previously worked, which proved to be life- changing. Although hired by Douglas as a key punch operator, he happened to be in the room when the white lab coat computer scientists debated the future of computers, with one opining that eventually even lesser educated individuals would learn to program. A bet was made, George gladly became the scientists’ guinea pig, and a career – as possibly the only non-college degreed computer programmer of his era – was born. In 1960, he left Douglas and moved up the coast to Naval Air Station Point Mugu, where he initially worked as a third shift computer operations supervisor for data processing work associated with the Pacific Missile Range. He moved to Ventura to be closer to Point Mugu, which also turned out to be life-changing when his landlord introduced him to Margaret Thomas in March 1960. George was smitten but their dating career had to wait for that summer to begin since the Navy had sent him back to Los Angeles for an IBM programming class that spring. George and Margaret dated from the summer of 1960 through 1961 and married on January 20, 1962. Before the wedding, he had taken a job at a General Electric computer facility in Santa Barbara, and the couple relocated there after their honeymoon. The 1960s were a happy time for George and the young family, with continued employment at GE and the family growing with the addition of sons Steve in 1963 and Scott in 1965. In the late 1960s, the economy was struggling, so in fall 1969 when the Navy asked GE to “loan” them a veteran for classified anti-submarine computer work at the US Navy Ordinance Lab on the east coast, George jumped at the chance and the family relocated to Maryland. George enjoyed the role, but air travel was uncommon and expensive in that era and the family was distant from family and friends on the west coast, so he and the family returned to GE and Santa Barbara in spring 1971. Unfortunately, GE had begun downsizing its Santa Barbara facility by the early 1970s, which presented an interesting dilemma – as a computer programmer, George’s skills were in high demand, but less so in the smaller towns he preferred. A lengthy combined geographical research and job search ensued, culminating in his taking a teaching role at Idaho State University in early 1972, with the rest of the family joining him in Pocatello that spring. Although he briefly left ISU for FMC, also in Pocatello, he eventually returned to ISU. In the spring of 1983, with both sons having graduated from high school, George moved to Boise and began working for Idaho Power. He and the family – although both sons were away at college during the school year – flourished in Boise and at Idaho Power, since his role there required extensive travel throughout the state, which he loved. In Boise, he was able to take his love for the state of Idaho and its many outdoor activities to a new level. He was able to parlay his Idaho Power business travel into recreational reconnaissance missions to return to many lesser-known parts of the state in his free time. An active hiker, cyclist, skier, camper, and backpacker, he experienced and photographed more of the state than most, with even the most remote locations often at the top of his list, although the Boise greenbelt was an urban favorite. Although viewed as a potential character defect by the other California-born family members, he was also undeterred by the cold weather that is an inevitable part of Idaho’s mountains. He was equally undeterred by the bone-chilling rivers and lakes in Idaho and took great pleasure in introducing others to them as well, including unanticipated swims for sons and grandsons who had failed to maintain adequate knowledge of his whereabouts. Although George was mostly self-educated, education was another of his priorities. He took advantage of his employment at ISU to take additional college classes, and both sons graduated with honors from Highland High School in Pocatello. Steve and Scott also succeeded not only in becoming the first members of the family to receive college degrees, Steve from the University of Idaho and Scott from the University of Miami, but both also earned graduate degrees, a source of pride and satisfaction to George. He was equally thrilled that both daughters-in-law had college degrees of their own and, surprisingly, was mostly unashamed of Diane’s Boise State degree. With a potential Y2K computer programming debacle on the horizon, he retired from Idaho Power in June 1999, which allowed him to become one of the busiest retirees ever as he pursued various hobbies as well as service to others. Travel, nearly always to his sons’ homes or to vacation destinations with their families, was also frequent, but he and Margaret did travel internationally, with a 2006 pilgrimage to Medjugorje, Bosnia, a highlight. Despite his well- known disdain for cats, he loved all other animals, and his dogs knew the Boise greenbelt well when he wasn’t volunteering at the Humane Society. He also honed his construction skills by working for the Homes for Veterans organization in Boise. He and Margaret were also active at St. Mark’s Catholic church in Boise, where he was also able to parlay his interest in photography into the occasional wedding photography gig. Later in retirement and realizing that their split-level home in Boise would eventually become difficult to navigate in older age, he and Margaret decided that since the house needed to be sold, it presented the opportunity to relocate closer to one of the sons. They moved to St. Augustine, Florida, in 2015. His declining health necessitated a higher level of care not available in St. Augustine, so the couple moved one last time, to nearby Jacksonville, in late 2020, where they resided until his passing. His family was his other great joy, and although preceded in death by his parents and his brother Bruce, George is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years Margaret; sons Steve (& Diane) of Oro Valley, Arizona and Scott (& Jeanne) of Vilano Beach, Florida; and four grandsons, Andrew (& Anna) of Tempe, Arizona; Kevin in Vilano Beach; Brian in Minneapolis; and Ryan in Oro Valley. His grandson Andrew and wife Anna also finally succeeded in introducing girls to the family, his twin great-granddaughters Kylie & Kinsley, in October 2021. A Funeral Mass will be held Saturday, January 29 th at noon at St. John Paul II Catholic church in Jacksonville, and due to George and Margaret’s many friends throughout the country it will be livestreamed on YouTube and recorded for those unable to attend in person. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Homes for Veterans or the Humane Society in Boise, or to a local Catholic parish; donations toward an ongoing new church fund can also be made in George’s name to St. John Paul II Catholic church in Jacksonville.
George Robertson Hollington III was born in Santa Monica, California on April 28, 1936, and passed away peacefully on January 18, 2022, with his wife Margaret at his side, two days prior to what would have been their 60 th wedding anniversary. Although... View Obituary & Service Information
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