George Rhoads Jamison, 91

| May 22, 2020 8:28 AM

George Rhoads Jamison, 91, of Taylorville, Ill., passed away May 17, 2020, at Lewis Memorial Christian Village in Springfield, Ill. He was born April 15, 1929, in Taylorville, the fifth child of James Calvin and Editha Marie (Rhoads) Jamison.

Editha died when George was three. His maternal grandmother, Anna Rhoads, raised him until her death seven years later. She instilled in him a sense of duty and responsibility, and he often spoke of them sharing their meals with hobos, who he enjoyed visiting with around a campfire. She also taught him to enjoy good food. Dark German bread and a Thermos of coffee were his school lunch. She also mandated his attendance at the Presbyterian Church. After her death, he grew up in the care of his sister, Jenny, his aunt Georgia (Rhoads) Morris, and a good many neighbors on West Park Street in Taylorville.

In about 1942, his father remarried and relocated to Edinburg, compelling his youngest son under duress to move. The move was fortuitous as it enabled George to meet the love of his life, Helen Lorraine Kauerauf. They were married in 1946, and to the time of his death, their marriage that spanned nearly 74 years.

The marriage produced two sons, George Frank and David Mark Jamison, born in 1946 and 1954, respectively. During their years in Edinburg, they lived next to Helen’s parents, Frank and Clella (Huffman) Kauerauf, resulting in close relationships with their two grandsons and Helen’s siblings. George was especially drawn to Helen’s mother, whom he treated as the mother and grandmother he had lost. George and Helen took Clella into their home after Frank died, where she stayed until the end of her life. In 1969, George and family relocated back to Taylorville.

George’s entire work life was devoted to the Jamison Plumbing and Heating business, founded by his father. He succeeded his father in ownership in 1964 and later transferred the business to his son, David, who kept the business running until his retirement in 2017 when the business was closed after 98 years of operation.

George also served for many years on the board of directors of First National Bank in Taylorville, including as board chairman.

George was a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church of Taylorville, and the Edinburg Methodist Church during their tenure in Edinburg. He assumed several leadership roles over many years.

George was preceded in death by his parents, James Calvin (1886-1964) and Editha Marie (Rhoads) (1890-1933); two sisters, Harriet Ann (1914-1929) and Jenny Loraine Davidson (1919-1999); and two brothers, James Calvin (1917-1994) and John Edward (1924-1999).

George was always very supportive and devoted to Helen. He encouraged her to attain her teaching degree after raising their two boys, which resulted in many years as a kindergarten and first grade teacher in the Taylorville school district. She often remarked that teaching was her first love after her family.

George and Helen especially enjoyed travel throughout the United States and England. They loved their grandchildren and built many lasting memories with them. They took the grandkids on many memorable trips, including national parks, Williamsburg, Va., etc.

George in particular was known for making and eating ice cream, and often taking the grandkids for ice cream or doughnuts. He enjoyed good food, and Helen was an extraordinary cook. Many memorable meals resulted. George was an excellent dishwasher.

George’s love for Helen was unwavering. He devoted the last years of his life to caring for her as her health declined. He was fiercely protective of her, and consistently sacrificed himself as her loving caregiver until his own health intervened and took him out of their home.

George is survived by Helen of Taylorville (Life’s Journey); sons, George (Mary Lou Goodpaster) of Libby and David (Joyce) of Taylorville, Ill.,; grandchildren (from George), Daniel Wesley (Susan) and Cameron and Caden of Woodbury, Minn., Matthew Cameron (Cristina) and Catherine and Claire of Orlando, Fla., and Ann Elyse Jamison (Phil O’Neill) and Desmond of Madison, Wis.; grandchildren (from Dave), Nicholas David (Jane) and Lillian and Claire of Westerville, Ohio; and Megan Claire of Taylorville, Ill.

He also is survived by many nieces and nephews who have graciously been providing support for both Helen and George as their health declined.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by McClure Funeral Home. Given the pandemic restrictions, a private family service will be conducted with interment at Oak Hill Cemetery in Taylorville to follow. A community memorial service will be planned when conditions permit.

Memories and condolences may be shared on the McClure website or sent to the family. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in George’s memory to the First Presbyterian Church of Taylorville.