George M. Roudebush III of Bainbridge Island, WA and Chardon, Ohio peacefully passed away on the morning of March 4, 2021. He was a business owner and veteran whose pursuits included, competitive athletics, farming, competitive field trials with his Weimaraners and bagpiping in The Red Hackle Pipes and Drums in Cleveland, Ohio.
He loved to compete, so did his Weimaraners Luke and Trick.
George was the oldest of three children born to George M. Roudebush II and Harriette McCann Roudebush. He was born In 1925, and grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Delivering the Cleveland Press as a young boy was his first job. As an Eagle Scout, he graduated from Shaker Heights High in 1943 and after the war graduated from Denison University in 1949 and Cornell University in 1951 with an MBA.
During World War II he was drafted into the US Army. As an 18-year-old Sergeant in the 95th infantry, nicknamed the Victory Division, he marched across the Rhineland and Central Europe in General Patton’s army. He was awarded the Purple heart and recently recognized by President Emmanuel Macrón as a Knight of The French Legion of Honor, France’s highest order of merit. The honor was bestowed for fighting for the liberation of France. He was one of the ‘Iron Men of Metz’ who fought to free Metz in November of 1944.
When he returned from Europe he went to work for Kaiser Aluminum, where he was awarded Salesman of the Year 3 years in a row. After 10 years with Kaiser he struck out on his own and founded Guardian Fence Company which later became Brown Fence. He owned and operated Guardian and Brown Fence companies, serving the fencing needs for greater Northeast Ohio for over 60 years. Into his 90s, loyal customers would call him asking for recommendations only to find he would show up in person to provide the quality fencing service they had come to expect.
In 1956 he married Nancy Ball. Together they set out to build their family and steadfast friendships in Cleveland and Munson Township. The two shared many adventures together. They loved the outdoors and regularly hosted many picnics and reunions with friends and family. They were always up for a gathering. George was dedicated to his wife and two daughters Lailey Jenkins (Bainbridge Island, WA) and Kristin Roudebush, (Shaker Heights, OH) and two grandsons Cody (Seattle, WA) and Kelton Jenkins (Seattle, WA).
He visited Bainbridge for extended stays after his wife passed in 2005 and moved to the island in 2019 to be closer to family and his doctors. He was always up for the next adventure and met life with a kind and generous spirit.
George’s athletic career started at Denison University, where he ran track and played football for Woody Hayes. His track career spanned another 7 decades. 2019 was breakout year for his athletic endeavors. He collected 7 national first place championship titles in Master’s Track and Field and two 2nd place finishes in Ames, Iowa. He was voted the MVP by the Over the Hill Track Club for the last 3 years. George also amassed no less than 57 first place finishes at Master’s Swimming Championship events since 2005 and finished in a podium position in 83 out of 122 events. He canoed competitively with his friend Mark Young and was ranked 10th nationally in 1987. Despite his successes in 18 different sports he was a mentor to many and eager to see others succeed.
He closely followed Ohio amateur and professional sports. His favorite teams were the Ohio State University Buckeyes and his two grandsons Cody and Kelton. He was humble and reluctant to share details of his own athletic success, however, those of his grandsons were a favorite topic of conversation. Even at 86 years old, George was more than willing to get behind the plate and catch a bullpen for his lefty grandson who pitched through college.
In 2008 he was diagnosed with prostate cancer which he only ever referred to as ‘arthritis’. His active lifestyle was maintained up to his final moments thanks to the world renowned health care staff at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, the University of Washington Medical Center, the VA, and his oncologist Dr. Heather Cheng.
He is survived by his two daughters Lailey Jenkins (Dave) of Bainbridge Island and Kristin Roudebush of Shaker Heights, Ohio, his sister Jane Daganhardt of Sarasota, Florida and his two grandsons Cody and Kelton Jenkins of Seattle, WA. His wife Nancy and younger brother Tim preceded him in death. He was close with his nieces and nephews with whom he loved and celebrated life.
His tenacity, laughter and adventurous spirit will be greatly missed.
Donations in his memory can be made to Seattle Cancer Care.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Cook Family Funeral Home of Bainbridge Island.