George Worden ’59
George J. Worden, 83, of Elyria, Ohio, passed away March 12, 2019. He was born March 2, 1936 in Cadillac, Michigan and was a graduate of Cadillac High School.
He went on to receive his BA from Hope College. George’s career path led him to fund development opportunities to support students, faculty and institutional endeavors for numerous entities including the Interlochen Arts Academy in northern Michigan, where he was the first director of admissions for the Academy. He later established an endowed foundation there, as well as an endowed foundation for Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, Michigan.
Prior career positions included co-director of The Red Feather/United Way of Dallas, Texas and assistant to the president of Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas. In 1989, George moved to Elyria, Ohio, to accept the position of Vice President for Development at Lorain County Community College, to which he brought a new level of professionalism. He connected with many in Lorain County, bringing LCCC to the forefront and helping people realize what a gem the College was for the area. Working together with the community, he was able to greatly increase the financial stability of the LCCC Foundation’s endowment.
George’s greatest joy was the Build a Better Future campaign that, with the support of the residents of Lorain County, established the LCCC/University Partnership, further cementing the future of the College and its affiliates. George was a past president of the Elyria Rotary Club, and a board member of United Way of Lorain County, New Sunrise Properties, and the director of development for Our Lady of the Wayside, as well as being involved over the years with the continuing development of the city of Elyria. He also closely consulted with numerous community colleges in Ohio, assisting them in the enhancement of their educational foundations. Other organizations, too numerous to mention, also benefited from his knowledge, expertise and willingness to give back.
George was a joyous participant at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Elyria for 28 years. He was a member of the choir and a Sunday liturgist. He strongly believed in the mission of the church and extended his assistance with fund development. George believed in community involvement and touched many lives during his time in Lorain County. He was a friend to many, always sharing his infectious smile while lending a helping hand. He was truly a renaissance man throughout his life, with an insatiable curiosity that embraced knowledge and celebrated intellectual discovery. He enjoyed his memberships with The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Cleveland Orchestra and Playhouse Square in Cleveland. Other interests included writing poetry and fiction and he had a keen interest in Cleveland professional sports. George was an unapologetic Michigan Wolverine in the land of Buckeye Nation. He proudly displayed his Maize and Blue flag on game days between the Ohio State flags hung by neighbors. George enjoyed season tickets to the Big House at the University of Michigan home football games for numerous years. “Go Blue” could be heard throughout his house and yard on game days. George leaves behind his beloved wife Catherine, who will cherish his memory always. He is also survived by his daughter Kathryn and son-in-law Michael Meyer of Lilburn, Georgia; granddaughter Jessica and husband Rob Curtis of Royal Oak, Michigan; and granddaughter Kristina Meyer and fiance Miller Hollstein of Georgia; a brother Charles and Kathy Worden of Grosse Ile, Michigan, and several nieces. George is also survived by two sons through a blended family: Ryan and Della Lazowski and grandson Asher of Changsha, China, and Matthew and Kristy Lazowski and grandchildren Presley and Gibson of Avon Lake, Ohio. To Ryan, George was “a dedicated and loving father, heartfelt friend and steadfast companion.”