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Simon George

SoVaNow.com / January 12, 2021


With love and remembrance as physics professor, husband, father and friend to many, Simon George, husband of Barbara Crutchfield George, originally of Boydton, died Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021 in Long Beach, Calif. Family and friends remember him as being fun to be around, a lifelong tennis player, excited about the world of politics, and devoted to his students.


After many years in the U.S., Simon never forgot his roots in South India. He was born in the state of Kerala, India to the late Julia and William George. He received his B.S. from University of Travancore (Kerala) and M.S. from the University of Saugar. He arrived in the U. S. on a Fulbright in 1957, later obtaining his Ph.D degree in physics from the University of British Columbia, Canada in 1962.


Starting his professional career in the U.S. in 1961, he was promoted through the ranks to tenured full professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) where he taught in that department until his retirement 37 years later. He was rewarded for his efforts as the recipient of three of the University’s most coveted awards -- Outstanding Professor Award (1984), Scholarly and Creative Activity Award (1985), and one that was particularly meaningful to him, the Academic Leadership Award (1997. He was an active participant in the California Faculty Association and the Association of Physics Teachers. During his career he was awarded several National Science Foundation Grants for travel to England, India, Mexico, and Venezuela. He authored/co-authored more than 50 papers in scientific journals and presented an equal number of papers at domestic and international scientific conferences, including numerous invited lectures.


After retiring completely from teaching at CSULB in 2004, Simon continued to dress in his usual suit and tie to go to his office on campus every day until the building was razed to make way for a replacement.

During that post-retirement period, he served as a member of the Parks and Recreation commission for the City of Long Beach, traveled extensively throughout Europe, South America, and Asia, and enthusiastically lead tour groups of 10-20 people on three-week tours to India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.


Simon’s long record of awards and accomplishments do not reflect what some friends have described as being “exceptionally good natured and always a gentleman”.

Others have commented on his generosity, determination, intellectual curiosity, and the way he offered constant encouragement to family and friends to achieve academic and professional success.


He attended St. Peter’s CSI (Church of South India) in Hacienda Heights, Calif. Rev. Dr. George Oommen of St. Peter’s CSI prayed with him in his native Indian language the day before he passed.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 55 years and CSULB colleague, Barbara, his cherished and much loved son, Rajan and his fiancee Karen Ng of Honolulu, Hawaii.

Surviving him are his nieces and nephews who include Suresh and his wife and daughter in Texas, along with three in India with their spouses and children and the widows and children of two predeceased nephews, also in India.

His four siblings predeceased him: William, Leela, Mary, and Jacob.

His cremated remains will be interred during a private service at Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, Calif.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the CSULB Physics and Astronomy Dept. in his memory at https://giveto.csulb.edu/NATPSA01 Click on “Dedication” below contact information.

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