HOUK, George Washington died March 9, 2019. Born in Dayton, Ohio on June 2, 1927 to Frances Rudy Houk and George Washington Houk II, he moved with his family to Oregon in 1930, where he developed a life-long love of the outdoors with his introduction to fishing, camping, skiing, and mountaineering.
The Houks moved to Tacoma, Washington in 1937, where young George began a writing career working for the local newspaper and deepened his love of the outdoors. George Houk returned to Dayton in 1940, where he lived for the rest of his life. He attended Oakwood schools and graduated from Phillips Academy Andover, enlisting in the United States Navy in the spring of 1945.
He entered Yale University after an honorable discharge from military service in 1946, graduating with the class of 1950. George worked for Dayton Aircraft Products, the Kettering-Oakwood Times, and O’Neil & Associates before founding Graphics III, a publishing and graphic design firm, where he served as president until retiring in 2003.
A writer in the last years of his life, he wrote histories of Dayton area organizations including The Dayton Hydraulic Company, the James M. Cox Arboretum, and Troy’s Overfield Tavern. In cooperation with the Junior League of Dayton, he designed and edited a history of Dayton. George Houk was a member of Vanguard Concerts since its founding in 1962; his history of that Dayton concert music series, Innocent Impresarios, is among his published works. An avid and discriminating reader, he was one of the “first readers” of publishers’ submissions for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize from its inception in 2006. He was a long-time supporter of the Dayton Art Institute, Dayton Visual Arts Center, Carillon Historical Park (Dayton History) and other local institutions. He supported a range of environmental and conservation groups in in Ohio and Michigan, including the Little Traverse Conservancy. George Houk also was a member of the Forty-Nine Club of Dayton, and had been named its president at the beginning of this year.
George W. Houk is survived by Pamela Price Houk, his wife of 63 years; twin sons Peter Blackwood Houk and George W. Houk IV, and grandsons Peter and Lucas. He leaves legions of good friends in Ohio and Michigan with whom he laughed, gardened, foraged, fished and sailed.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Dayton Art Institute from 1-4pm on Sunday, May 19, 2019. Private family interment.
In lieu of flowers, charitable contributions may be sent to The Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park N, Dayton, OH 45405, Special Olympics Ohio, 3303 Winchester Pike, Columbus, OH 43232 or the Little Traverse Conservancy in Harbor Springs, Michigan, 3264 Powell Road, Harbor Springs, MI 49740.
Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.routsong.com.