|DR.GEORGE W. HERRICK
ALFRED STATION- Professor Emeritus of Alfred State College, Dr. George W. Herrick, died early Saturday morning (March 21, 2015) at his home on State Route 21, three days after his 88th birthday.
Born in St. Mary’s, Pa. on March 18, 1927, he was the only child of the late William Whiting and Elizabeth Lipsie Herrick.
In 1944 he enlisted in the U. S. Navy, leaving high school the day he turned 17 and missed his whole senior year. (Pennsylvania had recently passed the law to award honorary high school diplomas to World War II veterans). George kept the Herrick family line of voluntary military service and graduated from Emporium (Pa.) High School, in absentia, in 1946. He was awarded his high school diploma in 2002, after earning his doctorate in 1969; following his discharge he spent a year at Kiski Prep in Pennsylvania.
George and the former Phyllis “Chickie” Ballman arrived in Alfred in September of 1948 where they met that fall and were married the day after graduation, June 10, 1952 in the Gothic, by Rev. Mike Sibley. Ray Wingate played the Carillon before and after the ceremony and the reception took place at Sigma Chi Nu. Days later they moved into Saxon Heights where they lived for over a year. George went to graduate school, receiving his MS in Education in 1953. On March 31, 1953 their son, John Ballman Herrick was born and, like his father, he eventually continued the family line of voluntary military service. That summer they moved to Barker, N.Y. where they bought a home and George began his doctoral program at the University of Buffalo (now SUNY at Buffalo).
Six years later George accepted a position with the Cattaraugus County BOCES as an elementary supervisor at Hinsdale Central School and Guidance Counselor at Portville Central School. They bought their second home in Portville and the following year Hinsdale asked George to work full time for them and they bought another home in Hinsdale. George was still making the long trek to Buffalo to take courses as he could. In Hinsdale in the fall of 1961, they adopted their second son, Lynn, who was born on December 14, 1953.
While attending their 10th reunion at Alfred University George heard of an opening at Alfred State College in Psychology and began teaching there in the fall of 1962, commuting 80 miles daily. In December of 1962 they bought their fourth home, the former Samuel and Maria Whitford Farm in Railroad Valley, moving in in May of 1963. For the first time they had the old home and lots of land (180 acres) they had all worked for. Tree planting began almost immediately, to a total over the years of 40,000. Because of the abundance of Scotch Pine trees, and the family name, the farm was called Scotch Hill Farm. A barn was built and later enlarged. They became 4H leaders; the boys bought their own horses, and the family became countrified. In 1972 they bought a contiguous farm of 150 acres that bordered on the Greene Road. Since a cattle operation was in full swing then, a road was built from the highway up to the other farm. It was washed out in the 1972 flood, as might be expected, but has since been rebuilt. Several years later the herd had increased to about 50 head, but the price declined and it was time to sell.
After receiving his doctorate in 1969 from SUNY Buffalo, George continued at Alfred State College until retirement in 1983, an even beyond, beginning as assistant professor and retiring as full professor. During his tenure at the college he was Department Chairman and also began the Counseling Center. He spent his working life in the educational field, mostly in mental health and school administration. He served as President of the Allegany County Mental Health Association for two terms and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2004, the same year his health began to decline. George was appointed twice to the Board of Visitors of Gowanda Psychiatric Center, by two Democratic Governors (a rarity for a Republican). He was also elected two terms as Alfred Town Justice and was a charter member and Past-President of the Alfred Lions Club.
In 1975 following the death of George’s father, his mother came to live with them and a small home was built (where they now reside) for her behind their main house where she spent many happy and secure years before her death.
During his retirement George continued to stay busy and enjoyed his lifetime hobbies of hunting and fishing. George and Chickie purchased an ocean front condo in Myrtle Beach in 1977 to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary and they were presently preparing to visit their condo this spring. To celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary they endowed a scholarship at Alfred University.
His son, John, took leave from his job in the South to assist with the care of his father and working on the farm. George would sit by the huge window watching not only his son working, but all the animals who “owned” the farm, from deer, raccoons, skunks, turkeys, etc. and even an occasional bear.
George was a great story teller in the early years of dementia and could embelish any one of them to get a laugh! His whole family loved the land and they were determined to leave the land better than when they bought it, almost 60 years ago.
Besides his wife of 63 years, Chickie, and his sons, John and Lynn, he is also survived by six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
The Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc. in Hornell is honored to serve the family of Dr. George W. Herrick.
To honor his wishes there will be no calling hours or funeral service. Those wishing may contribute in his memory to their favorite charity.
Online condolences or remembrances of George are welcomed at www.bishopandjohnsonfuneralhome.com.
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