GEORGE STEPHEN FRIEDMAN
Dr. George Stephen Friedman, 78, of Troy, son of Leo Friedman and Matilda Goodman Friedman, brother to Joan Friedman Weinberg, beloved husband of Karen Blair, and adored uncle to many nieces, nephews, grand and great-grand nieces and nephews, passed away in his sleep at his home on February 1, 2020.
Dr. Friedman was a native of Philadelphia and a graduate of Central High School, 211 class. He received his B.A. from Temple University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University. He was a professor of English at the University of Minnesota, West Chester University, and at Towson University, where he spent the last 33 years of his career. At Towson, he served in many positions, including Acting English Department Chair, College of Liberal Arts representative to the University Senate, and President of the AAUP/Faculty Association. He was an admired teacher and received two teaching excellence awards from the Student Government Association. He also was the recipient of the President’s Award for Distinguished Service to the university.
Dr. Friedman was a lover of literature, especially the literature of the American South. One of his career goals was to help his students appreciate the brilliance of William Faulkner. George was also a writer himself and won his first acknowledgement as the recipient of the Central High School Award for journalism when he was 16. In Baltimore, he spent two years working as a copy editor for the Sports section of the Baltimore News-American and developed a course in Sports Writing at Towson University. To hone his own skills, he attended the Atlantic Center for the Arts to work with W.P. Kinsella and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference where he studied with Toni Morrison. Through his work with these authors, he completed his novel, “Three Years.” He also was inspired by the work of Baltimore writer Ann Tyler and was delighted when she agreed to talk with his writing students at Towson.
George was also an avid sports fan and was thrilled when technology made it possible for him to remain a hard-core fan of the Duke Blue Devils, Philadelphia Eagles, and Minnesota Twins, even in Troy, the small rural town in North Carolina where he and his wife Karen retired in 2014.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to remember Dr. Friedman can make a contribution to the George S. Friedman & A. Karen Blair Scholarship at Montgomery Community College, Troy or to a charity of their choosing.
There will be a visitation at Bumgarner Family Funeral Service in Troy on Thursday, February 6, 2020 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. A memorial service is being planned for a later date at Towson University in Towson, Maryland.
Bumgarner Family Funeral Service is serving the family.
Online Condolences may be made at www.bumgarnerfunerals.com