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Obituary of George C. Alburger
George C. Alburger of Glen Mills, a devoted Christian, retired business owner and accomplished portrait artist, entered eternal life on May 10th at Maris Grove Senior Living Community.
Mr. Alburger was born March 3rd, 1927, in Folsom, PA, to the late Charles F. and Jennie Coyle Alburger. Reared in Rutledge, he graduated from Swarthmore High School in 1945. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and later studied German at Widener University. He honed his artistic gifts at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia and studied portraiture under acclaimed artist John Howard Sanden at the National Portrait Seminar in New York City.
While at Penn State, he joined Sigma Chi national men’s fraternity. As an adult student at Penn State Brandywine, he received the Gateway Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement. For excellence in the study of German at Widener University as a senior citizen, he was inducted into Alpha Mu Gamma and Phi Beta Delta honor societies. At both universities, he lectured in portraiture and German. He also presented art-illustrated talks with a Biblical focus at many area churches.
Drafted during World War II, Mr. Alburger served in the U.S. Army as an artillery training instructor. In 1951, he met Elizabeth (Bette) Agnew, his fellow journalism major and college “sweetheart of Sigma Chi”. They were wed in 1954 and were happily married for nearly 69 years. They lived first in Secane and then almost 50 years in Springfield before moving in 2008 to Maris Grove in Concord Township. They also owned a second residence in Ocean City, NJ for 22 years.
For more than 30 years, Mr. Alburger owned and operated GCA Exhibits, a Philadelphia-based public relations and museum exhibit firm. Besides being a lifetime artist, he was an avid hiker and multi-mile jogger, a railroad buff, opera fan, and vanilla, chocolate & strawberry ice cream lover.
Most important, he was a devout Christian who always put others before himself. While a member of Chambers Memorial Presbyterian Church in Rutledge for more than 80 years, he was an active student, a Deacon, ordained Elder, Sunday School teacher and choir member. He served the Greater Philadelphia Area church community as a chairperson on the Philadelphia Presbytery’s Ministerial Relations Committee and as a director of the 58th Street Presbyterian Home in Philadelphia. He also was a member of the former Presbyterian Social Union. In 2017, he and Bette joined Westminster Presbyterian Church in West Chester.
In addition to his parents, he is predeceased by his brother Charles Jr., and sisters Jane and Caroline. Along with his cherished wife Bette, survivors include two beloved children: Dr. Mark G. (Harriet) of Vacaville, CA and Sorrel Ann (Lori) of New York City, NY; dear grandchild Cliff of Point Arena, CA, many nieces, nephews and their families; and numerous friends.
A service and celebration of life will be held on Saturday, June 3rd, 2023, at 3 pm in the Maris Grove Chapel, 100 Maris Grove Way, Glen Mills, PA, with visitation beginning at 2 pm. Interment with Military Honors was in Washington Crossing National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church and Maris Grove Resident Care Fund.