It is with profound sadness that we share news of George Wendt’s passing. George breathed his last at 1:36 pm on Saturday July 9th, by all appearances in comfort and with relief. Surely, he was loved – by those in the room with him at the end, and by the many he touched with his gentleness and grace. George was a kind and humble man who seemed to take a genuine interest in everyone he met. He was a river pioneer, an adventure travel icon, and a conservation leader.
George found his calling as a college student on the rivers of the West in the summer of 1962. That’s when he and a friend built a raft out of inner tubes and planking and floated down the Colorado River through Glen Canyon. In the years that followed, as George continued to explore the canyons of the Colorado River and its tributaries, it became clear to him that these special places needed to be shared, fought for, and preserved for future generations. The drowning of Glen Canyon and then the Stanislaus River near his home in California had delivered a profound sense of loss for George; it became his calling to bring people into the wilderness and share with them his love for wild river canyons. As he often said, “we save what we love and we love what we know.”
George was an endlessly supportive father to two sons, Clavey and Tyler, a loving husband to his late wife Pam, and a role model, mentor, leader and inspiration to many more. We at O.A.R.S. are grateful for the kind words of support and encouragement during this difficult time.
To read more and to watch a short video about George Wendt, visit: https://www.oars.com/about-oars/story/
Photo by John Lyddon