Magazine article The American Organist

OBITUARIES: Georg Friedrich Steinmeyer

Magazine article The American Organist

OBITUARIES: Georg Friedrich Steinmeyer

Article excerpt

Georg Friedrich Steinmeyer, 91 years old, of Vernon, Vt., April 9, 2015, at Vernon Green Nursing Home. He was born in Oettingen, Bavaria, Germany, on March 1, 1924. Upon completion of high school, he was immediately drafted into the German army. His obligatory military service during World War II included infantry action in Yugoslavia, the Russian front, and Denmark. At the conclusion of World War II, he began his formal training as an organbuilder in his family's business, Steinmeyer Organ Company.

He traveled to the United States for the first time in 1950, as part of a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor for technical cooperation with other governments. Steinmeyer apprenticed with the AeolianSkinner Organ Company and met organist E. Power Biggs, with whom he traveled in 1954 to record, for Columbia Records, historic and other significant organs in Southern Germany. In 1953, he met his wife, Hanne, at an American school in Nuremberg; they married in 1954. In 1955, they immigrated to the United States with their first daughter, Charlotte, and settled in Brattleboro, heading up the pipe organ division of the Estey Organ Company.

First and foremost, Steinmeyer considered himself an organbuilder. After the closure of the Estey firm, his love for Vermont kept him in Brattleboro. He worked as a Fuller Brush man, worked in life insurance, and eventually began working for the School for International Training in 1964. While working, he earned a master's degree in education administration in 1974 from the University of Massachusetts, despite never having completed college. In 1974, he began working at Amherst High School, first as an assistant principal and then as department chair for foreign languages at the junior/senior high school and as a German teacher. He retired in 1992.

Steinmeyer was an active board member and president of both the Massachusetts chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German as well as the Massachusetts Association of Foreign Language Teachers. …

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