‘George’: A man of mystery, revealed

Not much is known about George.

People know that he has been in some way involved with the men’s rugby team, but mostly they just know him because they have seen him eating in the chow hall all times of the year, with either the wrestlers, or the rugby team.

I had the privilege to spend a morning with him, go to coffee and meet a friend of his, then have lunch, see his humble apartment, and help him salt his front walk way. In this short time I was able to gather a brief history and just get to know him – and to learn his fascinating life story.

His name is George Lepeltier. He was born in 1931 in Paris, France, and grew up as an only child who loved to read and to know what was going on. He was reading newspapers by age six and was listening to the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) in French at age nine. He was only eight when World War II started and spent much time alone. He was 14 when the war finally ended.

When he did his time in the French military, he was part of the army band and played the trombone. His “best souvenir” from that time was playing for General Eisenhower and his wife before the general got out of the army and became the president of the United States.

His wife, who was from Arkansas, was studying in Paris where they met. They were married and had four children before moving to Vermont in 1976 (his father-in-law was from Vermont). Here they had three more children.

George moved to Montpelier and worked as a lobbyist for environmental protection. He moved to Northfield in 1998 after his father passed away. His seven children are scattered across the US: Boston, Houston, Montana, North Dakota, Denver, Oklahoma City and London.

George has been involved with the rugby team for over 30 years as a close friend, and has the official title of Special Advisor. This started when his youngest was a little boy and he brought him to some of the rugby games. His interest in the wrestling team stems from his love of Judo. He earned his black belt, and although he may not be able to throw anyone to the ground now, it’s something he will always hold proudly.

Rugby and wrestling are not the only things that attracted George to Norwich University. He was very interested in the library and its collections, and he is a lifetime member of the Friends of the Kreitzberg Library, and you can often find him in there during the day.

So now you know a little about George. He has a very interesting and storied history. Next time you see him, don’t be afraid to say Hi.

Comments

  1. George is as unique as they come. I have been a student here for three years now and it never ceases to amaze me how passionate he is for this University. Great read on George, I learned a lot I would have never known.

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