George in his office at FIS
George Smith
  • 86 years old
  • Date of birth: Jan 6, 1930
  • Date of passing: Mar 15, 2016
Let the memory of George be with us forever

This site was created in memory of our former colleague, teacher and counselor, George Smith. George was born on 6 January, 1930 and passed away on 15 March, 2016 at the age of 86. We will remember him forever.

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Boris-Zeljka Nikola-Jelena Ilic on 15th May 2016

"I came to the FIS in 1980 and Dr. George Smith was the first Person we got to know. My memories on him was a very warm, kind and charming person, which already in first few hours made a great impression at my parents an me. May the angels lead you safely to your new home....."

This tribute was added by Carol Read on 8th April 2016

"Dr.Smith was central to the IB program. I loved his 'Theory of Knowledge' classes. He remained interested in our development long after graduation and I corresponded with him until very recently.
RIP."

This tribute was added by Martha Behrle on 7th April 2016

"Dr. Smith was so instrumental and critically helpful in shepherding the first FIS graduating classes with the college process. That had to be quite the challenge. He was extremely helpful, supportive and " guiding" yet without ever making you feel inadequate. His guidance was delivered with warmth, charm and a sneaky, wicked sense of humor.  "We", the class of 70, loved him! Thank you, Dr. Smith. Surely, you are resting in peace."

This tribute was added by Anne Sullivan Keltner on 5th April 2016

"My first day at FIS in Jan 1973, I was welcomed with a big smile by Dr. Smith and Mr. Rowe, along with my siblings and parents. It was such a personal, welcoming experience. I was 14 years old. They both treated us kids with such respect and kindness, I will never forget it. Why can't the rest of the world be like that? Not that they didn't keep us in line through the years, which we needed. Dr. Smith would often say to me, why don't you stop by and see me? I wondered if he sensed that I needed professional help, but from what I hear, he said that to all of us. Thanks Dr. Smith for being your authentic, awesome self to all of us FIS families. You truly made a difference. I hope you are enjoying your eternal reward. Peace to you. Anne '76"

This tribute was added by Leah McKee on 5th April 2016

"We are all better people for having had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Smith.  He was a great inspiration to all of the FIS students."

This tribute was added by Howard Rowe on 5th April 2016

"Dr. George Smith and I were hired at FIS the same year. My college advisor had stated, “There are three people you must be acquainted with when your start your career in education: the counselor, the secretary, and the custodian, in order to gauge the atmosphere of the institution. Throughout my career, I found this to be sage advice and, needless to say, George was the first person with whom I became acquainted.

When I became administrator at FIS, George was the “point man” for our administrative staff: Dr. Dan Wagner, Headmaster – RIP, Herb Schwartz, Elementary School Principal – RIP, and myself, Upper School Principal. Each time a problem arose, George was always available to discuss the issues with FISers, whether they were the administrative staff, faculty, students, or parents. I remember a few times when I would go to George and identify a problem and my proposed solution … he would smile and say, “I don’t think that will work!” After further discussion, we would both come up with a feasible solution.

George was very patient and understanding, and he had a great sense of humor. More importantly, he was a compassionate person! I will surely miss him, as well all the people who had the privilege of knowing George Smith.

Howard Rowe – Teacher and Upper School Principal, 1966-1978"

This tribute was added by Kristine Rowe on 3rd April 2016

"A dear man … a dear soul … you live on in the hearts of your friends, family, colleagues, and “kids,” George! I have many wonderful memories of George and vividly remember his laugh, full of energy and a love for life. What a brilliant and kind man. Although I left FIS before graduation, George sent me a telegram for my graduation in California … what a thrill it was to receive that thoughtful message from him!  Rest in peace, Dr. Smith."

This tribute was added by Konstantin Hoessrich on 1st April 2016

"Dear George,

thank you for all your kind help and advice rendered also in difficult times when I had to leave FIS in 1977.
RIP"

This tribute was added by Audrey Maak on 31st March 2016

"My family and I will always have a special place for George in our hearts - he was the sweetest person and responsible for having us at FIS. I remember him telling me: "You can do anything you want to do if you put your mind to it" He is the perfect example of positive energy, generosity and charm."

This tribute was added by Tina Boniface on 31st March 2016

"Dr. George Smith was my introduction to FIS. My family moved to the Frankfurt area in February of '72 ... and my first day at FIS, Dr. Smith met me and my parents in his office ... and he basically introduced me to the school and helped my very timid self get situated and feel more at ease with the transition. He'd check in with me, ask how I was doing; I so remember that. He was a kind, compassionate, very decent human being ... and integral to my good memories of my time at FIS.

May George Smith RIP."

This tribute was added by Nicole Cassidy on 31st March 2016

"Dr. Smith always had a door open.  He listened and always loved us.  And we loved him back.  RIP."

This tribute was added by Denise Davis on 30th March 2016

"I don't even know where to begin. I was a "lifer" at FIS. I attended K-12 when the school was being shaped. George took us under his wing and vision. We went through an IB Program that he established and mentored. It was an incredible experience. I loved him as my Psych Prof especially. He was so engaging, that I ended up choosing Psychology as my major at Franklin University. When I switched to another focus in the creative field and moved to the U.S., he was most supportive. I have several handwritten letters from him and alumni newsletters with notes. He made us feel part of FIS long after we left which was SO special. When I received that special A4 Kraft envelope from FIS, I got so excited....like connecting to 'home' and my friends. He NEVER forgot us. We were HIS kids. When we organized a reunion in New York in 2007, the database he had left at FIS was sorely out-of-date. 75% of his alumni records had not been kept up-to-date. We started to search for lost alumni via social media and have almost completely recovered this lost information and shared it with FIS. I think George would be proud of our efforts and we did all this because he showed us how important it was for post-graduates to stay in touch!

I love you Dr. George Smith!!!!!! #feelthelove

Denise Lorraine Davis
Class of 1977"

This tribute was added by Sally Chapman on 30th March 2016

"I remember with great fondness meeting Dr. Smith when I first came to FIS in 1967. He was a great guide to myself and my siblings through the years. He touched so many of us and we are all the better for his great generosity of spirit."

This tribute was added by Bill Denton on 30th March 2016

"Dr. Smith was one of the best parts of my FIS experience. He was a truly kind and decent man. I recall how he'd always say "Good Morning" no matter what time of day it was."

This tribute was added by Eric Macdonald on 30th March 2016

"George was a tremendous counselor to me personally during my years as a student at FIS ( class of '69) and in the years following my  grad, became a good friend. He was one of those rare people who lived his vocation constantly with openness and ease regardless of the circumstance. One of the things I remember in particular was his interest in each person he met to know and understand how they thought and felt. I suppose there is no greater compliment than to feel listened to and understood and that was his great gift to all those he met."

This tribute was added by Clarice Helfand on 29th March 2016

"Starting with his years at the University of Florida George knew three generations of my family.... I think we were all pretty lucky to know him .
Clarice Helfand"

This tribute was added by Ingrid Sell-Boccelli on 29th March 2016

"Dr. Smith was such an FIS fixture - it won't be the same without him! He was also my first psychology teacher; I wish I had told him that that class eventually - many years later - led to my going on to earn a PhD in Clinical Psychology! I especially remember his sense of humor and that he always had time to talk if you needed to."

This tribute was added by Elizabeth Herr on 29th March 2016

"Dr. Smith was a wonderful teacher and friend and he will be missed.
I loved his sense of humor and quirky way of looking at the world.

I also remember another thing he said. He wondered whether the fact that FIS was such a welcoming and safe place for students did them a disservice when they went out into a tougher, less kind world.  That students would have a difficult time dealing with adversity that might meet them in the world.

I would say "No" to that. Recent events have shown that the connections formed at FIS have been a source of great comfort and strength for those who reach out to the community. We are proud to be part of the FIS family."

This tribute was added by Ruth Muller on 29th March 2016

"George was such an integral part of FIS.  It seems a part of my past has died with him, but I can always have the memories of our association with him through our sons education at FIS. Ruth & Kurt Muller"

This tribute was added by Kurt Nieradtka on 29th March 2016

"Dr. Smith you will be missed! You were important in my life and I thank you for your help and guidance. We’ll catch up again some day..."

This tribute was added by Diane Curry on 29th March 2016

"Dr. Smith was such a blessing to FIS. He was an outstanding psychology instructor. He encouraged me in my choice of careers, and even now he has an influence. I continue to reach a bit further than I had originally intended. Thank you again.
Diane (Nybo)"

This tribute was added by Nancy Aguiar on 29th March 2016

"I too am an FIS graduate...1971. And I too had Dr. Smith as my psychology teacher. I am so sad that death has stolen him from us but am so grateful for his many contributions and the great legacy he leaves. His passion for people and education was felt by all. I so loved every class I had with him. With prayers of healing and comfort for those he leaves behind. ~Nancy Sullivan Aguiar"

This tribute was added by Lawrence Olson on 29th March 2016

"Like so many others in the FIS community, I was deeply saddened to learn of George's passing.

As a proud member of the graduating class of 1969, I was very fortunate to have found a friend and mentor in George who positively influenced my life.

Lawrence E. Olson, PhD, MBA
"FIS Class of 1969""

This tribute was added by Monika Pyle Goldstein on 29th March 2016

"Dr. Smith.... He was one of a few teacher I have never forgotten. He kindled my love of psychology and was supportive in times of need.

I remember his love for his little Fiat Spider and passing him on the autobahn (on rare occasions when my dad let me take his Porsche to school) and he would say to me "I saw this blue flash pass me this morning....." And we would have a good laugh!

Dr. Smith... I just know you are cruising along in your sports car of choice right now and know how much you are loved and missed!!"

This tribute was added by Verghese Jacob on 29th March 2016

"I was at FIS only for my last two years before graduation in 1980.  But those were the two best years by far of my schooling life.  Dr. Smith was the first person we met when we came to check out the school. Very charming and a true gentleman.  Loved my interactions with him.  RIP."

This tribute was added by L. Jack Reynolds on 29th March 2016

"I had the privilege of working with George when he started at FIS. We became very good friends and I remember he invited us out to dinner when he became aware that we were leaving FIS. He enjoyed coming over to our apartment for dinner and bridge."

This tribute was added by Carl Baeyer on 29th March 2016

"I was one of 16 students in the first graduating class at FIS in 1967.

George had a tremendous influence on my career as a professor of psychology. He suggested courses and volunteer experiences like helping in Mr Horner's 4th grade class, and he ran a great little 'Psychology Club' with me and three or four other students where we did perception experiments. This more than anything else persuaded me to become a clinical psychologist and researcher. He was a terrific role model.

About two days after I started attending FIS, he called me into his office and asked me how I was doing at the new school. I said, "I love it." He said, with a truly astonished air, "Already??"  This gave me a feeling of accomplishment that I was fitting in quickly.

After I graduated he sent me friendly handwritten letters for many years.

I thank FIS for bringing me and my classmates together with this remarkable, caring counselor.

Carl von Baeyer
www.tinyurl.com/cvb-pubs
FIS class of 1967"

This tribute was added by Waltraud KRÖNNER-BERRY on 29th March 2016

"Fond memories of FIS, thanks also to Dr. Smith who hired me in 1976 as Secretary/ Switchboard Operator in Old Main Reception. - Waltraud"

This tribute was added by Daniel Bitton on 29th March 2016

"It is hard to believe that this wonderful man is gone. I had the pleasure and honour to meet Dr. Smith as an FIS Student. In very hard times durng my Junior year, he was a wonderful guide who helped me with wisdom, listening and understanding through my turmoil. I am confident to say that if it had not been for George Smith, I would have never graduated from FIS and become what I am today. For that, I shall always hold him in the highest esteem and will be forever grateful. My thoughts go to his Family and loved ones.
Daniel Bitton"

This tribute was added by FIS Alumni Office on 26th March 2016

"George was my Uncle. And I recall such fond memories of him over the years especially when we were children and "Uncle George" would come to visit us.

We would come home from elementary school excited that he was coming to visit and there he would be, ready to spend many hours involved in all types of activities with us. He was full of energy and had a special ability to relate to us at our level. (but we had to be quiet in the mornings because Uncle George did like to sleep later than we did).

As an adult, I recall his many visits to see my parents and all of his nieces and nephews with his very special companion Dieter. He had great curiosity about how everyone was doing, what was new in your life, was always enthusiastic, and had a wonderful sense of humor. He and Dieter loved traveling and visiting with their friends in the US and spending time relaxing and exploring on Anna Maria Island where they loved to vacation. He was a special Uncle and we will all miss Uncle George very much.

Bob Smith"

This tribute was added by FIS Alumni Office on 26th March 2016

"It is hard to imagine FIS without George Smith. He was my IB psychology teacher and every class was a voyage of discovery, Dr Smith's enthusiasm for the subject communicating itself even to the most jaded adolescent. To this day I remember his great explanation of Maslowe's Hierarchy of Needs! He radiated positive energy: every student left meetings with Dr Smith feeling like an amazing person. His generous nature and ready smile will remain in our hearts.

Anne Diss"

This tribute was added by FIS Alumni Office on 26th March 2016

"I never had the pleasure of meeting George, but his name is somewhat of a legend here at FIS. His colleagues speak of a man who was both a talented professional and also gifted in his ability to relate to students.

Our yearbooks show pictures of a man who was quick to smile and actively involved in every aspect of FIS life.

He was instrumental in the founding the International Baccalaureate Diploma, and in doing so, has impacted the lives of tens of thousands of students around the world.

As an educator, I know I would have greatly admired him as a colleague. As a father, I know that he would be the type of individual I would want my son or daughter to have in their corner as they navigate the challenges of adolescence and college admissions.

As the Head of Frankfurt International School, I can say that his legacy will remain a source of pride for our school as we seek to follow the example he has set for us all.

Dr. Paul Fochtman Head of School"


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