George Benjamin Filcher, of Helena, Montana and Yuma, Arizona, passed away on April 22, 2014 in Yuma after a brief illness.
George was born in Stevensville, Montana on May 23, 1935. He was educated in the Stevensville schools, and joined the Army in 1952. During basic training he was involved in an Army truck accident with many casualties. Although injured himself, as the only conscious survivor, he was able to run the 12 miles back to the base to report it. An officer who was a doctor drove him back to the accident site in his personal vehicle despite pleas from George to send more than one ambulance. With the dead and dying spread out on the desert, the shaken Captain ordered five of the wounded into his car, while the seven others were loaded into the one ambulance. More soldiers died enroute, covered with dust, as it was too overloaded to close the door. George was in the base hospital for two weeks with serious back injuries, but upon release from care he was immediately shipped out to the worst fighting in Korea.
In 1956, George married Charlene Stout of Butte, Montana. They moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1958, where George graduated from the Phoenix Police Academy. After two years as a Phoenix police officer, he switched careers and joined the then new United Parcel Service shipping company. At UPS he progressed rapidly through the Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona and Bismarck, N. Dakota shipping hubs, eventually settling in Sioux Falls, SD as manager of the hubs for both North and South Dakota.
George’s lifelong back injuries did not keep him from following his favorite hobbies of hunting and fishing. He enjoyed living in the Dakotas, ice fishing on Lake Sacajawea and King Salmon fishing on the Missouri River. His favorite summertime spot was Georgetown Lake, Montana. He loved his home state and will be interred there in Riverside Cemetery in the family plot.
He is survived by his children, LeeAnn (Richard) Santos, of New Braunfels, Texas, and John Filcher (Ingrid) of Green Bay, Wisconsin, six grandchildren, brother Dale Filcher (Betty) of Deer Lodge, MT, sisters Ruth (Ron) Cimino, of Littleton, CO, and Lois (Jack) Longbottom, of Sun Lakes, AZ, and Edie Lewis, his life partner of nine years, as well as numerous nieces and nephews who all have fond memories of their Uncle George.
A memorial is planned for June 14, in Stevensville, with further details to follow.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.whitesittfuneralhome.com.