George Ormsby is a name familiar to many of us in the Prohibition Party and in other temperance organizations. He was our candidate for vice-president in 1988 and again in 1992. He is Chairman of the Pennsylvania Prohibition Committee and is a member of the Prohibition Trust Fund Association of New York. He is a past President of the National Council of the United Statess, International Organization of Good Templars.
Your Editor was priviledged to interview Ormsby during odd moments of the 2005 IOGT Triennial, held at Willow Grove Resort, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in May.
Ormsby was born on 24 November 1916 at Village Green, Aston Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. His mother was a school teacher, and she home-schooled George. George continued his education with correspondence courses and night-school courses. In his youth, Ormsby was a mechanic employed by a textile mill. Beginning his job at age 15, by 18 Ormsby was in charge of a "section" at the mill, and by age 20 he was superintendent of the second shift.
The company moved George and his mother to Mount Joy, in Lancaster County, in 1939. Soon after, he was put in charge of Mount Joy Plant #2. As it happened, the company house which he was provided, in Mount Joy, was next door to the home of a single woman living with her aunt and uncle. Miriam looked good to George, and a handsome, self-made factory manager looked good to her aunt and uncle, and in June of 1941, Miriam became Mrs. George.
The Ormsbys had three children: Keith, Adele, and Robert. Keith, a long-haul trucker, now makes his home with his father.
Ormsby left his factory position in 1943 to become part of a "Seabee" naval construction batallion. He was posted to England after three months of military training, there helping to build a naval supply base. He remained at that base, helping to manage it, until VE Day.
It was while in England that Ormsby began his lifetime of work in temperance. His parents were old-time Methodists, who used no alcohol of any kind. His father was a Prohibition Party member and voted for as many Prohibition candidates as were on the ballot. George joined the IOGT, which at that time was a fraternal order for non-drinkers.
After the War, Ormsby returned to Delaware County, to near his place of birth, and joined a cousin in a plumbing and heating business. He was Secretary of the Philadelphia Suburban Association of Plumbing Contractors for 18 years. For four years, he was the official plumbing inspector in Aston Township. He was on the Delaware County, Pennsylvania Plumbing Council. He is now serving his 33d year as the official plumbing inspector for the Borough of Chester Heights. For many years, he was a volunteer fireman.
Ormsby is proud of having helped with a local option election in Middleton Township. We didn't win it, he admits, but we got a good vote.
Ormsby served four 3-year terms as President of the National Council of the IOGT. He succeeded in getting tax-deductable (501-c-3) status for the National Council, after previous officers had failed in the attempt. He served on the national board of the IOGT for about 30 years.
George Ormsby is an ordained Elder in the Presbyterian Church of America. George Ormsby died on 20 May 2013.
The following obituary was provided by Vickie Bakken, national IOGT Office Manager.
George D. Ormsby of Aston, passed away on May 20, 2013. George was the husband of the late Miriam Ginter. At age 15 he worked at a textile mill as a mechanic. By age 20 he was superintendent of the second shift. At age 23 he was in charge of the Mt. Joy Plant #2. In 1943 George left the plant and became a member of a "Seebee" Naval Construction Battalion. He was a member of the Prohibition party and of the International Organization of Good Templars-USA. He served four 3 year terms as president of the IOGT-USA and was on its board for 30 years. After the war he returned to Delaware County and started Ormsby Pierce Plumbing and Heating with his cousin. He was Secretary of the Philadelphia Suburban Association of Plumbing Contractors for 18 years. He served as plumbing inspector of Aston Twp. for 4 years. He was on the Delaware County Plumbing Council and belonged to Phila. Suburban Assoc. of Plumbers. George was also the Chester Heights Plumbing inspector for 35 years. He also belonged to the Lenni Heights Fire Company for 65 years where he and Ralph Pierce helped in purchasing the first new fire truck. He was a long time member of the covenant Presbyterian Church which is now the Meadowcroft Presbyterian Church. George was an avid train lover and a generous Christian Man. Survivors: Children Keith, Robert (Sue) and Adele Bailey. Granddaughter Sherry (Jeffery) March-Fitch and Great-Granddaughter Sadie March. Burial: Mt. Hope Cemetery, Aston, Pa.