Dear Laurentian Friends,
We have learned of the December 23, 2020 death of Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies George Frear, Jr., at the age of 88.
George graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University in 1954. He earned his Master of Divinity in 1957 and was ordained a minister in the Presbyterian Church. After several years as a pastor in Waterville, New York, and as a navy chaplain, George returned to Union Theological Seminary where he received his Ph. D. in theology in 1969.
Joining the St. Lawrence faculty in 1964, George taught courses in religion, ethics, and Latin, and pursued a research interest in Native American religions with a particular focus on the role of animals. George enjoyed a well-earned reputation for serious thinking about ethics and the philosophy of religion. His courses in Richardson were demanding and attracted the bravest students. He was part of a powerhouse department in Religious Studies at St. Lawrence, a faculty that was only one-degree removed in their studies from an incomparable generation of world-renowned scholars such as Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich, John Coleman Bennett, Wilfred Cantwell Smith, and W. D. Davies. I would see George on campus as a student and feel an aura of intellect walking by.
George and his late wife Joann moved to Albuquerque after retirement in 1994. He continued his studies in Native American religion and animals and developed a strong interest in ecological theology. He taught himself to read Chinese as well as continuing his scholarship in history, literature in multiple languages, philosophy, and theology. George is survived by his daughters Sara and Marian, and his grandson Armand, to whom Lynn and I send our heartfelt condolences on behalf of the Laurentian community. His family will appreciate your own reflections if you wish to share them through our memorial web site.