LIMA — George James Dunster, 89 years, of Lima and Delaware, Ohio, died at the home of his daughter, Lisa Pietrantano (Delaware, Ohio) on Oct. 11, 2021. He was born July 6, 1932 in Summit, New Jersey, the son of the late George A. and Katherine D. Dunster. In May of 1954 he married the late Gwendolyn Zilles Dunster. Together they shared 21 years of marriage until their divorce in 1975.
They had six children; Kay Nibert (Terrence), Patrick (Julia), Laura Rodriguez, Lisa Pietrantano (Pat), George Christopher, and Sean (Lisa). There are 18 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his grand-daughter, Hillary.
George's first interest in media came when he was in High School at Seton Hall Prep in South Orange, New Jersey. He wrote and staged mock radio programs, as well as participated in the production of a live quiz bowl program. After High school, he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard where he was stationed at Ellis Island, N.Y., Government Island, Alameda CA., and Augusta, Georgia.
Out of the coast guard, George moved to Ohio where he attended Bowling Green State University. There he declared his major to be speech, which involved Radio, TV, and Theater. He also minored in Journalism. After college, George obtained a job working at Radio Station WTTH, Port Huron, Michigan. In addition to news and sports, he also did a nighttime disc jockey program where he was billed "The Night Mayor of Port Huron."
In May of 1960, he started at WIMA, Lima, Ohio where he was a reporter and disc jockey. In March 1961, he was hired as a newspaper reporter by the Lima News. He started at the city desk writing obituaries and rewriting news releases. He then went to street reporting where he covered the school beat, the county courthouse, and then on to city government. George moved to the city editor's post for a year and then decided to focus on investigative and political reporting. He rode campaign trains as they came to the Lima area covering Richard Nixon, Barry Goldwater, and Lyndon Johnson.
In July of 1973, he went to work for Lima mayor, Chris Morris, as Chief of Staff. Six months later, after an election loss, George went to work as News Director at WLIO TV (Lima) for 25 years. In later years, he was appointed as Vice President of the station. He retired in 1999 having put 41 years in the news business. From May 1999 to December 1999, he became executive director for Artspace/Lima.The Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Center hired George in April 2000 to become front house and event manager. During this time, George worked at the Lima Senior Citizens Services Center. He was marketing and development director, program coordinator, information, advertising and media liaison.
George's next career move was as an adjunct professor of communications, theater, and writing at the Lake campus of Wright State University, Celina. His community involvement included Amil Tellers of Dramatics (Encore Theater), where he was President of the Board of Trustees. Other community endeavors by George included Vice President of the Lima Symphony Orchestra, Crime Stoppers, Vice President of the Allen County Board of Directors, Arts Network member, Board of Directors member for Arthritis Foundation of NW Ohio, International Committee member of Allen County Red Cross, committee member of the Lima Star Spangled Spectacular, Restricted Special Deputy Sheriff for the Allen County Sheriff's office, and Deputy Director Public Information Officer for the Allen County Emergency Management Agency.
Stage productions have been a labor of love for George since his college days in the 1950's. In his time, he was involved as an actor, director, production and technical crew member primarily focusing on lighting design and sound. Other than Encore Theater, George was also involved with Van Wert Civic Theater where he directed many plays.
Since 1958, George has directed 128 stage productions and acted in numerous plays. George received many awards throughout his professional and community involvement career. As a news courthouse reporter, he took first prize in the UPI category of Spot News Reporting for his coverage of the funeral of constable and mayor of Elida, Clarence Prince. He received many local, regional, and state theater awards for acting and directing. He was also given the 'Creativity Creator Artist Award' by The Community Arts Advocacy Group. George loved his community and the people in it. He was filled with gratitude for all the recognition he received as well as for the many friends he made along the way.
"…Fade this one to Black." – Paul McCartney.
A Celebration of Life gathering will be held at Encore Theater at a later date.
Burial will be at Woodlawn Cemetery in Lima, Ohio in a private ceremony.
In lieu of flowers, George requested memorial contributions be made to Encore Theater, P.O. Box 5276 Lima, OH 45802, or Ohio Health Hospice, 3430 Ohio Health Pkwy. Columbus, OH 43202.
Online condolences may be made at: www.OhioCremation.org
Published by The Lima News from Oct. 13 to Oct. 14, 2021.