January 17, 1934 – November 4, 2018
George Bangs was born on January 17, 1934 in Grand Forks, North Dakota to Donald and Marion Bangs. He died November 4, 2018 in Wilmette, Illinois.
George spent most of his childhood in Indianapolis, where he was a standout student and high school wrestler. After earning a mechanical engineering degree from Carnegie Tech University in Pittsburgh in 1956, he voluntarily served for two years in the U.S. Army, stationed in Kentucky.
In August 1960, George was working in Chicago as an editor for a chemical engineering magazine when he met Beverly Gray on a blind date. Bev had just graduated from Northwestern and was working at WBBM TV. They were married in January 1961 and had four children.
The family was raised in Wilmette, with George working in communications for the American Bar Association in Chicago. In 1978, he moved the family to San Francisco where he became director of communications for the State Bar of California. In that role, he launched the magazine California Lawyer, which still exists today.
One of George’s great joys was cheering on his kids at their swim meets, which he rarely missed. He was also a nature enthusiast and regularly took the family on camping trips and day hikes. After moving back to Chicago in 1987, he and Bev enjoyed birdwatching walks every Saturday morning.
George was a voracious reader, deep thinker and lover of philosophy. A spiritual person, his actions were guided by the principles of Catholic theology and social justice. Throughout his life, he fought for the poor and disenfranchised, from advocating for fair housing for African Americans on the North Shore in the 1960s to feeding the homeless in Berkeley in the 1980s to teaching and creating opportunity for students on Chicago’s West Side in the 1990s.
George spent his last 12 years at a nursing home in Wilmette. While he suffered from dementia, his physical presence and his spirit remained strong until the end, and he will be missed by many.
George is survived by his wife of 57 years, Bev; children Randy (Patti) Bangs, Lisa (Tom Eshoo) Bangs, Maureen (Ted) Glasoe and Laura Bangs; and grandsons Ryan and Connor Bangs.
A celebration of life service will be held on Sunday, January 20, 2019 at 10:00 am at the Evanston Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd. in Evanston.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Nature Conservancy (www.nature.org) or the Southern Poverty Law Center (www.splcenter.org).
- Celebration of Life Saturday, January 20, 2018
November 7, 2018
My deepest sympathies to the Bangs family. I've known Laura over 20 years and she has shared many fond memories of her father over the years. I will keep your family in my prayers.