Ranger Exes Memorial - RHS Class of 1960

George Koenig GEORGE D. KOENIG left an indelible print in the lives of his childhood friends when his family left Ranger for Elk Grove Village, suburban Chicago, where both of his parents had the promise of better-paying jobs as teachers. This move came at the end of our freshman year at RHS. More often at first, letters regularly traveled back and forth between his two homes keeping friends up to date. George was born in Ranger, TX on August 31, 1942, & lived with his family in the old T&P Camp just off the Caddo Highway. He was the next-to-the-oldest after his brother Claude Koenig (RHS-1956). The two younger members of the family were brother Robert and sister Mary Helen. Both Albert & Claudia Koenig taught in the Ranger ISD. She was a social studies teacher, teaching all of us Texas history in the seventh grade. He taught speech as well as social studies in high school. In 1956, our freshman year, Mr. Koenig directed an all-school play, "The Boarding House Reach", in which three members of our class had parts. The play centered around the antics of best friends Hercules and Wilbur, played by George & Mike Herrington. Nellie Sue Vinson was also in the show. After finishing high school in Illinois, George went on to the University of Minnesota, where he earned a degree in forestry. That was where he met his wife Sandra; they married young at the end of their first year of college. Both Walter Blackwell and Mike Herrington considered driving to Minnesota for the wedding. In 1961 Minnesota seemed a long ways from Texas. A year later George and Sandra's only child Allen was born. George worked throughout the Rocky Mountain/Pacific Northwest for 27 years in forestry for the Burlington Northern Railroad. He even worked on the slopes of Mt. St. Helens for a couple of years prior to its spectacular and deadly eruption. He also worked in commercial photography in his later years. George was forever the adventurer. Once, while on a timber survey in Canada, he was knocked down and run over by a charging grizzly bear that continued on chasing another man. George had barely felt the paws of the big animal passing over his chest and suffered no injuries. Besides membership in several civic and charitable organizations, George enjoyed trap shooting (he won numerous awards), fishing, hunting, photography, traveling, and rose gardening (for which he was especially well known). In 1994 George, at the prodding of several of his boyhood friends, came all the way from Tacoma, Washington, to participate in the biennial Ranger homecoming and class reunion. He obviously had a grand time as his beaming face in the class photo affirms. His mother of Aurora, Illinois, and his wife Sandra of Tacoma attest to the fact that George had immensely enjoyed the return to his hometown and seeing old friends. One of George's favorite pastimes was SCUBA diving. He volunteered his skills with Sea Scouts on their boat Odyssey. He held the rating of Master SCUBA diver. His brother Claude remembers having seen George surface from fast current in 75 ft. water with a 13-foot octopus. George's passion for diving was a factor in his early death. Diving in the Seattle harbor to help repair a tugboat, he apparently came into contact with some dangerous pollutant that permeated his wet suit and caused him to have a seizure and go into a coma. He died less than a week later on December 15, 1998. Article by Mike Herrington (RHS-1960). NOTE: George's wife, Sandra, is now deceased. No obituary was found. George Koenig & Mike Herrington George & Mike in 1956 school play