Obituary of George H. Getman
George H. Getman was born September 24, 1922 in Ilion, N.Y., the son of George B. and Bertha Myers Getman. He passed away at The Courtyards in Sun City Center, FL on February 20, 2019. He is survived by his nine children and their spouses: Attorney G. Stephen Getman and his wife, Suzanne, of Ilion; Susan Cadwallader of Bristol, VA; Dr. Margaret Getman and her husband, Dr. Russell Ludeke, of St. Paul, MN; Attorney William H. Getman and his wife, Suzanne, of Waterville; Sarah Steele and her husband, Jeff of Eaton; Attorney Ross E. Getman and his wife, Maureen, of Syracuse; Carole Halpin and her husband, Howard, of South Windsor, CT; Attorney Anne M. Getman and her husband, Attorney Robert Baldwin, of Barneveld; and Attorney Gail Prosser and her husband, Joel Prosser, of Cape Coral, FL. He also leaves stepdaughter Jessica Stone of Seattle, WA. He is also survived by 24 grandchildren and their spouses, 23 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his wife, Hazel Ross Getman, whom he married July 1, 1944 in Sage Chapel at Cornell University. They were married for 51 years before her death in 1996. He was predeceased by his wife Neva Hart Getman on January 16, 2019, his son-in-law Rick Cadwallader, his great-granddaughter Julia Stolte, his sister Clara Carley and his brothers Burrill, Frank and Fayette.
He received his A.B. degree from Cornell University and his J.D. degree from Cornell Law School. He did graduate work at Yale and the University of Michigan. While an undergraduate, he was Senior News Editor of the Cornell Daily Sun and president of his fraternity. In law school he was a member of the Cornell Law Review. Since graduation from law school he has served as Chairman of his Class’ Annual Fund Drive.
Immediately after Pearl Harbor, Getman enlisted in the U.S. Army. After first serving in the Army Air Corps, he was assigned to the Japanese Military Intelligence Branch where he served as an interrogator, translator and instructor. At the end of WWII, he returned to Cornell to complete law school. He returned to his hometown to practice law with Albert W. Schneider. In 1950 he became a partner with Schneider and Getman and continued as Senior Partner with successor firms with attorneys James Spellman, Henry LaRaia, James Franchi, Robert Applegate, his son Stephen and daughter Gail. He served as Village of Ilion Attorney during several administrations, as Ilion Central School District and Ilion Board of Water Commissioners Attorney for 20 years and as a New York State Tax Attorney for 15 years. He served as President of the Herkimer County Bar Association, a member of the New York House of Delegates, Fifth Judicial Character Committee and Grievance Committee. He was a member of the Herkimer County, New York State, American Bar and of the NYS Trial Lawyers’ Associations. He was admitted to practice before the U. S. Supreme Court.
Getman was active in fraternal and charitable organizations. He served as the first president of the United Fund of Frankfort, Herkimer, Ilion and Mohawk. He served as a Deacon, Trustee and Elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Ilion. An active Mason, he was Master of the Ilion Masonic Lodge, District Deputy of the Herkimer Masonic District and in 1975-76, Grand Marshal of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York. For 15 years he served on the Board of Governors for the Shriners’ Hospital for Children in Springfield, MA. For 25 years he served on the Board of Directors of the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory in Utica, first as Treasurer and later as President. In 1970 he was elected as Potentate of Ziyara Shriners in Utica. He later became a member of Egypt Shriners in Tampa and its Shrine Club in Sun City Center. He was a member of many York Rite bodies and received the Red Cross of Constantine. In 1986 he received the honorary 33° of the Scottish Rite.
Active in youth work, he was awarded the DeMolay Cross of Honor, Legion of Honor and Medal of Appreciation. In 1988, General Herkimer Council, B.S.A. selected Getman as Distinguished Citizen of the Year. He also served on the Foothills Girl Scout Council.
Getman was a past president of the Ilion Chapter of the American Red Cross, on the Salvation Army Advisory Board in Herkimer and a Volunteer Fireman with Ilion Hose Co. No. 1. He served on the Board of Directors of the Manufacturers National Bank of Ilion and subsequently on the Advisory Boards for Oneida National and Norstar Banks. Interested in the development of Ilion, he was one of the partners in the construction of the Ilion Towpath Motel and Restaurant and of the Forge Hill Estates complex. For almost 25 years he served on the Executive Committee of Blue Cross/Blue Shield. He also served on the Presbyterian Home Board of Directors and on the Executive Committee of Central New York Abstract Corporation. He was a member and past president of the Ilion Conversation Club, a life member of the Ilion American Legion Memorial Post, Ilion Elks Lodge and Ilion Moose Lodge. For almost 50 years he was a member of the Cedar Lake Golf Club; and in Florida, a member of the Sun City Center Golf and Racquet Club. He and his wife, Neva, were co-presidents of the Sun City Center Audubon Society.
He enjoyed travel and made it to every continent except Antarctica and excelled at passing on to his family fascinating letters describing those travels. In 1969 the Utica newspapers selected him as Father of the Year. Despite a busy professional and civic life and world travels, he found time for each member of his large family. It is in his role as Father, Grandfather and Great-Grandfather that he will be best remembered and loved.
A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 90 Morgan Street, Ilion, NY on April 13, 2019. A Masonic ceremony will precede the memorial service commencing at 10:30 a.m. Memorial gifts are encouraged to a charity of one’s choice.