George Urban will always be cherished by his wife Naomi and by all the other ladies in his family for his sweet way of holding their hands against his cheek while he danced with them, as he dearly loved to dance throughout his long, full life.
George William Urban, Jr., 95, died on Monday, November 30th, 2020 He was born on May 12th, 1925 and raised on a farm on the Rappahannock River, near the mouth of Greenvale Creek in the community of Mollusk, in Lancaster County, Virginia. He was the son of George William Urban and Gretchen Korbach Urban. George was fortunate to have lived his last years with Naomi in the Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury Retirement Community in Irvington, VA.
In addition to his loving wife of 72 years, Naomi Potter Urban, George is survived by his children Shelia (John) Bareham, Regenia (Mac) McClain, and GW (Debbie) Urban III, as well as his grandchildren Emily (Rob) Reader and Stephen (Kristen) Harding, Carrie (Herbert) Rieder and Will McClain, and Gretchen and Kelle Urban. He is also survived by ten great-grandchildren: Anna Katharine and Caroline Ping, and Kelsey and Ryan Reader; Trey, Alex, and Kate Harding; Erik and Miriam Rieder; and Summer Urban. He was pre-deceased by his sisters Louise Lankford, Anna Gray, Lottie Taft, and Myrtle Conrad, and his brothers Frank Conrad, E.J. (“Butsie”) Conrad, and John Conrad.
When George was 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy on July 4th, 1942 and served in the Pacific during WWII as the (only) Gunner’s Mate on two LCIs (Landing Craft, Infantry), LCI-177 and LCI(L)-773, that landed troops in New Guinea and the Philippines. George crossed the Pacific four times, and he crossed the equator three times during the course of the war. He celebrated the war’s end from an anchorage in Manila Bay. Second Class Gunner’s Mate George Urban, USN, was discharged on 21 May 1946.
One day George received a set of barber tools that had been sent for use on his landing craft. Since no barber was aboard, George began cutting hair. After the war George went to barber school in Richmond then barbered at Patuxent River Naval Air Station. From 1959 until 1963 he worked in Washington, DC as a barber in the U.S. Capitol Building and in the Longworth House Office Building.
For over 60 years George barbered in Kilmarnock, VA, beginning in 1950. He owned George’s Barber Shop on South Main Street in Kilmarnock from 1963 through 2019. His quiet manner and skill was greatly appreciated by generations of men and boys in this area of Virginia. He was grateful to have Donnie Lewis working with him during the later years. The Mayor, Mae P. Umphlett, and Council of Kilmarnock declared February 14th, 2020 George W. Urban Day, in congratulations for his 60+ years of exemplary service and dedication to our community.
George was engaged with our community. He was one of the founding members of the Kilmarnock-Lancaster Volunteer Rescue Squad. He worshiped at Kilmarnock Baptist Church. In addition to barbering, George and Naomi owned and operated Ed’s Country Store in Mollusk for several years in the early 1980s.
A member of Indian Creek Yacht and Country Club for many years, George frequently enjoyed rounds of golf there spending many pleasant hours with his friends and family. He made three holes-in-one, the last when he was in his 80s. He also loved the creeks, the rivah, and the Bay where he whiled away hours boating, fishing, and crabbing like most natives do in this beautiful part of the world.
Papa was revered as the head of the Urban family, and was truly loved by each of his family members. George would wish that each of us who shared some good times with him over parts of nearly a hundred years will smile when we remember those times fondly and try to live our lives as fully as he lived his.
Mr. Urban’s cremains will be interred at Historic Christ Church Cemetery in Weems, VA. A service will be held after the risks due to the current pandemic are reduced. Memorials may be made to the Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury Foundation. The family is deeply grateful to the staff of Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury who gave George excellent care.
“No man is an island entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.”
John Donne, 1572-1631, Dean of St Paul's Cathedral in London 1621-1631