George B. Ermentrout, Realtor and Bucks activist

George B.Ermentrout
George B.Ermentrout
Posted: March 22, 2012

George Bard Ermentrout, 88, a Realtor and Bucks County community activist, died Sunday, Feb. 26, of heart failure at Chandler Hall in Newtown.

Mr. Ermentrout, a native of Southampton, Bucks County, graduated from Abington High School.

During World War II, he served in the 84th Infantry Division in Europe. In November 1944, the division met heavy resistance as it fought its way into Geilenkirchen, Germany, on the Würm River. A private, he was awarded the Bronze Star "for meritorious achievement in ground operations against the enemy." He also earned a Purple Heart after he was hit in the head by shrapnel. He kept his helmet with a hole in it as a souvenir, said his wife, Barbara Brooks Ermentrout.

After his discharge, Mr. Ermentrout earned a bachelor's degree from Gettysburg College in 1948 and attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School for a year before deciding to go into real estate.

For 44 years, he was a partner with Hugh B. Eastburn Realtors in Newtown. He was past president of the Bucks County Board of Realtors and chaired many of its committees. For 20 years, he taught real estate at Bucks County Community College.

Mr. Ermentrout served on the boards of Planned Parenthood, the Bucks County Community College Authority, the Newtown Improvement Association, the Newtown Exchange Club, and the Committee for the Newtown Bypass.

In 1971, he was the first Democrat to be elected to the Newtown Borough Council and served two terms. Several years earlier, in 1962, he ran for Pennsylvania state representative when his friend James A. Michener, the writer, ran for Congress. Both lost.

Mr. Ermentrout and Michener, who was also a Bucks County native, met after World War II, when Mr. Ermentrout was organizing meetings with veterans trying to fit back into civilian life. Michener later wrote, "We looked to Ermentrout as leader of our group, and I personally found him to be a sensible man, a patriot, and a good fellow to be with."

Mr. Ermentrout established the Southampton-Bucks County Chapter of the American Veterans Committee. He was a founding board member of the James A. Michener Museum in Doylestown, which opened in 1988.

He and his wife had been married since 1952. They met on a getaway weekend in the Poconos, and he offered to drive her home to Hatboro, she said.

Mr. Ermentrout loved Dixieland music and played trombone with the Newtown Mudcats.

He and his wife enjoyed travel abroad. After he retired, they wintered in South Carolina and summered in Maine for 15 years before returning to Newtown in 2010.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Ermentrout is survived by sons George and Jonathan; daughters Betsey King and Laurie; and four grandchildren.

A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 25, at Swartz-Givnish Funeral Home, 233 E. Washington Ave., Newtown.

Donations may be made to Planned Parenthood of Bucks County, 610 Louis Dr., Warminster, Pa. 18947.


Contact Sally A. Downey

at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.

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