It is with great sadness that the family of George Peter Rhine announce his death, after a courageous fight with cancer. Always an optimist, he believed he could conquer his illness even when his original diagnosis was "Stage Four Cancer". His death occurred on April 27th, in St. Josephs Hospice.
George was born on July 9th, 1934, on a farm in northern Saskatchewan. His early education was in a two room country school. In 1947, when he was 12, the family moved to Fort William (now Thunder Bay), Ontario, where he completed his elementary schooling at Drew Street Public School. He graduated from Fort William Collegiate Institute, following which he attended Lakehead Technical Institute (now Lakehead University). In 1955-56, he attended North Bay Teachers College, where he met his future wife, Jennifer (née Rabb). Three years later, in July 1958, they were married and shared nearly 53 years together.
George started teaching in September 1956, at the Hyde Park School. From there, he went to Westmount Public School where he taught Science, while continuing to take university courses at Lakehead Technical Institute and Western University, London. He obtained his B.A. degree from Western University in 1962. The following year, he became Principal of Heath Park School the youngest principal ever to be appointed by the Fort William Board of Education. Following Heath Park, he was principal at Hyde Park School, Isabella Street School, Balsam Street School, and finally, Crestview School from which he retired in 1989.
While George was still involved with teaching, one of the "Fun" things he and Jennifer did together was to attend the "Teddy Tribune Convention" held in St. Paul, Minnesota, for 10 years in a row. As Jennifer is a Teddy Bear collector, and George an enthusiastic supporter of this hobby, these were highlights of their years together. Many lifelong friends from all over the world were made during these times.
He spent his retirement enjoying his many interests: pottery, calligraphy, classical music, photography, trains, travelling, curling (Loose Ends), and hiking. For a number of years, he was a member of the Lakehead Choral Group, a staunch supporter of the Lakehead Symphony (as well as other musical groups in T.B.), a National Member of the Canadian Railroad Historic Association, a member of the Voyageur Trail Association, and a Life Member of the Thunder Bay Hiking Association, where his efforts to maintain and improve trails around northern Lake Superior were recognized by his being named "Hike Ontario Volunteer of the Year" in 2008.
George also spent his retirement years doing volunteer work, some of which included the T.B. Literacy Group, Crohns and Colitis Foundation, and working with the Ministry of Natural Resources as a representative from the Thunder Bay Hiking Association.
He is survived by his wife Jennifer, three sisters: Sophie Nelson of Winnipeg, Helen Woodward of Peterborough, and Sylvia Zahodnik of Thunder Bay. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Frances Irrgang, a number of nephews, nieces, and great-nephews and great-nieces. He was predeceased by his parents George and Annie Rhine, his brothers-in-law Joe Nelson, Ross Woodward and Richard Irrgang, as well as a brother in infancy.
Cremation has already taken place, and at Georges request, there will be no funeral service. A reception to celebrate his life will take place at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, if friends so desire, the family respectfully requests that donations be made to the Northern Cancer Research Foundation or the Charity of their choice.
On line condolences may be made through www.nwfainc.com