George Collington Jr.
The trip that changed his life was a long one.
In 1965, George Collington Jr. read that Oklahoma State University had one of the best engineering schools in the country.
So with only a bag of clothes to his name, George got into a Volkswagen Bug with two friends and headed west, traveling more than 1,400 miles from their home in Vestal, N.Y., to Stillwater, Okla.
OSU ended up playing three key roles in George’s life: It helped him find his true love, earned him his first job and was home to his last.
George died Friday, May 18, at the age of 73, after complications due to a surgery. His service is scheduled for Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at Immanuel Baptist Church in Perkins, Okla. He will be buried at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Stillwater.
Not long after school started, George met Sue Herring, his wife of 50 years, at a dance on campus. After an internship at IBM, George finished his mechanical engineering degree in 1967. He ended up being the only guy in the VW Bug to graduate from OSU.
George took a job with the tire company BF Goodrich and moved to its headquarters in Akron, Ohio. After a transfer to the company’s Miami, Okla., plant, George worked there until it closed in 1986. Instead of taking a transfer to a plant in Alabama, he took at job at his alma mater in the College of Engineering. He retired in 2009.
George believed two things contributed to his rise from humble beginnings:
“You might be able to outsmart me, but you wouldn’t be able to outwork me.”
“Spend a lot less than you make so you can be generous to those you love.”
He is survived by his children, Jason Collington and DeAnn Lane; daughter-in-law Kristi Collington; son-in-law Derek Lane; and grandchildren Donlee and Drayden Lane and Kellon Collington. Also his sister, Anne Woods; brothers-in-law J.W. Herring of Dallas; Johnny Herring and wife, Barbara, of Perkins, Okla.; Tommy Herring and wife, Judy, of Tipton, Okla.; Rex Herring and wife, Candy, of Hurst, Texas; sister-in-law Betty Broyles of Sapulpa, Okla.; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Sue; his parents, George F. Collington Sr. and Mary Louise Hawxhurst; his stepmother, Nell Collington; brothers-in-law Laverne Herring, Jerry Broyles and Cecil Woods; sisters-in-law Eileen Herring, Eulene Killion and Carleen Herring; and nephews Scott Herring and Braden Osborne.
Condolences may be sent to the family and an online obituary viewed by visiting www.strodefh.com