Obituary of George C Willenborg
George Carl Willenborg, DDS
March 21, 1933 – October 26, 2022
George C. Willenborg, DDS died peacefully on Sept. 26, 2022. Born In Hoboken, NJ on March 21, 1933 to Elsa and Carl Willenborg. He was the youngest of five children, who are all deceased: Henry, Paul, Helene Sullivan, and Elizabeth Harte. He is survived by many nieces and nephews.
George lived by the Jesuit principle of ad majorem dei gloriam. "I have kept this motto in the forefront of my thinking throughout my life — to do everything for the greater glory of God," he said. He attributes his deep faith to his Jesuit education. His college professors in particular “taught me how to live and have a good life with a good moral and philosophical background," he said.
As a child he was a parishioner at Saints Peter & Paul Church in Hoboken and attended its grammar school before enrolling into Saint Peter's Preparatory High School in Jersey City, class of 1951 where he played tackle on the football team. He was also a member of the ROTC.
After graduating from Saint Peter's College in 1955, he went on to attend Georgetown University Dental School in Washington, D.C. and graduated in 1959. In 1960, George went on active duty in the United States Army and served for five years after taking a Regular Army Commission. It was here that he met his wife, Joan, “Jody”, a captain in the U.S. Army, at an officer's club in Valley Forge. After dating for three months, the couple got engaged and married six months later, in 1961, in the Walter Reed Medical Center Chapel. Both Jody and George served in the Medical Corp in Korea.
George left the Army in 1965 to establish a dental practice in Branchburg, N.J., where he purchased property and converted the garage into a two-chair office. However, after an unfortunate accident that left him unable to practice dentistry, he sold the practice and began teaching at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark, N.J. In 1975, he and Jody purchased a property in Cape Cod and designed and built a new home and moved there in 1975. George went on to teach at Tufts University in Massachusetts, where he focused on research in communication in dentistry and laser research — namely laser holography in medicine and dentistry — as part of the Center for Biomedical Communication from 1980-1990 before retiring. George made holograms for enjoyment; he had a
Helium Neon Laser in his basement. He built a special vibration proof table and acquired research grade lenses and mirrors and a Helium-Neon Laser!.
With this set up in his basement he successfully produced holograms including some of molds of teeth with an eye toward more effective holographic storage of such dental records. George was truly amazing. Imagine, having a laser in your basement?
Jody and George contributed greatly to their parish in Cape Cod, Corpus Christi in Sandwich MA. George was a member of the Knight of Columbus, Fourth Degree, and an Honored Member of the Pro-Life committee. He taught in the parish Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults program for many years as well. George was appreciated for all his contributions to his parish.
The Willenborg roots run deep. Born and raised in Hoboken, N.J., George’s father was a wholesale food importer of German and Swiss delicacies. He would often accompany his father make deliveries to the Fritz Reuter, (now Hudson Hills) in North Bergen, N.J. — the retirement home where he last lived. At Fritz Reuter he led the Rosary on Saturday mornings in the chapel for others. He also offered Spiritual Communion, which is a tradition common to the Jesuits. The staff at Fritz Reuter appreciated George very much.
After his retirement, George has focused his interests on hobbies and crafts, such as creating Madonnas and other religious figures out of discarded altar candle wax, with generous donations benefiting local organizations. He also creates holiday decorations each season and donated them to the retirement home and shared with his family. His creations are outstanding. He was precise, he made templates using compasses and protractors. George was a self-taught Draftsman, par excellence.
Mass of Christian burial will be at St. Cassian R.C. Church, 187 Bellevue Ave. Montclair, NJ. On November 5, 2022 at 10:00 am. There is no wake. Burial will be private. George will be interned with his loving wife in Massachusetts National Military Cemetery, Bourne, MA later.
Donations can be made to St. Peter’s Prep or the University, Jersey City, NJ,, Catholic Charities, Knights of Columbus Charities or Venture Foundation, 228 East Route 59, Suite 118, Nanuet, NY 10954. This agency serves individuals with developmental disabilities including George’s niece, Marie Harte who Jody and he loved dearlyTo send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of George Willenborg, please visit Tribute Store