George Michael Woloch

George Michael Woloch died peacefully at age 89 on Wednesday November 8th, 2023 at his residence in the company of his beloved wife Mary C. Moffat, who had shared his life for almost 50 years.

George Woloch was born in Akron Ohio on June 1st 1934, the only child of a Catholic mother Patricia Gettins, and a Jewish father George Woloch, both non-observant. He felt that these circumstances resulted in his having a lifelong, very serious interest in religion.

He was raised in Akron and educated initially at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson Ohio. He enrolled at Yale University in New Haven Connecticut in 1952 and obtained his B.A. there in 1956. He celebrated his success by developing diabetes at age 21. He was diagnosed just before his final exams and credited his diagnosis in large part to his having succeeded in completing courses in intermediate and advanced ancient Greek concurrently, that year. Sometime later he taught ancient Greek for a year, at Brooklyn College in New York.

He continued his education thereafter with several years in England at Saint Peter’s College at Oxford University, where he earned a B.A. in 1979 and an M.A. in ’63.

He joined the Classics Dept in the Faculty of Arts at McGill University in 1961 and taught Latin and Roman History there for 35 years. He hoped that in particular, he brought such topics as politics and society in the Roman Empire to life for his students. Between 1963 and 1966, he returned to the U.S., to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore Maryland where he received his PhD, and then returned to McGill. He was appointed a Fellow of the American Numismatic Society in ’68 and a Full Professor in ’88. Just prior to his retirement from McGill in ’96, he was named an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Science, as a result of his work on the Roman Coins in McGill’s Redpath Museum.

Post-retirement, he earned certificates of proficiency in Spanish from McGill and Concordia ,the latter with distinction. He was named Emeritus Professor in 2009.

He had joined the Reorganized Mormon Church, the Community of Christ, in 2004 and had been a member of their Montreal congregation for many years. The members of the congregation are principally of Haitian origin and he learned basic Haitian Creole in order to participate more fully in the church services.

He particularly loved books, music and animals, especially cats. He had a female and male Chartreux pair from the same litter, Galla Placidia and Gratian, for 14 years and a rescue cat, Gardel, for 17 years. Their ashes are mixed with his at his request, in his urn.

G.M.’s diabetes was carefully and expertly supervised for more than 40 years by Dr. Sarah Meltzer of the Metabolic Centre of the Royal Victoria Hospital. More recently Lelia Holden, nurse practitioner in the Cardiology Heart Failure Clinic at R.V.H., was always knowledgeable, available and supportive for him. In his final weeks of life, he was devotedly cared for by six Philipino women, which he and I were most grateful for. A very sincere thank you to Brenda for organizing that coverage and to the palliative care team and NOVA at CLSC Park Extension.

A visitation will be held at the Mount Royal Funeral Complex at 1297, chemin de la Forêt, Outremont, QC H2V 2P9 on Saturday, November 25th from 2pm to 4pm, religious service at 4pm and reception to follow until 7pm.

If anyone wishes to offer a more personal remembrance, a contribution to any local music organization, i.e., OSM, OdeM, etc., or the S.P.C.A. would be much appreciated.