George Wilson, a patient of Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, loves to tell stories about his fishing days. So, when My Nguyen, MSW, LSW, a social worker with Ohio’s Hospice, learned about George’s love of fishing, she arranged for George and his wife, Rean, to experience an afternoon of fishing with two of his fishing pals, Bob Engelbrecht and Mike Cornelius, at a local pond.
Engelbrecht and Cornelius, who also are volunteers with Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, fished with George, pulling in several small bluegill. It was a catch-and-release day. The three of them had been part of a fishing group that included 15 people at one point.
“This has been a great day,” said George, 92, who has been fishing since he was a child. “I’m so happy I could fish with my pals.”
George, who grew up in Dayton, has been fishing since his whole life. “I’ve been fishing since I was a child,” he said remembering a lifetime of fishing adventures. “I just picked it up as I went along.”
His favorite places to fish included Cowan Lake near Clarksville, Ohio, and Rush Run Lake near Camden, Ohio. He also liked to fish in streams. He enjoyed the stillness of the water and the surrounding nature. He loved watching the various birds that flew by the lakes and streams where he fished.
Rean was introduced to George’s love of fishing when they were on their honeymoon. He was fishing, and she was in her bathing suit. She cared more about getting a tan than fishing. But she picked up a pole anyway. “I started trolling for a fish,” said Rean, who met George at a mutual friend’s wedding in 1949 and married him in 1950. “I caught a 36-inch muskie. George had to help me bring it in!”
When their children were young, they camped on vacations in Indiana near a lake, where George could fish with their son and daughter. The couple has memories of fishing with their children and sitting by the campfire. “I didn’t necessarily like sleeping on the ground in the tent,” Rean said. “But we enjoyed the time we spent together as a family.”
A World War II Veteran, George served in the U.S. Air Force. After the war, he worked at Western Electric in a crystal lab and then took a course in programming. He became a computer programmer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He also owned a frame shop, Frames by George, in Miamisburg.
The couple lived in Miamisburg, Ohio, for more than 50 years. In 2004, they moved into a one-story house in Kettering. Last year, they moved to a retirement community in the Dayton area.
Fishing at the pond at age 92 was something the couple will treasure. “This was a marvelous experience for George,” Rean said. “I’m so thankful for the Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton team for arranging this opportunity for my husband.”