George Eisman RIP
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Amie Hamlin, Coalition for Healthy School Food
April 2017

See Obituary below Amie's article

george eisman

Feeling so incredibly sad that George Eisman, a dear, gentle soul, has left. I will deeply miss him as my friend but I especially feel for his kids, the rest ofhis family, and Claire Holzner who loved him so dearly and took very good and loving care of him over the last few years through his illness. This is a huge loss to the vegan community, but right now, I just feel so sad for his family and close friends.

I first met George in 1989 at my first Vegetarian Summerfest on the van bringing people from the airport to the conference. At the conference, I learned that he taught the first community college course on vegan nutrition in the country, and I was inspired. I thought if he could, I could too. I went home from that Summerfest in 1989, and despite the fact that he was a Registered Dietitian, and I wasn't, I got myself a gig teaching vegan nutrition, and cooking, at Wake Tech Community College in Raleigh, NC for several semesters. Teachers who took it got Continuing Education Credits. When I moved away, my friendBill Sribney took over teaching it, I believe until he moved away.

A nice memory of George's thoughtfulness is that George would have his son Thomas Eisman help us and others unload and bring our belongings to our room at Summerfest when Thomas was a teenager. Very thoughtful of Thomas too, as he is so kind. Sweet Sarah, his daughter has the most beautiful voice, and I have a beautiful memory, and video, of them singing together at Summerfest last year when he was quite ill.

Fast forward to one week and three days ago. I asked Will Bonsall, author of Will Bonsall's Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening, an amazing book about veganic gardening/farming, to come to the Ithaca area to give a day long workshop. For anyone who doesn't know, veganic farming is organic farming that doesn't use animal inputs like manure, bone meal, blood meal, and fish meal. Turns out Will doesn't travel between May 1st and January 1st, so the only option was to plan the event on 2 1/2 weeks notice! George could barely talk, but he was all there and could text. For three days we texted a lot, and George helped me plan this whole workshop, via text, which will be taking place next Saturday (April 29) at my house. So far 25 people are signed up, and some coming from hours away, too. George served as an inspiration and gave me tons of great advice, and did a lot more too, until he couldn't anymore.

That was just a week and a day ago, so he was the loving, gentle, helpful activist until the very last moment that he was able to be. Claire told me that he told her he was very excited about it and it was giving him purpose.

 I'm so sad to lose my friend, a mentor, a person who had so much to give. I know that all of us activists will carry on and continue work that George started long ago. He was particularly interested in veganic farming and wants it to gain recognition as a very important issue for vegans to become involved with. There's still room if you want to attend, and it's free, because of George's involvement. You would honor George if you came (if you live close enough to the Ithaca area) and learned about veganic farming, and/or created demand for veganically grown food by asking farmers and companies for veganically grown food.

Thank you George, for all you have done, for all you have given, for the example you lived. I will miss you so but am so glad you are no longer suffering. Rest in peace my friend, and may your family, friends, and Claire be surrounded with love and support to help them get through this very difficult time. Love to you all.

Obituary of George Eisman
Vedder and Scott Funeral Home

George Lewis Eisman, age 66, of Watkins Glen NY, died at home of cancer on April 23, 2017. George was born on August 5, 1950 in Miami, FL, to Leo and Rose Eisman. George grew up in Miami Beach and attended Central Beach Elementary and Ida M. Fisher Junior High. He was a leader among his peers and served as Student Council President at Fisher. A brilliant student, he graduated early from Miami Beach Senior High and went directly to Middlebury College in Vermont after 11th grade in 1967. After a year at Middlebury, he returned to Florida and earned his bachelor's degree from Florida State University. He received a Master's degree in Geography from the University of Toronto in 1975 and a second Master's degree in Nutrition from Florida International University in 1976.

A remarkably kind man and a natural teacher, George was a pioneering vegan nutritionist. He taught the first college level vegan nutrition course in the U.S. at Miami-Dade College in Florida, and co-founded the Vegetarian Nutrition Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In addition to his work as a registered dietitian and public health nutritionist, George was a passionate advocate for more fair food supply systems around the world, issues he explored in his book The Most Noble Diet (1994). He was a great supporter of local, organic, and especially veganic farmers.

George was a sought-after speaker on nutrition and food issues all over the U.S. Beginning in 1982, he spoke at the NAVS Vegetarian Summerfest every year except the year when his daughter Sarah was born. In his public talks and in everyday life, George gently enlightened thousands about the health, environmental, and ethical consequences of our food choices. He wrote A Basic Course in Vegetarian and Vegan Nutrition (2001, republished in 2015 as A Guide to Vegan Nutrition), a course book on the science of healthy plant-based diets. Extremely knowledgeable about the plant world, he led walks to identify wild edible plants. He was deeply curious about the world around him and many people say that they always learned something new from every talk with George. His legacy is a strong foundation for the vegan movement and the deep gratitude of those who strive for a better world through compassion for all of its inhabitants, human and animal.

George was a very loving and generous son, brother, husband, father, uncle, and participant in the life of his extended family. He is survived and greatly missed by his son Thomas Eisman, daughter Sarah Schlueter-Eisman, their mother Shelly Schlueter, wife Claire Holzner, brother Michael (Harriet) Eisman, niece Emily (Rocci Aguirre) Eisman, nephews Lael (Jaclyn) Eisman and Jacob (Phoebe Van Vleet) Eisman, great niece Zia Eisman, aunts Vivian Miller and Rhea Eisman, as well as countless friends and admirers. The world has lost one of its kindest souls.

Contributions in George's memory may be made to Wildkind Care wildlife rehabilitation facility, P.O. Box 465, Montour Falls NY 14865.

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