Left to Right: Sandy Sander, George and Kathleen Blakslee,
Al and Fran Kienholtz, Georgia Sander, and Eleanor Clark
George Warren Blakslee was born July 1921 in Pennsylvania and earned a BA in geology from Penn State University. In 1943, he entered the Army Air Corps and was commission bombardier in 1944. After getting his wings, George's first assignment was to train two squadrons of Chinese cadets at Kirkland Air Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Later, he trained for combat in B-17's and B-29's.
In January 1946, George left the service to enroll in graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, but later in the year was offered a job as Junior Geologist for Aramco in Saudi Arabia. His journey to Arabia took more than a month for in both Europe and North Africa most of the transport destroyed during World War II had not been replaced.
He worked in Arabia for five years. During the quinary, he met his first wife Kathleen Peterson. She had been a member of the OSS with the foreign service in Egypt in 1944 - 1945 and was in Saudi Arabia on loan from the Middle East Journal, setting up a research library for Aramco's Arabic Studies group. Sandy, Nestor "Sandy" John Sander, was the first person in Dhahran camp I met and we have kept in touch all these years. Sandy and his wife, Georgia, were best man and matron of honor at our wedding on September 1948 in Beirut.
During their stay in Arabia, the couple had two children, Warren Leigh and Sharon Lee, born in 1949 and 1951. The family left Arabia in 1951 and George returned to Penn State for Post-graduate studies. Again he was offered employment with Tidewater Associated Oil Company, a Getty affiliate, in Saskatchewan, Canada. Exploration there was successful and the family left for Turkey as part of a group evaluating exploration licenses in that country.
From Turkey, he went to Madrid, Spain where he was based before being sent to the Canary Islands to establish an office for work on the Spanish Sahara. In 1960, he was transferred to Pakistan where he held the post of Chief Geologist and later of General Manager.
In 1963, George was sent to Teheran, Iran, as the representative for Getty Oil. After two years, Getty was granted an exploration license in the Arabian Gulf. The venture found no commercial hydrocarbons, but George carried the work to completion and abandonment. In 1969, he went to Algeria as Chief Geologist and was promoted to Managing Director of Getty Petroleum holdings in the Algerian Sahara.
In 1973, they returned to the United States, to the Home Office of the Getty Oil Company in Los Angeles where George retired in 1977 as Chief Geologist, International Division. Thereafter, the family has lived in Wisconsin to manage the family dairy farm which was purchased in 1962.
In November 1992, Kathleen passed away. A year later George married Nancy Sue McCormick, for several years a widow. They reside on Decatur Lake near Brodhead, Wisconsin. Relatively free from burdens, the couple travel extensively, play golf and, via the internet, are in frequent contact with many friends and relatives.
But George is not without responsibilities. He has been on the board and director of several organizations. His assumption of civic duties includes Commander of the American Legion Post, president of Decatur Lake County Club and two terms as an elected Member of the Board of Decatur Township.
Memberships have also included: Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, the Chamberlain Society of Beirut College, American Association of Petroleum Geologists Emeritus and the Holstein Frisian Association. His publications include his book Reliving a Memory and the 1958 Notes on the Jurassic of Southwestern Saskatchewan with R. L. Milner in the Memorial Volume to John Andres Allen. His biographical record was published in Who's Who in the Midwest.