George Alfred Monseu, 77, of Margaretville passed peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of August 21, 2013.
He was born June 15, 1936 in the Baltic Sea coastal town of Gdynia, Poland to Maria (Okanska) Monseu and Stanislaw Monseu. George was predeceased by his parents and sisters, Renata (DeMeo) and Anna (Dreszer).
During the Nazi occupation of Poland, the family was separated and Stanislaw, a member of the Polish underground resistance, was interned in the Dachau concentration camp. Maria Monseu, while in a line of Warsaw dwellers being marched to Warsaw camp, escaped into the countryside with her children and mother. The family was reunited when the camps were liberated by U.S. soldiers, and moved to Sweden. In 1948, they immigrated to the United States, settling in Bayside, Queens.
George Monseu served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean Conflict as a Staff Sergeant in the 34th Troop Carrier Wing from 1956 to 1962. He was stationed at Tachikawa AFB in Japan, specializing in radio communications. Upon honorable discharge, he returned to New York City, working with his father in the family’s international ship brokerage, S. Monseu Inc., and then working as an audio technician for Radio Free Europe, a U.S. Congress-funded broadcast service which provided news, information and analysis to countries where free flow of information was banned by government authorities or not fully developed. He later worked as a technician for Otis Elevator, and eventually changed specialties, joining the International Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners as an acoustical tile specialist.
He earned a Baccalaureate in Education and graduated Cum Laude from City College of New York 1973.
In 1966 he married Helen Catherine Speciale, from which union two children survive; Stephanie Monseu (Keith Nelson) and Lorraine Monseu.
In 1978 the Monseu family purchased The Homestead Farm in New Kingston from fellow Polish expatriate Leon Sobolewski, and ran the year-round resort as a family business until 1985. At that time, George commuted weekly to Manhattan for work with the Carpenter’s Union to support his family.
He deeply loved the Catskill Mountains and enjoyed working in the woods and sailing on Alder Lake. He was a creative and innovative craftsman, tinkerer, and lover of knowledge. His artistic skills included woodworking, pottery and metalwork, draftsmanship, and sculptural assemblage. He was a devoted father and husband, an everyman who identified with cartoon characters and collected model airplanes, and he always did the best he could.
Services will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Margaretville Fire Department.
Arrangements are by the Hynes Funeral Home, Margaretville.