George Herbert Peranteau, 87, of Madison, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully in the company of loving family on August 11, 2023. He is survived by his wife, Mary, of Berwyn, Illinois; and his five children: Stephen (Jennifer), of San Diego; Mary Elizabeth and Suzanne of Madison, Sophia (Ron Snider) of Las Vegas, and Anne (Christopher Bender) of Wellington, New Zealand; grandchildren James, Nolan, Megan, Sasha, Harry and Sylvie; brothers, Paul (Leigh) of Brunswick, Maine, and Carl (Anne Marie) of North Wildwood, New Jersey.
Born October 27, 1935, to George A. and Elizabeth Irene (Inglesby) Peranteau in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. George, or Bert to family and friends, graduated from La Salle College Preparatory High School in 1953, and went on to attend the University of Chicago, earning a BA and MA in English Literature, as well as the affections of the future Mrs. Peranteau (née Frechette), a Loyola University graduate whom he met while hitchhiking home to Philly.
The couple married in June 1962 at St. Clement’s Catholic Church in Chicago before heading to California in George’s trusty Nash Rambler, where George planned to pursue a Ph.D. at UCLA. Fatherhood soon changed that plan, and he began his career as an English teacher, initially at Grossmont College near San Diego, then returning to the Midwest in 1967 for what would be a 28 year tenure at the College of Dupage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. He was a favorite with many of his students and kept in touch with several until his death.
George and Mary raised their five children in Oak Park, Illinois, in the Victorian home that George spent many hours restoring. His hands-on mechanical aptitude also enabled a long list of cars to achieve roadworthy status, in support of his children’s independence.
George’s kindness and wide-ranging interests were shared and enjoyed with friends around the world. In the Chicago area, he found kindred spirits at the Institute for the Study of Human Knowledge (ISHK), where he enjoyed discussions on metacognition and worked with the group to support Afghan refugee education. A lifelong avid reader, writer, and prolific correspondent, George enjoyed stories and art that fostered sociocultural understanding and emotional growth.
George’s intellectual curiosity and adventurous spirit led him to spend post-retirement years teaching at The American Universities in Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan. Other travels were made to visit friends, family and historically important sites in England, Egypt, Turkey, Bulgaria, Spain, Malta, and New Zealand. Equally, he loved returning to his log home in the woods in Spring Green, Wisconsin, to tend his beloved azalea collection. In his later years, George enjoyed concerts and plays, lunching with friends, visiting family, hiking in the Spring Green Preserve, discovering local bookshops, and discussing the latest reads with his “book club guys”. He moved to Oakwood Village retirement community in the summer of 2017 where he continued to be involved in his book club and poetry group.
He nurtured his children and grandchildren with love, by listening and being curious, and by encouraging self-actualization of the unique gifts held by each person.
The family would like to express their deepest thanks to the staff at Oakwood Village East, and to Agrace Hospice Care for their attention and care for George at the end of his life.
A memorial service is planned for September 23rd, at the Old Feed Mill in Mazomanie, from 2 to 5 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Nature Conservancy to support the care of the Spring Green Preserve.
As George might say, “And so it goes…”-- his wry humor and fondness for the absurd will be missed.