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Rev. George Borthwick

December 5, 2004

Rev. George Borthwick, age 92

Rev. George Borthwick, age 92, Pastor Emeritus of the First United Presbyterian Church of Troy, New York, died December 5th, 2004. He was born on December 6, 1911, in Bangalore, South India to missionary parents, Rev. William Borthwick of Scotland and Elizabeth Rosa Busch Borthwick of Dresden, Germany. Within a few years after George's birth, the family migrated to North America, where his father served Presbyterian parishes in Canada and the U.S. The family returned to the mission field of Salem, South India when George was in his early teens. George received his secondary education at Breeks Memorial School a British boarding school in Ootcamund, India. An accomplished student, he received the highest certification given through representatives of Cambridge University.

Upon graduation from Breeks, George traveled on his own, by steam passage to southern California to seek a higher education. There he enrolled for two years at Pasadena Junior College. A scholarship to Monmouth College brought him to Illinois, where he met his future wife, Mildred Helen Maynard, the daughter of a Professor of English at the college.

Upon Graduation with a B.A. in 1933, George attended Princeton Theological Seminary, and during his tenure there, served as Supply Minister to the Montauk Community Church on Long Island. George transferred to Union Theological Seminary in NYC to study under strong teachers of theology. George remembered fondly: Niebuhr, Fosdick, Moffatt, Buttrick and Henry Sloane Coffin. After receiving the Union Seminary Degree of Divinity, George also obtained a MA from Columbia University.

George became the minister of the South Haven Presbyterian Church on Long Island in October 1935, where Henry Sloane Coffin preached at his ordination. In June 1936 he married Mildred Helen Maynard. George's fascination with Long Island History emerged into a book he authored while at South Haven, The Church at the South: A History of the South Haven Church. More than a church history, it has been acclaimed as a chronicle of the beginnings of the first English-speaking settlements in all of what is now the state of New York.

In 1940 George became the minister of the Arlington Ave. Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, NY. After eight years, George accepted the pastorate of the Second Presbyterian Church in Troy, New York (now First United Presbyterian) where he remained until his retirement in 1977.

Retirement merely broadened his horizons, allowing George and Helen to further explore Asian culture by becoming pastor of the West Tokyo Union Church from 1977 to June 1983. The congregation of the Tokyo community published "Forget Not His Benefits", a book of Rev. Borthwick's prayers in appreciation of his ministry. Upon their return to the states, George and Helen were able to rejoin the Long Island community, with George becoming pastor of the Cutchogue Presbyterian Church from 1983 to 1993. In 1993 George and Helen moved to Beechwood Retirement Community in Troy, New York. George in his "retirement years" continued to provide interim ministry at the Oakwood Avenue Presbyterian Church in Troy, and provide Christmas and Lenten services at Beechwood. In 1993 George was recognize for his 65 year ministry by the Presbytery of Albany.

Rev. Borthwick was predeceased by his beloved Helen, and his eldest son Bruce Maynard. He is survived by sons Alan Kirby and wife Mary, of New York City, David Russell, and wife Deborah of Cambridge, NY; daughter, Katherine B. Morgan and husband John of Granby CT, and daughter-in-law Doris E. Borthwick of Albion, MI. He is survived by a brother John Theodore Borthwick and wife Anne of England. He is also survived by nine grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.

A memorial service of thanksgiving of the life of George will be held at the First United Presbyterian Church in Troy 1915 Fifth Avenue on Saturday, January 8, 2005 at 1pm with a reception to follow at the church.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Professor Milton Monroe Maynard Scholarship Fund, Monmouth College, 700 East Broadway, Monmouth, IL, 61462. Arrangements by Bryce Funeral Home Inc. Troy.

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