George Henry Von Gehr, Jr.1941-2021

George passed away peacefully at the age of 80, surrounded by family. He is survived by his beloved wife Barbara, daughter Karla (Holger), son David (Tracy), sister Lois, brother Greg (Ann), stepsons Adam and Andrew (Carly), and grandchildren Sydney and Lincoln.

Born in Evanston, Illinois, George earned a BS in engineering from Princeton University and JD and MBA degrees from Stanford University. After working in management consulting (McKinsey), industry and investment banking (Rothschild), he founded Alliant Partners, a boutique investment banking firm in Palo Alto, California that worked with high-tech companies in Silicon Valley and internationally. It was acquired by Silicon Valley Bank in 2001.

George was a devoted father to his children from his first marriage. While they were growing up, he took them on many wonderful trips all over the world. He was always available to give advice and talk through issues, and prioritized time with his kids despite his demanding work schedule. Later in life, he also enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren.

George and Barbara married in 2001. She brought cats into his life, and he became very fond of the cats they parented over the years. They travelled frequently and widely, especially enjoying train trips and cruises. In retirement, they moved to Pebble Beach, California and bought a second home in Friday Harbor, Washington, where they enjoyed summer boating in Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands and the Canadian Gulf Islands. In 2014 they made Friday Harbor their full-time home and became involved in several community non-profits. George was a founding member of the Peace Island Medical Center Governing Board and served on the Friday Harbor Labs Advancement Board, the Rotary Club Car Show Committee, the San Juan Island Community Foundation Investment Committee, and the San Juan Island Yacht Club Board.

From a young age, George pursued his major interests – cars, boats and classical music, especially opera. Over the years he owned a series of vintage cars (Porsches were his favorite), and he was president of the Monterey Bay Porsche Club for a term. He also loved movies, and enjoyed hosting movie nights where he gave a talk about the film and Barbara served a thematic dinner. He had a creative and sharp sense of humor, shown in his many turns as Carnac the Magnificent, including recently at the Yacht Club.

George was smart, kind and generous, a loving father and husband, and a wise and trusted advisor to many who knew him. He will be remembered for his love of good food, travel, cars, boats, opera and movies. He will be greatly missed by family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to two organizations George loved and supported: the Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor and the San Juan Community Theatre.

There will be a celebration of George’s life on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2 p.m. at the San Juan Island Yacht Club.