CHAMPAIGN – George Roth, 82, of Champaign passed away Monday, March 12, 2018, at OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center, surrounded by family and friends.

A native of Illinois, he was born July 22, 1935, in Dwight. He graduated from Dwight High School in 1953 and earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a master’s degree in special education at the U of I.

George touched many lives in the more than 50 years he lived and worked in Champaign. In addition to contributing to the community through a career focused on social services and mental health, he was a good friend and neighbor to many.

If you knew George, a ride to the airport or a home-cooked meal was never more than a phone call away. Always a willing and enthusiastic volunteer, he continued to dedicate considerable time and energy to helping those most in need after he retired from his post as executive director of the Champaign County Mental Health Board. He served as a volunteer for Red Cross, providing on-the-ground support after Hurricane Katrina, 9/11 and other national emergencies, and also spent time each week helping out at Eastern Illinois Foodbank and the local habitat for humanity.

When he wasn’t busy volunteering or organizing social events for his friends and family, he enjoyed indulging in his passions for history, travel, photography and learning. He visited every presidential library in the country and was an active member of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the U of I. His sense of adventure and curiosity took him to 27 countries in less than 20 years.

George is survived by his daughters, Barbara Scotty (Brian) of Milwaukee, Wis., and Marcia Long (Chris) of Thousand Oaks, Calif. He is also survived by his two grandchildren, Ben Scotty and Suzy Scotty; and his former wife, Judy.

At George’s request, a celebration of his life will be from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at Stone Creek Events Center (formerly Kennedy’s), Urbana. Bring stories of George to share.

Anyone wishing to honor George may do so by making a contribution to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank or Mental Health America of Illinois.

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