George Gostenhofer, a longtime summer resident of Chappaquiddick, died on Dec. 24, 2013, in Laguna Woods, Calif., after a brief illness, four months before his 90th birthday.
Born April 13, 1924, he was the son of Charles Edward Gostenhofer of Summit, N.J., and Adine DuMontiere Bernard Gostenhofer of New Orleans, La. Mr. Gostenhofer graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover, served two years in the army during WWII in the Pacific theatre, and graduated from Harvard College with a bachelor’s degree in engineering sciences and applied physics.
Mr. Gostenhofer worked at Raytheon Manufacturing Co. as an engineer, involved in early testing procedures of microwave technology, and then became a sales rep for Burlingame Assoc. Soon thereafter Mr. Gostenhofer started his own company, George Gostenhofer and Associates (GG&A), a manufacturer’s rep company, selling electronic instruments throughout the New England area. To house GG&A, he built one of the first multi-level, multi tenant office buildings on the renowned Route. 128 high-tech corridor outside of Boston.
In 1951 Mr. Gostenhofer married the former Lucille Ryan of Torrington, Conn. They resided in Wayland before settling in Wellesley Hills.
At age 40, Mr. Gostenhofer sold GG&A to further his own education and pursue his love of teaching. He completed graduate work at Boston College in the field of economics, taught math at Wayland High School and mathematical economics at Northeastern University. Mr. Gostenhofer was chief economist at the Massachusetts Department of Commerce and assistant at the Harvard Economic Research Project.
In 1970 the family moved to Mission Viejo in Southern California, where Mr. Gostenhofer embarked on a new career in real estate, developing a family mobile home park. In 1978 the family relocated to Houston, Tex., where Mr. Gostenhofer built and managed Fairwind Apartments, a 144 unit corporate leasing complex close to NASA’s Johnson Space Center. He also built custom homes on Tiki Island, Galveston, Texas.
In 2000, at age 76, Mr. Gostenhofer sold Fairwind, and he and his wife returned to southern California to retire in Laguna Woods.
In his youth, George summered on Chappaquiddick with relatives, and as an adult he realized his dream of having his own Chappy summer home and a large family to enjoy it. Several of his cousins, including the Pinney, Tilghman, Jones, Knight and Phinney families, also summered on Chappy with their families. As the decades passed, regardless of career or residence, George would return to Chappaquiddick. He loved to sail, play tennis and teach. Last year, he spent his 52nd and final summer in his cottage on Katama Bay with Lucille, his devoted and loving wife of 62 years, and visiting family.
He is survived by his wife, six children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.