Georg Kalmar, a beloved resident of Hardwick for twenty years, died at home surrounded by family on February 10th. Georg was born in Mexico City on May 6, 1940, a true Chilango y qué, well known in Hardwick for cooking up the finest Mexican food north of the border. When he was eight Georg and his family moved to Sydney, Australia where he was a rebel from the get-go. In the late 50’s and early 60’s he was an active member of the Sydney Push, a now famous left-wing intellectual group that met at The Royal George Pub. After moving to Berkeley, California where he participated in labor organizing, Georg returned to Mexico. He married Lynne Odenheim in Mexico City where his two daughters, Ana and Tanya were born. Georg traveled to villages across Mexico making friends with folk artists and exported their arts and crafts all over the world. He had a deep knowledge and understanding of Latin American art and culture from pre-Columbian times to the present.
Back in Berkeley in the 1970s, Georg earned a living doing plumbing and electrical work. He remained focused on his work in the civil rights movement, befriended the homeless in Berkeley, many of them Vietnam vets, and served on Berkeley’s Commission for the Homeless. Georg was a staunch defender of People’s Park and all it stood for. As the unofficial mayor of Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley Georg hung out at the famous coffee house, The Mediterranean, discussing poetry and art and arguing about politics, history, culture, everything.
In 1994 Georg and Daphne were married and lived in Berkeley until moving to Hardwick in 2001. Their son Stevie and his family live in California. In Vermont, Georg loved playing Pitch with folks in Mackville and reveled in his transformation to Farmer Georg trying his hand at raising pigs, turkeys, meat birds, layers, guinea fowl, ducks and geese. He grew hundreds of pounds of garlic planted in perfectly square beds and helped a group of neighborhood teenagers set up a sugaring operation in one of the outbuildings on his farm.
Georg loved and was loved by many members of the Hardwick community, as in all the communities he belonged to in Mexico, Sydney, and Berkeley. He loved to tell really bad puns and to teach young children where their nostrils were. He is survived by his wife, Daphne, his brother and sister-in-law Tomás and Bridget Kalmar, his sister and brother-in-law Alice and Rodney Kingsnorth, his daughter and son-in-law Ana and Brad Kalmar-Bailey, his daughter and daughter-in-law, Tanya and Liz Stephens-Kalmar, his son and daughter-in-law, Steve Myotte and Pere Carcache, his beloved grandchildren: Zach, Teddy, Ellie-Rose, Andrea and Alex and many nephews and nieces.
To celebrate Georg’s life a party will be held at his home in the Spring on Hopkins Hill Rd. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, https://firrp.org.
To send flowers to Georg's family, please visit our floral section.