George was born Oct. 11, 1918, to Dr. Gustave and Estelle Altman of Helena, Ark. After an idyllic childhood in Helena, George moved with his family moved to Louisville, Ky., where George joined the Boy Scouts and enjoyed camping and canoeing adventures along the Ohio River on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout. He was confirmed at Adath Israel Temple in Louisville in 1933. George graduated from the University of Louisville and attended the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. He served as an officer in the Army Air Corps during World War II, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He was always proud of the recognition he received from senior military commanders for significantly improving the efficiency of retrofitting aircraft for combat at six air bases in the United States.
In 1945, while stationed at Hunter Air Field in Savannah, he met and married a young volunteer nurse’s aide, Frances Karp. They founded and operated Altman Realty Co. in Savannah for many years until George was offered a senior position with the Federal Aviation Administration in Atlanta as director of airport operations from the Panama Canal Zone to Virginia. George was subsequently recruited by Raytheon Corp., and, after several years, retired again.
George is remembered by all who knew him as a man of the highest moral standards, a dry wit and a great intellect. He never had a harsh word for anyone and upheld the highest traditions of Judaism. He instilled in his children and his grandchildren a deep appreciation of learning and the joy of observing the world and its people. He took great pride in the accomplishments of his grandchildren and remains an inspiration to them.
George is survived by Frances, his wife of 69 years; their three children, Gary, Bonnie and Craig; a daughter-in-law, Judy Rich Altman; five grandchildren, David Altman and his wife, Leigh Braslow Altman, Jonathan Altman and his wife, Xiaofei Altman, Allison Savage and her husband, Michael Savage, Erin Altman, and Andrea Auerbach; and six great-grandsons, Ely Gustave Altman, Gil Braslow Altman, Samuel Braslow Altman, Alexander Savage, Thomas Savage and Luke Altman. Graveside services were conducted Sunday afternoon, Nov. 30, at Arlington Memorial Park. Arrangements by H.M. Patterson & Son-Arlington Chapel.