George Alden Jr. '74 November 1, 2021 3:31 PM updated: November 10, 2021 8:41 AM
George Bernard Alden Jr.
April 25, 1951 – October 27, 2021
George B. Alden, Jr., a wonderful husband, devoted uncle and loyal friend, passed away on October 27, 2021, at the age of 70. He was born on April 25, 1951, to George B. Alden and Virginia Taylor Alden in San Antonio, Texas.
The son of an Air Force officer, George grew up around the world and, in 1969, graduated from Redlands High School in California. Upon graduation, he attended the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School in Colorado Springs for one year and then transferred to his beloved Texas A&M University, where he joined the Corp of Cadets. While in College Station, George encountered two things that would become lifetime loves. The first was the game of rugby. Rugby was not entirely new to George, as he had played on an Australian rugby team while visiting his dad during the summers in Canberra, but his love for the game flourished at A&M. George played the “Hooker” position and was Captain of the 1974 National Championship team, which was inducted into the Texas A&M Hall of Fame in 2018. George stumbled upon the second object of his affection in his junior year, when he met Miss Barbara Diann Swaner in a business class. George and Diann married on June 28, 1975, at the All Faith Chapel at Texas A&M with the rugby team in tow.
After graduating from A&M, George was assigned to Air Force Missile Launch Officer training at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. There, George met lifelong friend Tom Sutherland from Georgia. The two First Lieutenants were then assigned to F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Diann joined George in Cheyenne in July 1975 and during their three years there, George obtained his MBA from the University of Wyoming. When he wasn’t deep underground waiting for the order to press the missile launch button (which fortunately never came), George loved spending time in the mountains and rivers of Wyoming. Even after leaving Wyoming, George, an avid fly fisherman, returned to the Yellowstone area annually for many years to hike and see if the fish were biting.
Upon leaving the Air Force, George joined New York Life Insurance Company in 1979 and began his long career in Dallas. George’s career was his calling, as it was never work to him and he always loved being in the office. When George needed a good quality assistant in 1989, Diann got the job and served as his office manager and jack-of-all-trades in supporting George’s clients.
Never one to miss an opportunity to learn, George stepped up when New York Life offered agents the chance to get a Master’s degree in Financial Services from The American College, and four years later, was in the first New York Life graduating class of its kind. George’s thesis on “Asset Diversification” rendered him the first non-academian to have his paper published in the The American College’s Guide to the State of the Art for Financial Services Professionals. After becoming a Certified Financial Planner in 2001, George assisted Southern Methodist University in establishing their CFP program, teaching several courses in the evening at SMU’s Dallas campus.
George dedicated a lifetime of faith and service to God’s people. Raised a Methodist, George attended a “tent revival” at Texas A&M at the invitation of friend Mark Anthony and asked Jesus to live in his heart. George served in the Children’s Sunday School Ministry at the base in Wyoming. While living in Arlington, George and Diann joined Fielder Road Baptist Church, where he was ordained a Deacon. George, along with Diann, served in the Youth Sunday School Department as Directors of the Senior Adult Department and on the Personnel and Finance Committees. Upon moving to Dallas in 2000, George returned to his Methodist roots at Highland Park United Methodist Church and began a new season of service with the births of his beloved nephews, by volunteering with Diann in the Children’s Ministries and VBS.
An avid football fan, George spent 20 years as a high school football referee and was on Joe deGraauw’s crew for the last 10 of those years. Long before he had nephews at Highland Park High School, George refereed many Scots games and admired and respected Coach Randy Allen as a true leader to his staff of coaches and the football players individually. After retiring from refereeing, George was a staunch critic at Scots football games. His passion for and knowledge of the game was apparent to anyone sitting next to him, as well as the refs on the field in the event of a bad call!
One of the roles in George’s life that brought him the most joy was that of an uncle. George was a steadfast and positive presence in the lives of his nieces and nephews. He could always be counted on to help them celebrate a victory, comfort and console them when they were down, and be an extra set of hands on deck if needed. Ryan, Lauren, Jack, Wyatt and Luke all enjoyed adventures in Disneyland with Uncle George. Jack and “Uncle” (as he was known to Jack, Wyatt and Luke) spent countless hours patiently building Lego and talking all things Star Wars. Post-game, Wyatt could count on Uncle texting an assessment of the win/loss and Wyatt’s performance, which was always honest and encouraging. Luke and Uncle loved spending time playing with goldendoodle Dixie, especially if it was one-on-one time without the big brothers around. While he never played favorites, Uncle may have mentioned that Luke in particular gave great hugs.
George is survived by his wife of 46 years, Diann Swaner Alden, mother in law Jean Swaner Green and beloved nephews, Jack, Wyatt and Luke Swaner. Other loving family members include Fred Swaner (Susan), Troy Swaner, Ryan Swaner (Adrianne), Lauren Swaner McAlister (Blake), Hudson McAlister, Camille Hero, Evelyn (Matt) Christen, Julie Steffeck, and Emma Steffeck. George was preceded in death by his parents, Lt. Colonel George B. Alden and Virginia Taylor Alden and sister-in-law, Betty Bordovsky Swaner.
George and Diann would like to thank Suzanne Hero Swaner and Blanca Lara for their support through George’s hospital transition into Heaven. They would also like to thank the dedicated physicians, nurses and staff at William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital in Dallas for the exceptional and compassionate care they provided to George.
A Memorial Service honoring George will be held at Highland Park United Methodist Church at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 4.* George will be interred privately at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery. For those who wish to express sympathy, in lieu of flowers, please consider honoring George with a donation to the Highland Park Education Foundation Student Needs Fund (www.hpef.org/memorial-gifting). *Please allow ample time prior to the service to park. The Meadows Parking Center and Hillcrest Parking Center will be open for those attending the service. For more information, see www.hpumc.org/visit/parking.
Diann Swaner Alden, Wife
Jean Swaner Green, Mother-in-law
Jack Swaner, Nephew
Wyatt Swaner, Nephew
Luke Swaner, Nephew
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