Edward “George” Dobosh, 87, longtime educator

Edward “George” Dobosh, a longtime educator and beloved member of the local LGBTQ+ community, died on April 11, four days short of his 88th birthday. The cause of death was congestive heart failure. He lived in Center City for 24 years, but passed away in a hospice in South Philadelphia.

Dobosh taught social studies at Great Valley High School in Malvern, Pa. for 28 years, where he was regarded fondly by his students and colleagues. He had a vivacious personality and was rarely at a loss for words, friends recalled.

“Edward ‘George’ Dobosh was a teacher in the Great Valley School District from 1965 to 1993,” said Jennifer Blake, a district spokesperson, in an email. “He was a teacher of social studies at Great Valley High School and an involved member of the school community. The Great Valley School District was sorry to hear of his passing and extends its heartfelt sympathy to the Dobosh family.”

Dobosh was born in Nesquehoning, Pa., on April 15, 1936, the son of Margaret Dobosh and Frank Gigliotti. Dobosh took his mother’s maiden name as his surname because his father was largely absent from his life. Although his given name was Edward, everyone knew him as George, which was the given name of a close relative.

Dobosh attended Nesquehoning High School and graduated from Muhlenberg College in 1959. He subsequently received a masters degree in education from Temple University. Dobosh pursued additional postgraduate studies at Boston University, Carnegie-Mellon University and Oxford University.

In the early 1960s, Dobosh worked in North Africa for the U.S. State Department. He traveled extensively in Europe during that time, including visiting Hungary where relatives lived.

Dobosh’s initial aspiration was to be an attorney but he ultimately became a high school teacher and was instrumental in the career trajectories of many students.

“George had a passion for helping students learn the practical skills needed for life,” wrote Joe Merlino, a close friend. “He helped college-bound students prepare for the rigors of college and professional life, while helping others discern alternative paths in the trades and making introductions to secure apprenticeships.”

Merlino and Dobosh lived on the same street in West Chester, Pa. for several years. Dobosh’s home was Victorian in style and known for its ornate furnishings and a profusion of flowers in the yard.

While a resident of Center City, Dobosh supported numerous LGBTQ+ organizations, including Calcutta House, MANNA and the William Way LGBT Community Center, friends said.

Dobosh looked forward to spending his summers in Cape May County, N.J., where he owned residences. His interests included gardening, antiquing, attending the theater, cooking Hungarian food, dancing and historic restoration.

After his employment at Great Valley High, Dobosh enjoyed 30 years of retirement and was an active congregant at the Church of St. Luke and The Epiphany in Center City.

Merlino recalled Dobosh with affection.

“Often described as a ‘character,’ somewhat eccentric, sometimes exasperating, and always lovable, and a generous patron of the LGBTQ community in Philadelphia — George will be remembered fondly by those whose lives he touched,” Merlino wrote.

A funeral service and interment will be held at noon on Saturday, May 11 at the Church of St. Luke & The Epiphany, 330 S. 13th St. in Center City. The public is invited to attend.

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