George Richard Stehl

Posted Aug. 21, 2012, at 9:47 a.m.
Last modified Aug. 22, 2012, at 11:24 a.m.

JONESPORT – George Richard Stehl of Mason Bay Road, Jonesport, died Jan. 13, 2012. He was born June 3, 1922, in Queens County, N.Y., son of Henry Jacob Stehl and Elizabeth Martha Stehl, and younger brother of Marjorie Stehl Walsh, who predeceased him.

Except for his service in the Army Air Corps during World War II, George spent the first half of his life in the New York City area, moving to Jonesport in l973. When his father died, Mr. Stehl at age 13, and his mother and sister went to live with his maternal grandparents. During summers the three spent time at their summer residence in Greene County, N.Y., where George worked for a dairy farmer. After graduation from Flushing High School, Queens, N.Y., Mr. Stehl studied architecture at New York University until l942, when he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He was given pilot/officer training on the Lockheed P38 Lightning. After receiving his officer’s commission and wings in l943, he served as a flight instructor, and then as a fighter pilot with the 36th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group of the Fifth Air Force in the Asiatic Theatre. He flew on missions over New Guinea, the western Pacific, the southern Philippines, the Ruyukus, Air Offensive Japan, the China Offensive and the East Indies. At the end of the war, he was a member of the escort group flying the representatives of the emperor of Japan and the Japanese government to the USS Missouri, where the formal instrument of surrender was signed Sept. 2, 1945. Mr. Stehl’s decorations and citations included the Philippine Liberation Ribbon, Air Medal, Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, American Campaign Medal and World War II Victory Medal. He left the service with the rank of captain. After his discharge in l946, Mr. Stehl enrolled in the Industrial Design program at Pratt Institute and attended classes at Art Students League of New York. He graduated from Pratt in l951. In l952, he joined Francis Blod Design Consultants as staff designer and later became senior vice president in charge of product design. He obtained patents in his name, notably for Xerox for his work redesigning the Listerine bottle and every aspect of its presentation, with particular attention to broadening shelf space and visibility. His influence on similar products in pharmacies is apparent. Mr. Stehl also received a patent for his design of a balance scale for Xerox which was named Design of the Year l968 by American Association for the Advancement of Science. His contributions at Francis Blod Design Associates included work for such clients as Warner-Lambert, Elgin, Genrus, Mennen Green Watch Co. and many others. He received design merit awards from the Industrial Designers Society of America, American Institute of Graphic Arts and Koppers, Inc. Mr. Stehl’s work was featured in “Design in America,” a McGraw Hill publication, and a number of other periodicals, among them “Industrial Design,” “Time,” “Packaging Design,” and “Modern Plastics.” A long list of U.S. patents awarded in his name as designer were assigned to Xerox Corp., Union Carbide Co., Mobil Oil, Warner Lambert, Mennen Co. and others. His work is included in the permanent collections of Museum of Modern Art and Brooklyn Museum. In l973, Mr. Stehl and wife, Muriel Converse, whom he married in l964, moved to Jonesport, where he worked in real estate. For many years, l976 to l987, he was a real estate broker with Jonesport Realty. He was commissioned to map the property boundary lines of the town. The map is still in use. He also planned a number of housing developments in the Jonesport area.

George is survived by his wife, Muriel; nephew, Richard Walsh; nieces, Jennifer Arnold and Karen Walsh; great-nephew, Jacob Arnold; and great-niece, Rebecca Arnold.

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