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William George

February 12, 1921 – December 2, 2019

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William Lord
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— Soxman Funeral Home

Obituary for William George Lord

William George

Age 98, of Plum Borough, on Monday, December 2, 2019. Beloved husband of 65 years of Faye (Ferris) Lord; Father of William Scott Lord, Lezlee (Terry) Holt, and James (Leigh Anne) Lord. Grandfather of Elizabeth (Tariq) Francis, Dylan (Catherine) Holt and Catherine Lord. Great-grandfather of Tariq Jr., Jayden, Olivia, Luna and “One on the Way!” He was born in Cleveland, Ohio on February 12, 1921 to Hazel Irene Corman of Aylmer, Canada and Olaf Frederick Lord of Sweden. He graduated from West High in 1938. He then matriculated at Case Western and Kent State University until enlisting in the US Army in 1943. William was an Infantry Scout during WWII and served in combat from December 1944 through May 1945. He was awarded the Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for Valor during the Battle of the Bulge. After the end of WWII, he began his studies at Michigan State University and graduated in 1948 with a B.S. in Zoology. His next calling was as a Naturalist and a Park Ranger for the nascent Blue Ridge Parkway. His duties included creating Markers that identified the local flora and “chasing” moonshiners. It was while residing in Roanoke, Virginia that he met Faye O’Reta Ferris. She had recently graduated from the University of Virginia with a M.Ed. and was teaching at Christiansburg High School. Their common love of dancing was a prime reason they married on April 16, 1954.In 1955 he was admitted into the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. He studied large and small animal medicine and graduated in 1959. After graduation, and the birth in Roanoke, Virginia of Scott and Lezlee, the family moved to Pittsburgh and subsequently purchased a home in Plum Borough. He was then admitted to the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and studied during the day while creating the Plum Animal Clinic during evening hours. It was also during this time that he began writing and completing the Blue Ridge Parkway Guide. The Guide, first published in 1962, was a four-part series that was at one time the bestselling guidebook sold on the Parkway. After graduation from Pitt, he began a 20-year career at the Allegheny County Health Department. He held many titles, from Food Inspector to Director of Communicable Diseases. In 1965, his son James was born. In 1969, a producer for the TV show To Tell the Truth read an article he had written for the Pittsburgh Press and invited him to be a guest on the television show. “Doc” was proud of fooling most of the panel. In 1979, he retired from Allegheny County and devoted his energies to the Plum Animal Clinic. Retiring for good in 2001, he spent his time gardening and landscaping, swimming and walking, and traveling. He also was passionate about the return of the American Chestnut. He was a founding member and on The Board of Directors of the American Chestnut Foundation. In 1992, he began a 7-year project writing a historical masterpiece based on the Hillsville, VA Courthouse shootout of 1912. This book is considered by many the definitive narrative of the event. In 2012, at the 100th Anniversary of the Hillsville Courthouse Shootout, he could be seen signing his book on the Courthouse lawn. Determination was his Watchword. Committal Prayers and Military Honors will be held privately at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies. Arrangements entrusted to Soxman Funeral Homes, Ltd.

Interment Information

National Cemeteries of the Alleghenies
1158 Morgan Road
Bridgeville, Pennsylvania 15017


  • Army

  • Bronze Star

  • EAME Theater Ribbon with 3 Bronze Stars

  • Purple Heart Award from the U.S. Military

  • US Army
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