Obituary of George Wulster
Dr. George Wulster of Lebanon, NJ, husband to Janet Selover Wulster, and father of Charles and Kathryn Wulster, died early in the morning on Tuesday, June 14th, after a fierce but all-too- brief battle with melanoma. He was 66.
George was Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology at Rutgers University until his retirement in January of 2014 as Professor (Emeritus). He received his PhD in post-harvest physiology from Rutgers in 1981 and had over 36 years of service at Rutgers, working closely with the New Jersey commercial floriculture industry as a consultant, in addition to his research and teaching. He also oversaw the production of more than 100 varieties of poinsettias in the Nichol Avenue greenhouse on Rutgers’ New Brunswick campus, managed by Nicki Graf.
George met his wife, Janet, when they were undergraduates at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, where he received degrees in anthropology and sociology. Janet still keeps the many letters he sent her during the summer she spent in Austria, and fondly remembers the first beer he brewed himself, which he called “Ishmael.”
George began his career as a grower manager at Wright’s Roses in Cranbury, where he’d previously worked in high school. After retirement, he and his wife formed Custom Floral Postharvest Solutions LLC, with a special focus on tulip preservation.
George taught many graduate students over the years, and deeply enjoyed mentoring young people. He was respected and adored for his avid and curious mind; he loved to read, play golf, and have stimulating—sometimes controversial—conversations with just about anyone who would listen.
George’s son Charles is a bespoke furniture maker in Brooklyn, New York, where he lives with his wife, Lexa Hillyer, and their one-year-old daughter, Minna Grantham. George’s daughter Katie is a veterinary radiologist at The University of Pennsylvania. In addition to his wife and children, George is survived by his mother, Elizabeth Wulster; his siblings Greg Wulster, Breanne Leitner, and Guy Wulster; as well as a host of much-loved nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 25th at 11 am, at Church of the Holy Spirit, 3 Haytown Road, Lebanon, NJ, officiated by Reverend Philip Carr-Jones. Family, friends and former colleagues are invited to a luncheon at the church immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers donations in George’s name may be made through In Memory Of (www.inmemoryof-memorial.org) for the following organizations , Hobart & William Smith Colleges (http://www2.hws.edu/), The George Wulster Memorial Music Program c/o Church of the Holy Spirit, 3 Haytown Road, Lebanon, NJ 08833, Melanoma Research Foundation (https://www.melanoma.org/)