University Park, Pa- Monday, one of the four men who died in last week’s State College shooting was laid to rest… 82-year-old George McCormick.
McCormick was active in the State College and Penn State communities where he worked as a food supervisor.
WTAJ sat down with David Gingher, Penn State’s Director of Retail Campus Dining and Catering who was hired by McCormick in 1976…and went on to work with him at PSU for more than 40 years.
When Gingher heard McCormick was shot and killed last Thursday night, he says words could not describe his shock. How could a man who hired him and jump-started his career be killed so randomly?
So far police have found no connection between 21-year-old Jordan Witmer (the shooter) and McCormick… leaving few answers or closure after the death of a man locals say was loved by all who knew him.
“I just couldn’t believe it… I still don’t believe it… it’s still hard to deal with….,” Gingher said.
As he gazed at a picture of his old boss and friend, Gingher was reminded of the virtues McCormick embodied.
“When I think of George the first thing I think about is integrity…. he was so loyal, and so honest…. it was incredible,” Gingher said.
McCormick worked as a manager of vending and snack bars at PSU. He had no shortage of free food at his disposal everyday…but according to Gingher, not once did he ever take advange of his position.
“He had a warehouse full of soda, candy, everything you can imagine… everyday he walked out to a vending maching, put money in it and bought a bottled soda. So that tells you about his honesty,” Gingher said.
He added that McCormick had an “old school” work mentality. Rather than asking for constant favors, as a leader, Gingher said McCormick would often get the job done himself. This included taking responsibility for projects, while helping PSU’s food service grow to what it is today.
And to Gingher, it’s the way McCormick did his job, with honesty and no excuses, that he’ll remember the most.
“I’m one of the few old folks that’s been around here for a while in our department, and those things are still instilled in me,” Gingher said.
Values that Gingher hopes to pass on to the next generation…memorializing a man tragically gone, but not forgotten.