George Homanich, board member and former president of Broome County Peace Action (BCPA), passed away on August 7th, 2016 of pancreatic cancer. George, along with his wife, Judy, was a generous activist in working for peace and justice. Some of their actions were directed against U.S. military goings on (e.g., the School of the Americas, Guantanamo, drone attacks, and the treatment of Chelsea Manning), but often their actions aimed instead at developing person-to-person relation-ships with people in some way disadvantaged (e.g., with people in Palestine, with people at a black-lives-matter gathering in NYC, and with Muslims). The latter approach was clearly present in their work on a mission trip to Haiti. There a 16 year old boy addressed the visitors during a church service, to tell them how important their coming to Haiti was, not merely because they helped build a new church, and brought sports equipment and medicine, but mainly because these visitors, sitting with the Haitians and caring about them, made them happy and gave them hope. Judy views the visitors’ actions and the Haitian boy’s response as illustrating how to strive for justice and peace.
George’s quiet strength and deep faith were evident in his life, personal and professional, which was devoted to improving the lives of others and making the world a better, more just and peaceful place.
George was employed by New York State as a psychiatric social worker for over 30 years, working with Adult Protective Services and the Binghamton Psychiatric Center. In the latter part of his career, he was an Intensive Case Manager in a project shared with Catholic Charities. When George and Judy would go to street fairs in Binghamton, they often met former clients of George who would express their deep gratitude for his professional and personal help. After George retired because of illness, he still met with some of his clients.
George was a much loved person, always willing to help others. We members of the board of BCPA miss him at our meetings. There is no replacement for his generous and unique personality.