In honor of our 150th anniversary in 2017 we are taking a look back at bank history and the people who have helped to shape our bank into the successful, secure institution that it is today. Read on to learn about one of our former presidents!
George E. Booth holds the distinction of being the first bank President who was not a member of the Will family, an accomplishment that was both an honor and a symbol of his abilities as a banker.
George had a lengthy career with the bank, working in a number of roles, both with the customer and behind the scenes in the operations area of the bank. This experience gave him a good grasp of how to balance the profitability of the bank with providing customers with a top notch experience.
He was born May 18, 1918 on the Yankee Street family farm south of Wilkesville that belonged to his parents David R. and Minnie Wilcox Booth. George earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Rio Grande College at the age of 24 and taught elementary school for four years before enlisting in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He attained a rank of Warrant Officer in Normandy, France.
George began his banking career in 1952 and had served as Vice President, Cashier and Director before being appointed President in 1984. He held that position through 1988 and continued as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors until his retirement in 1996. He also served as Secretary/Treasurer of Community BancShares, Inc.
Upon retiring in 1996, George joked that he was retiring by degrees as he had begun retiring almost ten years before.
The years of George’s term as President were exciting at the bank as these years saw Community Bancshares purchase First Bremen Bank and growth into Fairfield County.While the Bremen Bank continued to operate independently of Vinton County National Bank, there was much opportunity for cooperation and for Vinton County to assist Bremen as it grew. He worked closely with his longtime friend and colleague Bob Will to guide the bank through this period.
When George stepped down from the office of President, Bank Chairman and CEO Bob Jr. complimented George’s accomplishments, noting that George had been an important member of the bank’s staff since 1952. George was an important part of the bank’s growth from three million in assets in 1952 to 66 million in 1988.
During his lifetime George not only worked for the bank, he and his wife Dorothy Booth started the Booth Real Estate and Insurance Agency, Inc. He was also a member of the Orphan’s Friend Masonic Lodge in Wilkesville. George enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, and loved spending time with his family. He also was known to embrace technology and was well known for his presence on the social media site Facebook for several years prior to his death.
George and his beloved wife Dorothy were married for seventy years and had five children: David Booth, Janet Bolender, Janice Smith, Mary Ann Simmons and Ellen Lash. Their large family now includes grandchildren and great grandchildren.
George died at his McArthur residence on April 27, 2014. He was 95.
Read other posts about bank history and 150th celebrations here.