George Bausch Waters

Published Jul 5, 2018 at 4:00pm

George Bausch Waters, 97, died Monday, July 2 2018, two days before his 98th birthday.

Born on Sunday, 4 July 1920, in Syracuse, NY, he was the son of the late Louis Addison Waters and the late Mildred Elaine (Bausch) Waters.

He is survived by his wife of 74 years, Shirley Kessinger (Barnard) Waters, daughter of the late Bradley Cutting Barnard formerly of Rome, NY and the late Margaret Alberta (Kessinger) Barnard.

Both Shirley and George Waters graduated from Nottingham High School in Syracuse and graduated from Syracuse University in 1943. Waters received a Bachelor of Arts in Radio Communications from Syracuse University where he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon. During summers he worked at Crucible Steel in Syracuse and announced evenings on WSYR radio.

Shirley and George were married September 23, 1943.

Following graduation he attended Army basic training in Fort Benning, GA and infantry anti-tank school at Ft. Gruber, OK, where he was retained the following year as an instructor. He was assigned to the 222nd Regiment of the 42nd Division with service in the south of France where he received a field promotion to Captain. During the war, he earned a Bronze Star and the 222nd received a Presidential Unit Citation 24 Jan-25 Jan 1945. Waters served in Salzburg, Austria, during the occupation following the war.

Returning to Rome, Waters joined the Rome Sentinel Company June 10, 1947, as an advertising salesman, forming Classified Advertising in 1950 as a separate department. He became assistant general manager in 1954, general manager in 1960, served as publisher from May 1, 1964 to June, 19, 1993, becoming president of the company on the death of his father-in-law, Bradley C. Barnard, April 25, 1969. He served as president of the company until May 14, 2011.

In addition to his wife, Waters is survived by one sister, Elizabeth Elaine McNish; five children, Peter Barnard Waters and his wife Carolyn (Mates) of Mount Pleasant, SC, Stephen Bradley Waters and his wife Wendy Beth (Williams) of Rome, NY, Nancy Kessinger Waters of Worcester, MA, Kristin Benton Waters of Worcester, MA, and Dean Lincoln Waters and his wife Kim (Williams) of Saratoga Springs, NY; nine grandchildren, Stephen’s children, Bradley Remington, married to Jenna Layne (Hubbard) and Sarah Beth Waters of Rome; Kristin’s children Colin  Waters O’Reilly and  Julia Jiaqi O’Reilly; and Dean’s children Garry Robert and his wife Michelle, Thomas George, Kay, and Simone; and step-grandchildren Gregory Weaver and Cheryl (Weaver) Cooper; Kenneth O’Reilly and David O’Reilly; and Sidney and Elliot Williams.

Waters was preceded in death by two brothers, Louis Addison Waters Jr., and Robert Benton Waters; daughter-in-law Irene (Eggan) Waters; four grandparents, George E. Bausch, Louis Lincoln of Syracuse, NY, Grace Elizabeth (Root), and Cora May (Rowley) Waters of Syracuse, NY.

Waters oversaw the building of a new Rome Sentinel office and production plant at 333 W. Dominick St., and the transition from hot metal production on Linotype machines to photocomposition and offset printing using a new Goss Urbanite press.

Waters served on the board of directors of the N.Y. State Photonics Development Corporation, trustee of the Stevens-Kingsley Foundation, Kirkland College, Clinton from 1973-79, Utica College Foundation from 1963-1978.

He was a founder and served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Rome Art and Community Center, a member of the board from 1967-1984. He spearheaded the drive to have the city purchase the Tudor-style Carpenter mansion at 308 W. Bloomfield St. as home for the center.

Waters served as president of the Jervis Library Association and helped plan the 1961 Jervis Library addition that now serves as its main location. He also worked for the addition of the Bartlett Wing to Rome Memorial Hospital in 1964.

In 1989 Waters was named by the Rome Friends of the Syracuse Symphony as its first “Music Man of the Year,” for his support of the symphony.

In 1987 he received the Rome Historical Society’s Medal of 1777, which honors citizens who have given outstanding community service. He told the assembled members, “What we do we do not for ourselves, but for our community.” In that same year, he and his wife, Shirley, received the first Saul Lazovik Service to the Arts Award for their support of the arts.

A lifetime member of the Military Officers Association of America, he served as honorary commander of the Northeast Defense Sector and, before that, the 416th Medical Group.

In 1995 George and Shirley Waters were selected as recipients of the John Peter Zenger Award for Achievement in Publishing in recognition of their outstanding and exceptional contributions to the industry.

Waters was appointed to the Rome City School District Board of Education in December, 1962, and then was elected for his own term. He served on the Rome Hospital Board of Managers, the board of the Mid-York Library System, at its founding in 1961, and the boards of the Central Association of the Blind, Oneida National Bank (later Norstar Bank), Rome Savings Bank, the Legal Aid Society, the United Way, Rome Industrial Development Corporation, and Oneida County Industrial Development Corporation. He served as president of Junior Achievement in 1964.

Waters was a member of First Presbyterian Church and a Paul Harris Fellow in Rotary Club.

He was a member of the American Newspaper Publishers Association, now known as the Newspaper Association of America, New York Newspaper Publishers Association, and New York State Associated Dailies, serving as president in 1974. He was a member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Society of Professional Journalists.

The family thanks Mark Bostwick and Masonic Care Community.

Funeral services will be private. Relatives and friends may call at Barry Funeral Home, 807 W. Chestnut St., Friday, July 6, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Burial with military honors will be held in Rome Cemetery. 

Please offer online tributes or light a candle at: www.BarryFuneralHome.com.