Georg Karl Godfrid Nadorff,devoted husband, father, and grandfather, age 93, of Dortmund, Germany, Kent, Ohio, Fairfield, Ohio, and Sarasota, Florida, passed away peacefully on March 12, 2022, in his home in Sarasota, Florida, in the company of his wife, Elsbeth, after 62 years of marriage. He is predeceased by his parents Godfrid Nadorff and Beata Remy, and his siblings Karl-Heinz and Beatrix.
Georg was born in Rheine, Germany, on Oct 12, 1928. Growing up amidst the oppression and subsequent horrors of Nazi Germany, he became a lifelong pacifist. His parents had relocated to eastern Germany, leaving him to be raised by his grandparents so he could finish high school with his friends. Upon the advice of his sympathetic family doctor, he managed to evade being drafted into the German army at age 17, by staying just under the minimum body weight limit, which was not too difficult to achieve at the time. In the final months of World War II, many healthy men and boys outside the normal military duty age range were pressed into service in a desperate attempt by Germany to defend against the advancing Allied forces. He thereby was spared a possible untimely death, unlike many of his closest friends. After the war and reconstruction, he went on to study mechanical engineering in Aachen and Stuttgart, and enjoyed exploring many neighboring western European countries on his trusted 1950 vintage Lambretta scooter
In 1957 he met the love of his life, Elsbeth Freitag, and they were married in 1960. Sharing his desire for exploration, the couple traveled together extensively, and in 1970 emigrated to Kent, Ohio, along with their two young children, on a “three-year assignment” from Georg’s employer. Georg was to head a German joint venture steel components manufacturing company, Rotek, in Ravenna, Ohio. This intended temporary stay in the US became permanent, although Georg never stopped traveling the world to visit with customers, while also investing energy into preserving the close connections with friends and family back in the Homeland.
In 1982, Georg advanced professionally within the German parent Krupp-Hoesch conglomerate to a division producing automotive suspension components. He was the driving force in growing nonexistent US sales to a multimillion-dollar annual volume. This success culminated in the founding of a state-of-the-art coil-spring manufacturing plant in Hamilton, Ohio in 1989 by the Hoesch Hohenlimbug AG company, where he served as President until his retirement in 1994. As a result, Georg and Elsbeth left their beloved Kent to establish a new home in Fairfield, Ohio, and began another chapter of their life together for the ensuing twenty-two years.
In 2003, both Georg and Elsbeth adopted the US citizenship in Cincinnati, Ohio, ultimately committing to the notion that they had at last become true “Americans.” The couple had enjoyed spending winters with their daughter’s family in Sarasota, Florida, and in 2012 they relocated to Sarasota permanently for the final chapter of their life together.
Ever a kind and gentle soul, Georg’s pleasant disposition made him immediately likeable by all who had contact with him. He would confidently introduce himself as “I am Georg Nadorff, of [Kent, Ohio] [Fairfield, Ohio] [Sarasota, Florida].” He had a knack for obtaining the facts about a person within the first few minutes of meeting them regarding the precise spelling of names, dates, origins, and geography. As a result, he was a walking encyclopedia—a veritable fountain of knowledge—on the hundreds of global relationships he maintained throughout his life.
Georg is survived by his wife Elsbeth, his daughter Kathrin with spouse Wayne Harris and their two children Alexandra and Wayne Jr., and his son Georg Jr. with spouse Ann Betz and their child Elanor. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Georg’s memory to Rotary International