“The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service, the fruit of service is peace.” - Mother Teresa
George David Probst, Sr. passed away on Thursday, January 2, 2014 in Covington, LA. Having grown up in hard times, surrounded by a loving family and instilled with an unshakable faith, George Probst was a man who chose to live a selfless life of service to others. He was known to all in his life’s path as a devoted husband and father, a veteran, community leader and a tireless volunteer. George David Probst was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, the son of German/Austrian immigrants Franz Josef Probst and Emilia Wolf Probst. His parents had sailed to North America on a honeymoon trip in 1904, settled in Winnipeg for several years and ultimately became proud, naturalized U.S. citizens. They moved to Lake Providence, Louisiana in the late 1920’s where Franz worked on a sharecropper’s farm. On the advice of an African-American railway porter, the elder Probst, who had become disturbed by the treatment of farm workers, moved his large family in a Model A Ford from North Louisiana to Missouri in 1927. They traveled a circuitous route upriver, around the floods from the deluge of ’27. The porter friend provided them the names of churches along the way that would give the family shelter en route to a life of farming in the heartland. George was the 11th born of 14 children. He enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II and served his nation protecting American shores. He was eventually posted in New Orleans, where as a Boatswains Mate First Class he was part of a sub-chasing crew pursuing enemy craft in the Gulf of Mexico in protection of U.S. cargo vessels. George married Mary Virginia Barbara of Metairie on June 4, 1945, a girl he met at a USO dance, and they settled in New Orleans. George was a founding trustee of St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church and was instrumental in the construction of the new parish church and school, and in the founding of the Gentilly/Lakefront neighborhood that was at the time called Legion Oaks. George Probst was the first commander of American Legion Post 333, which was comprised mostly of the WWII veterans who settled in Legion Oaks. He was a Maintenance Supervisor for Kaiser Aluminum at the Chalmette refinery during the 1950’s and at Kaiser’s Gramercy operations from 1959 through his retirement in 1980. Mr. Probst served as an elected member of the St. James Parish School Board from 1968 through 1974, where his leadership helped to implement the desegregation of the school system. He was honored for 50 years of leadership service with the Boy Scouts of America, and for more than 50 years of service to the poor and needy as a leader with the St. Vincent DePaul Society. He was also honored with the Order of St. Louis Award by the New Orleans Archdiocese for many years of service to his parish church, Our Lady of the Lake in Mandeville. Mr. Probst was a Fourth Degree Knight with Our Lady of the Lake Council 9240 of the Knights of Columbus. He is survived by his brother Frank Probst of Kansas City, MO; Mary Virginia Barbara Probst, his loving wife of 68 years; and four children: George D. Probst Jr. (67) of Donaldsonville, LA; Nancy St. Pierre (65) and husband Wayne of Lafayette; Lisa Botzong (58) and husband Bill of Cumming, GA; and Greg Probst (53) and wife Jana of Covington, LA. He is survived by nine grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Family members, friends and all who knew George Probst professionally and in service knew him as a man who exuded a spirit of peace, contentment and faith. He often prayed the rosary and offered many moments of the day in silent devotion. Mother Teresa’s words seem to explain the fruit of that devotion, which has served so many in the path of George David Probst Sr.
Funeral services will take place on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, 312 Lafitte St. Mandeville, LA 70448. Visiting hours will begin at 10:00 AM with the mass at 11:30 AM. Prior to services at the cemetery, The Knights of Columbus will provide refreshments for all those in attendance at the KC Hall across from the church.
Graveside services are scheduled for 2:30 PM at Lakelawn-Metairie Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Vincent de Paul Society of Our Lady of the Lake at the address above.