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George Churchman

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George F. Churchman, born October 2nd, 1923 in Arkansas, was a minor league baseball executive in 1950.

Biography

Churchman grew up in Hope, AR and attended high school there. Afterward, he joined the Air Force and served in the Korean war.

Churchman became a sports writer and worked for various newspapers in the south, including the Arkansas Gazette. In 1950, he became the business manager of the Burlington Bees of the Carolina League.

From 1969-1984, Churchman worked as a sports editor for Camarillo Daily News in Camarillo, CA. He later moved to Mabelvale, AR and died there on February 23rd, 1998. He was buried in Forest Hills Cemetery near Alexander, AR.

Excerpts

"Employment of a business manager who has been especially trained in baseball business and promotion was announced today by the Burlington Bees. The new executive if George Churchman, a native of Little Rock, Ark. President L.C. "Red" Fowler said Churchman is being added to the personnel to relieve Secretary Baxter Ridenhour of detail work in the business office. Ridenhour, a part owner of the club, will continue to serve as secretary-treasurer, but will not be required to devote as much time in the ball club. Churchman has recently completed a course in baseball business at Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Fla. He also attended Louisiana State University, and spent two years with the Air Force during the war. He is 26 years old. A former sports writer for several papers in the Southwest, Churchman will direct promotional activities of the Bees and will have a charge of publicity. His work with newspapers is expected to help keep baseball fans informed of developments affecting Bees players."1

"George F. Churchman, Burlington (Carolina) business manager, and Miss Martha Hollaway of North Little Rock, Ark., were married recently. Churchman was a sports writer for the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock before entering the administrative end of the game."2

"George Churchman longtime sports editor of the former Camarillo Daily News died Monday[2/23/1998]. He was 74. Churchman served as the sports editor from 1969 until 1984 when he retired and moved to Mabelvale Ark. just outside of Little Rock. Friends said Churchman died after a lengthy illness. Churchman helped establish the Ventura County East-West High School All-Star football game in 1974. The game which features the county's top seniors is played every June. Former co-workers said Churchman loved covering local high school sports and wasn't afraid to share his opinion. "He took pride in what he was doing" said Harold Kinsch former editor of the Camarillo Daily News. "He had no interest in moving up to a larger paper. He was content at what we were doing." Churchman retired from the Air Force in 1968 and took the job in 1969 as sports editor. It was one of the first sports editor positions at the daily newspaper Kinsch said. Kinsch said Churchman thrived on covering community sports trying to give equal coverage to Camarillo and Rio Mesa High Schools. Gerry Olsen a longtime Camarillo resident and former editor of the newspaper remembers Churchman as a solid newspaper man. "He was a good sports editor" Olsen said. "He was very independent and had his own ideas. He also knew his stuff." Churchman essentially put out the sports pages on his own until the newspaper hired a second full-time writer in the late 1970s. Lee Kester of Camarillo a family friend said that Churchman was active in the community. He worked with other sports writers and coaches in the county to create the county's All-Star football game. "He loved what he was doing and the teams he was covering" Kester said. After retiring in 1984 Churchman moved back to Arkansas where he had grown up. A graveside service will be held Thursday in Mabelvale. Churchman is survived by his wife Martha three daughters and four grandchildren."3

"GEORGE F. CHURCHMAN , 74, of Mabelvale, died Monday [2/23/1998]. A member of Mabelvale Church of Christ, he was a retired Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force, where he served during WWII, Korean Conflict and Vietnam. He later worked as Sports Editor for the Camarillo (California) Daily News, retiring in 1984. He was a member of the Civil War Roundtable of Little Rock. Survivors are his wife, Martha Churchman; three daughters, Barbara Churchman, Carolyn Cobb and Darlene Bader; and four granddaughters. Graveside services will be 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, 1998 at Forest Hills Cemetery with Dennis Gulledge officiating."4

"George F. Churchman started out riding the rails, then spent 20 years working in and on planes for the Air Force. He also managed to build a career in newspapers. Growing up in Hope, he had "ridden all over the country on the railroad" before he was 10, his wife of 48 years, Martha Churchman of Mabelvale, said Tuesday. Churchman 's father, John, worked on a local freight train and received free passes for passenger trains around the nation. "They'd get on a passenger train and go," Martha Churchman said. Churchman served 20 years in the Army Air Corps and the Air Force during and after World War II, achieving the rank of master sergeant. He also worked as an Arkansas Gazette sportswriter during the late 1940s and later became sports editor of the Camarillo Daily News in California, retiring in 1984. Churchman died Monday after suffering a stroke last week. He was 74. He had been in failing health after a heart attack in 1988. Born Oct. 2, 1923, Churchman attended Hope High School but joined the Army Air Corps in the early 1940s before graduating. He got his General Educational Development diploma later while in the Air Force, his wife said. Churchman flew 55 missions during World War II and was back in the United States before he was 21, his wife said. He was a tail-gunner during the war on missions over Germany out of North Africa. During one mission his bomber, the Bodacious Critter, crashed in the Mediterranean, though the crew survived, his wife said. He also served during the Korean and Vietnam wars but was in maintenance control, seeing no combat duty. Churchman was still in the Air Force when he worked as part-time sports editor at the Camarillo Daily News from 1966 to 1969. He went to work at 5 a.m. at the Air Force Base, put in his eight hours, then worked another six or seven hours at the newspaper, his wife said. He had written sports for his high school newspaper and worked at newspapers at Joplin, Mo., and Marshall, Texas, between hitches in the military, she said. Upon retiring from the Air Force, he went to work full-time as the sports editor at Camarillo. He retired from that job in 1984. "He had a good time," she said. "He covered the Rose Bowl for 13 years.""4


1. Burlington Daily Times News, 3/16/1950
2. The Sporting News, 5/10/1950
3. Ventura County Star, 2/15/1998
4. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 2/25/1998