Obituary: George H. Best Feb. 9, 2022

After 101 years on this earth, George H. Best passed away on February 9, 2022. He leaves behind a world, and certainly a community, that is a better place because of his presence, efforts and achievements.

Honored as a Living Treasure by Los Alamos in 2018, George was celebrated for his volunteer work during the 70 years he and his life partner, Elizabeth Best, lived there. He helped establish the Pajarito Ski area, the East Park swimming pool, the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos, the Los Alamos Credit Union (now Del Norte Credit Union), and the computer user group of the California Retired Public Employees Association. He took quiet pride in doing all of these jobs well.

George had a native intelligence and curiosity that steered him to many interests: history (docent work at Bandelier National Monument and Ghost Ranch), politics (Common Cause), and all the sciences. An Eagle Scout and subsequent Boy Scout volunteer, George led his cub pack in planting seedlings near S-Site after a fire there in the 1950s. A natural leader who took pleasure in sharing his knowledge, George derived joy from learning, and passed that along to his children and grandchildren, who shared his keenness for travel, gardening, skiing, fishing, and the great outdoors. These same family members inherited his delightfully droll sense of humor and, for better or worse, his love of puns. An unfailingly polite, pragmatic and fair gentleman – who loved his family above all else – George can best be described in one word: amazing.

With degrees in physics from Purdue and a doctorate from Northwestern University, George was recruited to come to the Los Alamos Lab in 1949 after serving as a commissioned naval officer in World War II. He retired from the Lab in 1983.

George was predeceased by his wife, Elizabeth Best, grandson Guy Huon Henderson, parents Gordon and Marian Best, brothers Stanley, William, and Howard. He is survived by his brother, Richard Best; children Martha Henderson (Tony), Guy Best (Jan), and Sarah Roybal (Larry);
grandchildren Leah Romero (Frank), Marcos Roybal (Carrie), Carla Roybal; great grandchildren Jackson and Charlie Romero, and Penelope Roybal. His indelible influence can be seen on each family member – perhaps the legacy of which he would be most proud.

A memorial service will be held at a future date.