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A Wetzel and Son Obituary for:
George W. Lapham
April 10, 1930 - February 7, 2021


Public Events and Locations

Visitation - Thursday, February 11, 2021, 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM at Wetzel and Son, Willow Grove

Contacts

Funeral Home - Wetzel and Son Funeral Home - 501 Easton Road, Willow Grove, PA 19090 - 215-659-0911 - Map
Clergy - Eddington Presbyterian Church - 3650 Bristol Pike, Bensalem, PA 19020 - 215-639-5347 - Map
Family Florist - Floribunda Florist - 83 South Hamilton Street, Doylestown, PA 18901 - 215-230-8410 - Map
Donation - Ann’s Choice Benevolent Care Fund - Benevolent Fund - 20000 Ann’s Choice Way, Warminster, PA 18974 - 215-443-3999 - Map
Donation - Neshaminy Warwick Presbyterian Church - 1401 Meetinghouse Road, Warminster, PA 18974 - 215-343-6060 - Map

George W. Lapham passed away on February 7, 2021. He was 90 years old. George was born on April 10, 1930 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He and his fraternal twin brother, Richard, were born to George D. Lapham Jr, opera singer, voice teacher, and choir director of the First United Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, and Florence Lapham (nee Keppler), a homemaker. George was the beloved husband of Doris Lapham (nee Cardwell) who passed in 2014. He is the cherished “Dad” of Sharon Lapham Mowen and devoted “Grandad” to Abby and Claire Mowen.

Born and raised in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia, George graduated from Central High School in 1949. George served with his brother in the Navy Reserves out of the Willow Grove Naval Air Station during the Korean War. In 1949, George joined Philadelphia National Bank (PNB), starting out in the mailroom, and worked his way up to ultimately become an Executive Vice President at the Center City headquarters. He was a 1957 graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, receiving his degree at night while he worked at PNB. He was a member of the Wharton School’s Sigma Kappa Phi Honorary Fraternity and University of Pennsylvania Banking Club. George also was a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University, as well as a member of the American Institute of Banking. George was in commercial lending at PNB throughout his career, a job that he thoroughly enjoyed. He handled major commercial loans, eventually heading the Real Estate, Equipment, and Construction Industries Division of the Commercial Banking Group as a senior vice president at age 44 in 1974. Over the years, George served as an instrumental loan officer in helping major companies get their starts including Comcast (working directly with Ralph Roberts), The Korman Corporation, and Subaru, to name a few. Prior to being transferred to PNB’s Metropolitan Division in 1964 and moving to the iconic Philadelphia National Bank building in Center City, George managed the PNB Hatboro branch office from 1961 to 1964 (getting promoted to Asst. VP in 1962). He always remembered his time at PNB’s Hatboro office as some of his favorite years– he loved heading up a community bank and interacting with local businesses seeking loans.

After PNB became CoreStates in the 1980s, George moved on to hold executive positions at the National Bank of Boyertown (during which the East Central Group of Robert Morris Associates/National Association of Bank Loan Officers elected George as a 1985-86 director) and at Mid-Atlantic Bank. Just prior to his retirement, George shifted gears to get his stockbroking certificate and to become an investments advisor at Wheat First Butcher Singer of Doylestown, a natural fit for him as he always had a penchant for the stock market. But George’s heart always was and forever would be with his beloved PNB, where he spent close to 40 years of his career, taking first the Hatboro and then Warminster train from Bucks County down to the city each day in his suit and Homburg hat, and entertaining clients at his favorite, iconic Vesper Club.

In 1954, a friend set George up on a blind date with Doris Cardwell. The two fell in love and were married June 25, 1955 at Grace Episcopal Church in Mount Airy, Philadelphia. George and Doris began their life together at a small house on Belair Road in Warminster, where they lived for the first 13 years of marriage with their beloved dog Tuffy. In 1963, their daughter Sharon was born. In 1968, the family moved to a larger home in a beautiful new development, Gravel Hill Farms, in Southampton. It is here that George and Doris made many wonderful lifelong friends, and they remained in their much-loved Mill Creek Rd home for almost 40 years, building a foundation of cherished family memories. Over the years, George and Doris hosted many family reunions, backyard barbeques, New Year’s Eve parties, birthday parties, Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners. Some of their favorite things to do were season tickets to the Philadelphia Orchestra with their dear friends Julie and George Ellis, as well as New Year’s Eve parties with a large group of friends at Our Lady of Good Counsel church. Both George and Doris were very active in their own church, Good Shepherd Lutheran, where George took on many financially-focused volunteer activities and, when the church underwent renovations, the couple felt privileged and proud to be able to donate the new altar. George inherited a beautiful tenor voice from his father and spent many years singing in the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church choir and in the choir of their later church, Neshaminy Warwick Presbyterian, where George performed a solo in The Seven Last Words of Christ performance in 1999.

In 1978, George and Doris made their dream come true by buying a cottage in the Gardens section of Ocean City, NJ. It is here, at “Wee Three Cottage” on E. Inlet Rd., four generations of family and friends enjoyed cherished summers for 30 years. George and Doris especially loved spending time with their granddaughters “down the shore,” taking the girls to the beach and to the boardwalk to go on “the rides.” They loved attending the Ocean City Tabernacle, spending time at house parties and dances at the Ocean City Yacht Club with their circle of friends, and dining at their favorite restaurants: the Tuckahoe Inn and Mildred’s. George had a small fishing boat that he loved taking family and friends out on to fish or for tours of the bay.

George was an avid music lover, introducing both his daughter and granddaughters to classical music, opera, and of course Frank Sinatra and Glenn Miller! He instilled a lifelong love of music in his daughter Sharon, who went on to play the piano and violin. George also loved gardening and potted plants – he was a natural green thumb because he was so nurturing and patient with plants, and everyone would bring him their struggling plants to bring back to health. He and Doris both loved to dance and were quite good at the Jitterbug, which he also taught to his daughter, and they enjoyed dancing together at many a wedding (including Sharon’s own) over the years.

George and Doris moved to a beautiful 2-bedroom condo in Ann’s Choice in May 2006, after selling their beloved Mill Creek and Ocean City homes. After losing Doris to Alzheimer’s Disease in 2014, George moved to Ann’s Choice Rose Garden in 2015, which was initially Assisted Living and then Memory Care, after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. George resided in the same room until his passing, and was one of the oldest and longstanding residents in the unit. He was known among the staff for being stubborn and fiercely independent to the end, but also with a heart of gold and dry sense of humor. He loved to reminisce about his beloved days in banking and the good times in Ocean City, or to tell anyone within ear shot of how proud he was of his granddaughters and daughter. The staff at Memory Care enjoyed George’s singing, and in the last 2 years he became very close with another resident, Helene, with whom he had a very endearing autumn relationship. The two kept each other going through all of the difficult times during the COVID-19 pandemic, when neither were able to see family and friends in person. They always could be seen holding hands in the TV room, and it never failed to bring a smile to the staff and visitors in Memory Care.

Dad quietly passed away surrounded by his daughter, granddaughters, brother, and Ann’s Choice and hospice friends and caregivers. It was truly a blessing that he was able to die peacefully and comfortably in his own room and bed during these unprecedented times.

George was a cherished son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and a good friend to many. His integrity, faith, charity, commitment to family, and strong example of hard work and diligence touched lives and inspired all those around him. He made us better people for knowing and loving him, and he will be very missed.

Relatives and friends who are comfortable in public groups and able to attend were invited to his visitation on Thursday, February 11, 2021 from 11:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. at Wetzel and Son Funeral Home, 501 Easton Road, Willow Grove, PA 19090. Services and interment were private due to Covid-19 limitations.

Religious services were conducted by Reverend George T, Brecht III from Eddington Presbyterian Church, 3650 Bristol Pike, Bensalem, PA 19020.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to Ann’s Choice Benevolent Care Fund - Benevolent Fund, 20000 Ann’s Choice Way, Warminster, PA 18974 or Neshaminy Warwick Presbyterian Church, 1401 Meetinghouse Road, Warminster, PA 18974.

Family flowers arranged by Floribunda Florist 215-230-8410.

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