George Bartlett, President 1996-97, RC Sebago Lake-Windham
3-20-1939 to 7-21-2023
It is with great sadness that we share that our good friend, local businessman and fellow Rotarian, George Bartlett, passed away on Friday, July 21, 2023.
George was the owner of the Busy Bee Laundry in Windham and supported many local charities. He was always willing to share his business knowledge and experiences with new businesses through his involvement in the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce and Sebago Lake Rotary Club.
George had been a member of the Sebago Lake-Windham Rotary Club for over 38 years serving as President in the 1996-97 Rotary year. He was passionate about Rotary and what it stands for. He was instrumental in the implementation of our local youth Interact club helping to promote community service in our local high school. He also worked with college students at St. Joe’s College in structuring their Rotaract Club, the service group for young adults.
George had a long history with local projects in the Sebago Lake Region, but he was very proud of his connection to the Rotary Clubs in Romania. In 1998 as part of a Rotary International project to meet medical needs for Romanian hospitals, the Sebago Lake-Windham Rotary collaborated with six other Rotary Clubs and began gathering medical equipment, collecting over $750,000 worth of equipment that included 12 refurbished dialysis machines from the Maine Dialysis Center. He traveled back to Romania to coordinate the distribution of the equipment. Over the past 20 years Bartlett returned 16 times, working with the schools bringing books and supplies collected by Rotary clubs in Southern Maine including his local club and helping schools establish Interact Clubs (a high school version of the Rotary Club). While there, he stays with his adopted Rotary family, making long-distance, long-term friendships.
He just recently returned to Romania to connect with 40 families from the Ukraine that had been displaced by the war there and currently living with Romanian families. The Sebago Lake-Windham Club had been supporting the families via the Rotary Club there and George went to put a personal touch to the project.
George was also very involved in the club’s signature ice fishing derby, coordinating the Polar Dip in the early days supporting the Maine Children’s Cancer Program which raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the organization. Most recently the Polar Dip has benefited the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber Charitable Trust or the Feed The Need campaign. The Polar Dip has raised over $22,000 in the last three years for local food pantries in the Sebago Lakes Region.
He will be greatly missed, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.