A gifted lawyer, he helped open schools for deaf children and never stopped learning himself.
George H. Nofer, 94, of Philadelphia, an attorney and advocate for education for the deaf, died Monday, April 19, of natural causes at his son’s Boston-area home.
Mr. Nofer racked up numerous professional and civic achievements over the years, but at the heart of it all was his passion for learning and life, his three children said.
“He was a Renaissance man,” said his daughter Jane Nofer Poskanzer. “He had endless intellectual curiosity. He just loved learning.”
Raised in the Olney section of Philadelphia, the older son of Harry and Marion Nofer, Mr. Nofer became a proud graduate of Central High School, returning to take part in alumni functions throughout his life. His education that followed was world class, but his family said he insisted the best teachers he ever had were at Central.
After high school, he went on to Haverford College. That was interrupted by his service in World War II, during which he was stationed in Germany. Back home, he completed his degree, then graduated from Yale Law School, becoming an attorney like his father.
Mr. Nofer joined the Philadelphia firm of Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis, chairing the firm’s trust and estate department for many years and serving as president of the American College of Estate and Trust Counsel. He retired as a partner in the firm in 1992, but remained in active practice through 2005.
Mr. Nofer found a second career as a co-trustee and executive director of the Oberkotter Foundation, an organization that serves deaf children started by the family of Paul Oberkotter, a UPS executive who was one of Nofer’s clients.
True to his nature, Mr. Nofer learned all he could about his new endeavor, leading the foundation to open new schools for the deaf around the country. He became involved with the Alexander Graham Bell Association and was honored by the creation of the George H. Nofer Scholarship for Law and Public Policy, which supports deaf students who attend law schools or schools of public policy.