LUDGATE, D. George P.
So long “Big Guy”. On Tuesday, July 21, 2015 you left the way you lived, with a sense of elan and a “quip on your lip”.
George P. Ludgate was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1927 of Canadian parents. He was educated at Regiopolis College in Kingston, Ont., at Lorne Greene’s Academy of Radio Arts in Toronto; at Bowling Green State University in Ohio (BA and MA), and at Madison University in Mississippi (Ph.D).
Dr. “G” had a remarkable and interesting career in broadcasting and education. His broadcasting career started in 1949. He was best known as the voice of Knob Hill Farms, Canada’s largest retail grocery chain until its closure in 2000. The firm was owned by the late Steve Stavro, who also controlled Maple Leaf Gardens after Harold Ballard’s death, and was responsible for the construction of what is now the Air Canada Centre and home of the NHL Leafs and NBA Raptors. Besides Toronto and Sarnia, Ont., Ludgate also worked in New York and Detroit.
While in Canada, Ludgate broadcast professional football, Sarnia Imperials/Golden Bears, and during his years at Bowling Green voiced BGSU Falcon football on an Ohio network.
His career in education started in 1968 as an Assistant Professor of Communications at Oakland Community College, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. While in New York during the early 1970s, he taught at Long Island University, Hunter College and Mercy College.
Upon his return to Canada in 1979, he was a general sales manager of a metro Toronto radio station as well as co-founder of Rowley/Pearce Associates (RPA), an advertising/promotion and marketing firm partnering with the late John ‘Jack’ Hodson. This firm pioneered radio coverage of motor sports from Mosport Park, Ont., as well as Shannonville Motor Speedway at Belleville, Ont. and Cayuga Raceway outside of Hamilton/Burlington. Ken Swirsky of Sarnia was the online producer of the events.
Ludgate remained in Toronto until 1988 when he returned to Sarnia.
He academic pursuits were rekindled when he accepted a position in 2000 as an adjunct faculty member at Baker College in Port Huron, Mich., where he was an instructor in the General Education and Business Departments. He co-authored a presentation to the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, granting Baker College permission as a private institution to offer college courses and degrees in Sarnia.
After the death of his wife, the former Janet Lindsey, in December 2004, Ludgate moved to Los Angeles in 2006. He remained associated with Baker College as an online instructor in the Business Department.
While in Los Angeles he, along with his son, became lifetime board members of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. He was instrumental in the preparation of the Los Angeles chapter’s media materials.
Missing Sarnia more than enjoying the Hollywood lifestyle, he returned to Sarnia in 2010. He continued online teaching up until his death.
He had suffered a broken hip on April 15, 2015 and was admitted to Bluewater Health in Sarnia where he had hip surgery and a pacemaker implanted. After three months of difficult therapy, he passed peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday morning, July 21, 2015.
George Ludgate is survived by his son, D.G. Spencer Ludgate, who resides in Los Angeles, California, and his many close friends.
A memorial service is being planned. No date has been announced.
For more information about this obituary visit http://www.djrobb.on.ca.