George Thomas (GT) Apfel has been a pillar and personality at ReUse Action since arriving back in Buffalo in 2015 after decades of work in Las Vegas in Radio and TV. I still remember the voice mail he first left on my phone during Buffalo ReUse days, when he called inquiring about a job posting. “Michael Gainer, George Apfel here, looking to get back to Buffalo, a long time dream of mine.”
Well, he did come back and for several years has been a vibrant, joyful spirit who crafted and shaped the Guild and ReUse Action store at 980 Northampton Street. His ability to figure out the inner workings of a century old building and his brilliant sense of humor, kindness, and loyalty combined to convey a confidence that there was almost nothing George could not do.
I struggle to characterize the role he played in our lives, because he was so much more than an employee and co-worker, he was a mentor, master technician, historian, preservationist, teacher, author, humorist, and friend and a core member of the ReUse Action family.
A few weeks back, George’s health stumbled, he was hospitalized in Rochester briefly, and only just recently returned to Buffalo.
Unfortunately, his condition deteriorated, and he was unable to return to the George we all know, a being and energy overflowing with exuberance and vitality.
Today, we honor and celebrate his life and everything he contributed to our efforts here in Buffalo to promote ReUse and Recycling, to support community regeneration and preservation, and to improve the world merely by the positivity and love that you share each day!
George Thomas Apfel, you will be cherished and missed.