In 1945, a young office manager named George McClees joined the H.B. Reese Candy Company, and by the time of his retirement would become the highest-level company executive who was not a member of the family - and would create a legacy of a different sort.
McClees, altruistic and revered by his peers, retired as Vice President and General Manager in 1974. At that time, he was recognized for his many contributions to the company, the community, and to broad associations among confectionery and manufacturing alliances.
With a mindset geared toward benevolence, not unlike another benefactor, Milton S. Hershey, George, in his own way, established a trust that has impacted our community's historical society and now, history center, in ways even he might not have envisioned.
As a result, the McClees' kindness and farsightedness has put the History Center on a secure financial footing, assuring our mission will be carried forward in perpetuity.
Life has many obstacles in its pathway, a rough and windy road which George Duvall McClees has trod and triumphed and accepted its many challenges. Tonight, we, his friends, and coworkers gather together in his honor. Now, as he and his wife, Bertha, start on a new highway of life, may they find only happiness, health, and contentment in their future.
~ Pauline Flowers, at the tribute to George D. McClees, December 19, '74.
George McClees and Bertha (1974)