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October 26, 2000

OBITUARY: George W. O'Bannon

George W. O'Bannon, director of Pitt's Office of International Student Services from 1968 to 1975, died of lymphoma Oct. 2, 2000, in Tucson, Ariz. He was 64.

In 1971, O'Bannon organized an exchange program between Pitt and Afghanistan's University of Kabul, with funding from the U.S. State Department.

An authority on oriental rugs, particularly those of Central Asian nomadic tribes, O'Bannon left the University to open O'Bannon Oriental Carpets in Pittsburgh. At about that same time, he published the first of several books he wrote or edited, "The Turkoman Carpet," a seminal work in its field.

O'Bannon and his family relocated to Harrisburg in 1979 and to Philadelphia in 1983. After the death of his wife, Helen, in 1988, O'Bannon concentrated on his career as a writer, guest curator and speaker on oriental rugs. He retired to Arizona in 1993.

He is survived by four sons and three daughters-in-law: Patrick and Pia Deinhardt of Philadelphia; Colin of Columbus, Ohio; Sean and Nancy of Boca Raton, Fla., and Casey and Susan of Philadelphia; two grandchildren; and his longtime companion, Arlene Cooper of New York City.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the George W. O'Bannon Memorial Fund, c/o Niloo Paydar, Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1200 W. 38th St., Indianapolis, Ind. 45208-4196.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 33 Issue 5

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