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August 28, 2014

Obituary: George Plutchock

George Plutchok, professor emeritus of social work, died July 21, 2014, in Atlanta, Georgia. He was 93.

He joined the University in the early 1970s and rose to become associate dean of the School of Social Work.

“George Plutchok was truly a man for all seasons,” said former colleague Edward W. Sites, also a professor emeritus in the school.

“His academic, spiritual, professional and personal lives were a seamless whole. He was well known for his graciousness, selflessness, social activism, fierce loyalty, humor and kindness. A musician, theologian, award-winning social worker and public citizen, he was a colleague extraordinaire.”

Born in New York City on Oct. 30, 1920, Plutchok earned his BA from New York University in 1942 and his master’s and doctorate of social work from the University of Pennsylvania in 1949 and 1963, respectively.

His early work included serving as a group counselor for the U.S. Committee for the Care of Refugees in 1947. Prior to joining academia, he worked for 15 years as a leader in the Jewish Community Center in Newark, New Jersey, and the YMHA & YWHA of Philadelphia.

He came to Pitt after teaching at Atlanta University and the University of Kentucky.

Plutchok was a charter member of the National Association of Social Workers and aided many Jewish organizations and causes.

He is survived by four children and their spouses, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Contributions may be sent to The George Plutchok Student Resource Endowment Fund at the School of Social Work, 2117 Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh 15260.

—Marty Levine

Filed under: Feature,Volume 47 Issue 1