A Tribute to George D. Sinclair (1925-2005)
by Dwaine Whitley, MAI, ASA
We are saddened about the death of our dearly loved and respected George D. Sinclair, MAI, FASA. Thanks to all who were able to attend the Memorial Service at his church Proclamation Presbyterian Church in Bryn Mawr, Pa. Those who did not attend, I know you would have been there if you could.
As many of you know, I started in the business with George and have been at Keystone Appraisal Company since 1987. George taught me how to appraise the old fashioned way. Take him to the property, get him started, and leave him there. That's the way I learned to appraise and I wouldn't change a thing about it. I learned quickly how to describe the property, get the information we needed and get out of town.
George wore many hats. He was very active in his church and served as an elder there. He was on the board of Westminster Theological Seminary for over 39 years. Much of his appraisal profession work will be addressed later in the article by Bernie Camins. We all know that he was one of the Founding Fathers of the Appraisal Foundation and served on the Appraisal Standards Board.
The thing that struck me most about George was his approachableness and ability to relate to every person, regardless of his or her education, background, or status. He earned numerous plaques, certifications, and awards. Yet none of these went to his head nor did he ever think that he was better than anyone else. George was an extremely intelligent, yet at the same time, a very humble person.
George was also a shrewd business man and he knew his stocks and how to invest. I hope some of that rubbed off on me since I only have $10.00 in the bank. George was also a great family man. He very much loved his wife, children, and grandchildren. At the memorial service his grandchildren expressed their deep love for their grandfather. I think if George had one last word to say to all of us before his departure, it would be, "Keep the Faith, Trust in God, and Love your Family to the max."
by Bernard W. Camins, MAI, SREA, ASA
George wore many hats. He was one of the few real estate appraisers who was also a "full fledged" machinery and equipment appraiser. Many people know George from the real estate valuation side but fewer knew that George had been National President of the American Society of Appraisers and had written on the subject of machinery and equipment valuation. George was able to integrate his knowledge of both disciplines so as to be able to provide his clients with a multi-disciplinary focus. It is an uncommon ability.
George had a great interest in increased professionalism for the Appraisal Institute, the American Society of Appraisers, and the profession in general. As you know, he served as Chair of the Pennsylvania State Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers and was interested in appraisal education.
On a personal note, I have known George since about 1965. Over the years, we would meet to discuss various appraisal issues. From time to time, we were on "opposite sides" on eminent domain matters. Although I may not have always agreed with his conclusion, I knew that he was well documented on his position, was forthright, and was well able to present his position.
Aside from George's professional accomplishments, I believe that George was a unique individual in so many ways. He was able to manage his time so that he could provide professional service, great public service, extensive church service, and family involvment.
George had excellent insight. He was able to make decisions and "stick by them."
Over the years, George's accomplishments did not go to his head. He saw the world for what it was, and saw his place in it. His religious beliefs were always integral to his being. Learning of his accidental death and attending the memorial service, I could not help thinking that here is a person who has done so much and has led a full life shortened by a tragic accident. He will be deeply missed.