George P. Timberlake, Episcopal priest, dies at 89

September 14, 2013

The Rev. George P. Timberlake, an Episcopal priest who served as chaplain of the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home in Washington for 19 years, died Aug. 27 at the Wilson Health Care Center of Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg. He was 89.

He had complications from heart and lung ailments, said his son, James Timberlake.

For 60 years, Rev. Timberlake was an Episcopal priest, serving in 10 churches and institutions in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington.

He was chaplain at the Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home from 1983 to 2002. Later, he was an assistant at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church in Washington and interim rector at St. Barnabas’ Episcopal Church in Temple Hills, where he retired in 2010.

George Philip Timberlake was born in Steubenville, Ohio. He served in the Navy during World War II and graduated in 1947 from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. He received a master’s degree in divinity in 1950 from Bexley Hall, a seminary then affiliated with Kenyon.

In 1969, he received a master’s degree in theology from Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Mich. He came to the Washington area in 1973 as associate rector of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Laurel. He later served at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit in Germantown.

While serving as chaplain at the Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home, Rev. Timberlake also was associate rector at St. Paul’s Rock Creek Episcopal Church in the District.

His marriage to Eleanor J. Sullivan ended in divorce.

His second wife, the former Patricia Hallaren Nelson, died in 2011 after 34 years of marriage.

Survivors include three children from his first marriage, Margaret L. Timberlake of Everett, Wash., Sarah W. Timberlake of New York and James H. Timberlake of Philadelphia; two stepchildren, Kristen A. Nelson and Mark E. Nelson, both of Bethesda; two brothers, Richard H. Timberlake II of Bogart, Ga., and Allen Timberlake of Columbia; and five grandchildren.

— Bart Barnes