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October 2, 2013
By John Trent
Georgianna "George" Trexler, who for 42 years served as one of the University of Nevada, Reno's most respected administrative assistants, passed away on Friday.
She was 67.
Trexler was the assistant to Vice President for Administration and Finance Ron Zurek, who said Trexler's passing was a "crushing" blow for his office and for the University. Trexler had been at home recuperating from shoulder surgery on Thursday.
"In many ways, George was the Grande Dame of the University," Zurek said. "She was one of the longest-serving members of our University family and her experience, professionalism, and expertise were invaluable.
"She is truly irreplaceable."
Trexler's funeral will be held Friday from 10-11:15 a.m. at Mountain View Funeral Home in Reno. An on-campus reception will be held immediately following, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, Center for Molecular Medicine atrium.
Trexler was known throughout the campus for her calm and friendly manner, and her ability to mentor other, less experienced colleagues. Zurek described her as a "problem-solver and a friend."
"She was an integral part of the smooth operation of our campus over many, many years," Zurek said.
Trexler's brother, Dennis Malchow, said he had simply lost count of the number of stories he had heard from Trexler's co-workers and campus friends, all of which centered on how Trexler had reached out and helped them - often without any prodding or prompting - during difficult moments.
"I've heard from so many people at the University how George was their hero or their idol," said Malchow, who traveled to Reno this week from his home in Naperville, Ill., to handle Trexler's funeral arrangements. "I've heard so many times how they looked up to her as a mentor. It's been countless - it's almost overwhelming the number of people Georgianna touched while she was at the University."
Trexler was born in Los Angeles on Oct. 18, 1945 to parents Wilbert and Arliss Malchow. Her survivors include her brother, as well as sisters Arlene Hobart, of Charlotte, N.C., and Debbie Yount, of Yermo, Calif., as well as what Dennis Malchow termed "a multiple group of nieces and nephews."
"George loved all her nieces and nephews," Dennis Malchow said. "She truly did love all of them."
Trexler's husband, Dennis Trexler, passed away in 2008. Dennis Trexler was a longtime geologist at the University in the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology. The couple moved to Reno in 1971 from southern California when Dennis Trexler was first hired by the University.
Georgianna and Dennis Trexler had grown up only five houses apart in the Los Angeles bedroom community of Lynwood. They were both graduates of Lynwood High School. They met at the local Frosty Freeze in 1963, and were later married for 42 years until Dennis' death.
Dennis Malchow said the University was like "a second family" to Trexler.
"She loved it there," he said. "She loved it so much, I think it would've been very hard for her to ever retire. She loved seeing the students every day, and she loved the way the University had grown over the years.
"If she didn't love what she did, she wouldn't have been at the University for more than 40 years."
One of the most distinctive things about Trexler - who was a distinctively unique person in everything she did, from her impeccable, bright clothing to her precise voice and her ability to efficiently and calmly navigate a day's relentless set of meetings with poise and good humor - was her first name.
The name Georgianna, her brother explained, was a combination of her parents not wanting their daughter to have a middle name as well as the creative melding of a grandmother's first name of Anna and another relative's first name, which was George.
"Her first name really is one of a kind like the lady herself," Malchow said. "She will be missed by all who knew her and the countless people she touched."