In Memoriam: George W. Flach

The staff of Electrical contractor magazine sorrowfully notes the passing of George Wilbur Flach, on Aug. 2, 2009, after a battle with leukemia. He was 88. George was the magazine’s longtime contributing editor of the Code Q&A column.

George served as a bomber pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II; he retired as a lieutenant colonel. He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Tulane University in 1949.

His presence in the electrical industry covered more than half a century. George served as the chief electrical inspector for the city of New Orleans and was secretary to the board of electrical examiners from 1953 to 1985. He was a member of the board of directors for the International Association of Electrical Inspectors and a member of the Southern Section of IAEI’s executive committee, where he often served as moderator during the National Electrical Code (NEC) discussions. In 1978, George served as general chairman for IAEI’s 50th anniversary meeting held in New Orleans. He also attended the IAEI silver, gold and diamond jubilee meetings. In 1982, George was elected as IAEI’s international president. In 2006, the Southern Section presented him with the inaugural plaque for an award that now bears his name, the George Flach Lifetime Service Award.

He held many positions and titles for organizations throughout the electrical industry. For instance, George was past chairman of the George Welman Chapter of IAEI, past president of the Southern Section IAEI, and member of the electrical section and past president of the chief electrical inspector section of the National Fire Protection Association.

Some of his most-known-for and important work related to the development of the NEC. George served as a member of Code-Making Panels (CMPs) 10, 13, 15 and 22 of the National Electrical Code Committee and chaired CMPs 15 and 22. In March 2009, he received a Certificate of Appointment as a Member Emeritus National Electrical Code to serve on CMP 13. He also held other positions relating to the National Fire Protection Association, including member of the Correlating Committee on Building Construction, member of the Legally Required Emergency and Standby Power Supplies Committee, and member of the Chapter 7 Subcommittee of NFPA 20-Centrifugal Fire Pumps.

George served as an expert witness on matters dealing with the NEC and National Electrical Safety Code and often appeared in court on cases dealing with fires of suspected electrical origin.

He has authored countless articles for electrical industry publications and wrote a book, “Changes in the 1981 National Electrical Code,” published by Prentice-Hall in 1981.

His relationship with ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR extends back more than 40 years. His column, previously called “Queries About the Code” was later changed to “Code Q&A.” This column has been one of the most-widely read in the magazine’s history, and George’s NEC expertise was a big part of that popularity. Faithful readers will be blessed by several more months of his writing; his final submission will appear in November 2009.

George Flach’s mentorship, expertise and personality will be greatly missed by all of us at the magazine, by the fans of his writing and by the Code-making community as a whole.

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