Cyrus Michael York died on March 7th at the age of 83. He was born in Greensboro, NC on February 12, 1932, the only child of Ruby Michael and O. Ralph York. He is survived by his wife Marguerite Blanton, of 59 years, and son M. Jonathan and wife Carolyn, son Peter R. and wife Pam, grandchildren Kelly McIver, Michael Jonathan, Katherine Marguerite, Peter Alston, Alexander Neil and Andrew Blanton York. He yearned for the “wonderful six” to have joyful and meaningful lives.
His formative years were in Kernersville, North Carolina. He was a work-study student at Davidson College, a campus he dearly cherished. There he received the coveted Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award which “recognizes individuals whose nobility of character and service to others sets them apart as examples to all.” After military service, he earned a doctorate in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at the University of Maryland.
In 1962, Dr. York joined the small faculty in Psychology at the Georgia Institute of Technology, as the first graduate professor. When he retired after thirty-five years, he received the first student initiated scholarship fund in his name. Community service was a mainstay in his life.
In addition to being President of the Georgia Psychological Association, he was a Rotarian and served on the boards of several organizations: the Atlanta Jaycees, YoungLife, Georgia Association for Retarded Citizens, Hillside, and Genesis Shelter, always emphasizing improving the lives of young people. He was a long-standing advocate and chairman of the Board of the Ben Franklin Academy.
He often spoke of the sustaining support he received from the faith community where he served as an elder at Trinity Presbyterian Church. His anchors were his mother, a small-town piano and high school teacher, and best friend and loving wife Marguerite.
The six grandchildren were an important part of his life. “Having two girls and four boys offers a logistical challenge” he once said. He and Marguerite together were a mainstay in attendance at almost every event they scheduled.
Mike York, a man of faith, humanity, and kindness was a unique role model for his family. He was a gentleman, as well as a gentle man who will be dearly missed by the many people whose lives he touched.
A memorial service will be held at on Monday, March 16th at 11 am at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 3003 Howell Mill Road NW. Memorials may be made to the charity of one’s choice or to the Ben Franklin Academy, 1585 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30329, or to Hillside, Inc. 690 Courtenay Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30306.
The family welcomes you to celebrate the life and legacy of Mike York at the home of his son Peter and family, on Sunday, March 15 from 6-8pm, at 3255 North Wood Valley Road. Online condolences may be made at hmpattersonspringhill.com.
One Reply to “Cyrus Michael “Mike” York ’54”
Mike was a very fine student and friend at Davidson and real contributor of time and talent as an alumnus. Charley Murray ’54
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