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Obituary: George Simon Taube, Designer who made magic

Wednesday, October 27, 1999

By Brenden Sager, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

George Simon Taube was magic.

"When he walked into a room, the room changed," said his father, Myron Taube.

Mr. Taube, 40, died Saturday in his Mt. Lebanon home of a heart attack, his father said.

Throughout his life, Mr. Taube loved to perform. He received a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Boston University and worked at the Carnegie Science Center as an exhibit designer.

Mr. Taube studied magic, theater and pantomime. He met his wife while working at a theater in Buffalo, N.Y.

Of all he accomplished, Taube said his son would be remembered for the magic tricks he studied and performed. Mr. Taube's Uncle Jack, a member of Los Angeles' Magic Castle, a group of performers, would teach him tricks when he was a child.

The family moved to Pittsburgh from New York City in 1968, when Mr. Taube was 9 years old. His father said he used magic tricks and performing arts to make friends. As a student at Linden School and later Allderdice High School, his father said he was active in show business. Mr. Taube also performed at the Jewish Community Center and the Emma Kaufmann Camp in West Virginia.

After graduating from college, Mr. Taube took jobs in the Alley Theater in Houston and the Studio Arena Theater in Buffalo. He also worked with several toy firms as a toy designer, prototype developer and inventor, designed industrial and corporate displays for trade shows, and redesigned supermarket interiors, his father said.

He would perform tricks, sometimes with younger brother Marty, while baby-sitting or at birthday parties in the back yard, his father said. A crowd of neighborhood children would gather round to see the show.

"Those who knew him will remember him for his warmth and kindness, his creativity, his sense of humor, his willingness to help in any situation and his loving goodness," Taube said of his son. "He was the world's oldest kid."

Mr. Taube is survived by his wife, Deborah K. Hackett Taube and three children Gabrielle, 7, Lyla, 6, and Elaina, 3; his parents, Marian and Myron Taube of Squirrel Hill; two brothers, David of Oak Harbor, Wash., and Marty of Mt. Lebanon; a sister, Ethel Harmon of Squirrel Hill; and his grandmother, Sonja Cohn of New York.

The funeral was yesterday at Burton Hirsch Funeral Home in Squirrel Hill. Contributions can be made to the Fund for the Education of the Children of George S. Taube, c/o Bell Federal Savings, 300 Cochran Road, Pittsburgh 15228.

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