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George Minor helped give the Twinkie to the world
By Chris Barge, Rocky Mountain News
September 15, 2005
Legendary baker George Minor used to tell people there's a formula for everything.
"If you have 7 percent sugar, you have bread," the cereal chemist for ConAgra Foods told a reporter 22 years
ago. "If you have 11 percent sugar, you have a hamburger bun. If you have 18 percent sugar, you have a Danish."
He also knew that when you develop just the right kind of sponge cake with a white filling, you have a Hostess Twinkie.
He's the chemist, after all, who helped develop the famous snack treat.
Mr. Minor, 88, died Monday of natural causes at his Thornton home, surrounded by family. Standing 6 feet 4 inches and
298 pounds, he was known by family and friends as the "gentle giant."
"We sang Amazing Grace," said Nancy Minor, his daughter-in-law. "And just as we started, I saw the pulse
stop in his neck. He did everything with amazing grace."
When it came to family, his recipe called for a large batch. The father of eight had 52 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren
and eight great-great-grandchildren.
At one point or another, he fed each of them with experimental loaves of "hunky bread," which he frequently
brought home from work.
"By the time he got from the door to the kitchen table, it was gone," said his granddaughter, Lisa Bommersbach.
Born Oct. 16, 1916, in the small town of New Franklin, Mo., he got his first job in high school, sweeping floors at a
bakery, where the baker allowed him to help mix the bread.
Mr. Minor attended Oklahoma State University. He was married in 1940 to Mary Minor, whom he met in church. She died in
Mr. Minor enlisted in the Navy during World War II and was stationed in Oregon. He was quickly drafted to become a baking
instructor - a profession he held off and on through the rest of his life.
After the war, he founded a baking school at Oklahoma State University, the first such university-based school in the
country. He then worked eight years for the bakery products division of Borden Co.
In 1955, he moved the family to Denver, where he took a job at the Hungarian Flour Co., now owned by ConAgra Foods.
Never one to talk about himself, Mr. Minor developed an international reputation through his actions more than words.
For more than 30 years, he and his family whipped up cobblers, éclairs and 405-layer croissants in four ovens at the Colorado
State Fair in Pueblo.
Big-name companies such as Nabisco, Keebler and Rainbo flew him around the world to consult with new product developers.
The United States government once sent him to South Africa to investigate why a product it sent that country wasn't working.
Mr. Minor took one look and knew the problem.
"We sent them cake flour, and they were trying to bake bread," recalled his grandson, John Sedillo.
Mr. Minor retired from ConAgra at age 70. But his passion for grains and breads did not go stale. Last year, he cooked
pancakes for fellow patients while recovering from surgery.
A viewing will be held today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Olinger Highland, 10201 N. Grant St., Thornton. The funeral is Friday
at 9:30 a.m., also at Olinger.
Born: 24 Oct 1675 Stratford
Died: 16 Sep 1762Woodbury, Litchfield, Connecticut, USA
Born: Nov 1677 Woodbury, Litchfield, Connecticut, USA
Died: 13 Mar 1768 Woodbury, Litchfield, Connecticut, USA
Connecticut Town Birth Records (Barbour Collection)
Name: Ephraim Minor
[Ephraim Miner] ?
Birth Date: 24 Oct 1675
Birth Location: Stratford
Parent Name: John Minor
Capt. John Minor
Born: 1634 Chew Magna, Somerset, , England
Died: 17 Sep 1719 Woodbury, Litchfield, Connecticut, USA
Born: 10 Sep 1641Stratford, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA
Died: 24 Oct 1732Woodbury, Litchfield, Connecticut, USA
Name: John Miner
Birth Place: MA
Birth Year: 1635
Spouse Name: Elizabeth Booth
Birth Place: CT
Spouse Birth Year: 1641
Marriage State: CT
Number Pages: 1
Born: 23 Apr 1608 Chew Magna, , , England
Died: 23 Oct 1690 Stonington, New London, Connecticut, USA
Born: 1608, , , England
Died: 1690 Stonington, New London, Connecticut, USA
Connecticut Town Death Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection)
about Lieut. Thomas Minor
Name: Lieut. Thomas Minor
Death Date: 23 Oct 1690
Death Location: Stonington
Born: 23 Feb 1585 Chew Magna, Somerset, , England
Died: 31 Mar 1640 Chew Magna, Somerset, , England
Born: 1578 Chew Magna, Somerset, , England
Died: 1640 Chew Magna, Somerset, , England
Minor Web Link Click Here