Passed away on June 25, 2020
Russell Glenn Geen, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Missouri-Columbia, passed away at home on June 25, 2020 at the age of 88.
Russell was born on May 3, 1932 in Ironwood, Michigan. He attended Gogebic Community College, Michigan State University, and attended seminary at Bexley Hall at Kenyon College where he earned a divinity degree in 1957. He met his wife, Barbara, while he was a clergyman at Trinity Episcopal Church in Indianapolis. They were married in 1960. Russell returned to graduate school and received his PHD in psychology from the University of Wisconsin in 1967. He brought his young family to Columbia later that year to take a position as assistant professor in the psychology department at the University of Missouri, where he remained active in research and teaching for over 40 years.
Russell authored and co-authored many scholarly papers and books with both students and colleagues in the areas of social and personality psychology, aggression, and motivation. In 1992, he was honored at MU as a Curator’s Professor of Psychology. From 1977-1988, he served as the editor of the Journal of Research in Personality and from 1991-1996, he was editor for the personality section of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. He was most fond of the history of psychology and continued to teach the subject for a number of years after his retirement. In his later years, Russ returned to his first profession as a clergyman at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Fayette, Missouri.
Russell is survived by his wife, Barbara; sons, Thomas and William (Dierdre); and grandsons, Sebastian, Christian, and Preston.
Services will be private for the family at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Fayette, Missouri. Donations may be made to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church of the Department of Psychological Sciences Opportunities for Excellence Fund at mizzougivedirect.missouri.edu.
August 4, 2020
We were saddened to learn of Dr. Geen's passing. Over the years we have thought of Barb and Russ and Tom and Billie too. The attic apartment of your home on Stewart Road was our first residence as newlyweds and we have fond memories of dinners and social gatherings shared with Barb and Russ. You made us feel like family. We want to express our heartfelt condolences and gratitude for your guidance and friendship which we have never forgotten.
Tom and Sara Seaman
July 10, 2020
Dear Barbara and Family,
I owe so much to Russ for his guidance, support, and mentorship beginning in 1969. He was a true scholar and caring person whose kindness will be missed.
Hoping all is well with you and your loved ones during this difficult time.
July 7, 2020
Dear Barbara and family,
I was sorry to read of Dr. Geen's death. I learned a lot from the graduate-level psychology courses I took from him at MU. He provided valuable advice and assistance to me as a beginning master's degree student in social psychology. I was lucky to know this good man.
My many sympathies.
July 6, 2020
I met Russ (Dr. Geen to me back then!) in 1989 when I was a graduate student at MU. He taught the social psychology survey class all the graduate students took, and I loved it. He had and celebrated a deep understanding of the intellectual roots of psychology in philosophy, dating back to the ancients. He was always funny and wry and and so kind to me. He made the rigors of grad school and the first years on faculty easier with his wise observations and practical advice. He had a heart and was a gift to so many of us.
July 6, 2020
As a graduate student in social psychology at the University of Missouri in the mid-1980s, I took several graduate classes from Russ and have fond memories or his teaching, mentoring, and clever sense of humor. He helped make a rigorous graduate training program fun.
June 30, 2020
Our deepest sympathy to you and your family upon the passing of dear Russ. These past months have been long and painful for him (and you); and he is now at peace. We will miss seeing trail around the block behind you, Lily and Teddy. :) If we can help in any way, food, visits,calls, etc. please let me know. In this time of pandemic I'm not sure what's appropriate to do or offer. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers and we are HERE.
In His Love,
Char and Dean
June 28, 2020
Russ. A gentleman and a scholar. No higher praise. Never a better prof. Never a better mentor. I cannot thank him enough for helping me on my dissertation and for all I learned from him. I can never forget his Nixon impression! And all the laughs. Take care Barb and fam.