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Metcalf Funeral Directors

1801 East White Oak Terrace, Conroe, TX

OBITUARY

James "Jim" Alvin Geiger

November 7, 1936June 11, 2020
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James Alvin “Jim” Geiger was born on Saturday, November 7, 1936 in La Coste, Texas, Medina County. His ancestors were among the many immigrants who came to America from the French and German areas of Alsace Lorraine during the late 1800s. Many entered via Galveston. James was the youngest of four children born to Joseph Albert Geiger and Paulina Halty Geiger. His mother died when he was around five. Joseph was a migrant worker employed in Texas and areas leading to Minnesota. During the devastating post-Depression area, like many American heads of household, he sought work wherever he could find it. He approached his family members in La Coste to find help caring for his children during his absence. “Aunt Emma” and “Uncle George” Kunze stepped in to be family and home to James and his siblings. Jim was raised alongside Lillian and Harvey Kunze who then and even today are like his brother and sister. In fact, Jim would explain that the entire community of La Coste raised him. The Catholic Church waved his tuition at St. Mary’s Catholic School, and Jim was enrolled in the school while the rest of the Kunze family were members of the Lutheran Church in Castroville. Jim remembers numerous incidents of being disciplined on the front steps of the church by the nuns and staff for various infractions. It didn’t take long for the whole community to learn of his daily performance. In 1953 following a football injury, Jim was stricken with osteomyelitis, a bone disease that left him bedridden for months. His hospital charges were a staggering $25,000, a monumental amount for the time. The local La Coste Lions Club learned of his plight and came to the rescue. The whole community took part in the James Geiger Hospital Fund. There were baked goods, car washes, door prizes, and his hospital debt was paid. Jim was beloved by all. He was given a job by the Superintendent of Schools, A. D. Blue who hired Jim as janitor at all La Coste ISD buildings. Mr. Blue was a member of the La Coste Lions Club and approached Jim with an invitation to the new, soon-to-be opening Texas Lions Camp for Crippled Children in Kerrville. Jim was in a full leg cast and would be there with the growing number of polio victims. He was “adopted” by Ma and Pa Murray, the caretakers of the camp, who treated him like their own son for many years, even after he left the camp. A major event of his life occurred when Jim met Frank Robinson, a San Antonio entrepreneur was had been named Director of the Lions Camp. Jim went to the camp the first year as a camper and then the next six years as a counselor hired to work with the crippled children and blind adults. Robinson approached Jim during the close of his high school years asking him what his college plans were. Jim replied that he had no plans for college due to his finances. Mr. Robinson countered with an offer of a lifetime: full tuition to Southwest Texas Teacher’s College in San Marcos (now Texas State), room and board, books and a part-time job working at the Brown School, a widely-recognized facility for children and adults with special needs.

James Geiger graduated from Southwest Texas State in San Marcos with a degree in Special Education. He taught special education classes, worked in administrative positions in special ed settings, and always functioned in a servant’s capacity as if to “pay back” for all life’s chances that he had been given. He never forgot his friends who travelled life’s journey with him. He fondly remembered Marlin “Booger” Lindsey (his partner in crime as they often frequented the wine cellar in the church basement and climbed the church tower to ring the bells), Diego Gallegos, his best friend at the Texas Lions Camp, and Dal Dewees, also a friend from the Texas Lions Camp. He never forgot his extended family, a whole community of love and support. Jim was a member of Christ Church United Methodist Church in the Woodlands, and a member of Interfaith Ministries the Gathering Place of Conroe.

In 1961, while a special education teacher at Ector High School in Odessa, Texas, James met and married Sandra Kay Knight. They had three daughters, Cindy, 1963, Eilene in 1965, and Kathy Denise in 1972, (now deceased). They lived in Odessa/Midland, Albuquerque, and San Antonio and attended Oak Hills Presbyterian Church in San Antonio for many years.

Jim settled in to a life in educational sales. He was the perfect salesman. He sold educational materials to schools, libraries, universities, and other entities. He sold for Rainbow, Landmark, Discovery Instructional Media, National Geographic, Coronet, and Disney.

In 1988, Jim married Mary Scott of Conroe and they lived in Conroe, settling in Montgomery on Lake Conroe, fulfilling a lifelong dream of living near a lake. He became a second father to Mark and Stephanye. The blended family they created has always been very close, enjoying annual trips to the Frio River and gathering for the famous Thanksgiving Tree Decorating Party.

Jim is preceded in death by his parents, his three siblings, brother, Joseph Geiger, sister, Ara Geiger Chessman, brother William Geiger, his cousin Harvey Kunze, and his daughter, Kathyrn Denise Geiger Gilpatric. He is survived by his devoted wife, Mary, his beloved cousin, Lillian Pittman, three daughters, Cindy Schimank and husband Stanley of Giddings, Eilene Brown and husband Steve of San Antonio, and Stephanye Denison and husband Chris of the Woodlands. One son, Mark Scott and wife Janet of Euless, and son-in-law Scott Gilpatric of Knoxville, TN. Sixteen grandchildren: Kadra Schimank, Garrett Schimank, Colton and wife Jordan Schimank, Vicki Schimank, Hannah Moorman and husband Ryan, Ethan Brown, Melanie Brown, Brandon Donley, Alicia Donley, Kristin Scott, Christopher Denison, Nicholas Denison, Samuel Denison, Lillie Denison, Sophie Denison, and Duncan Gilpatric. Four great-grandchildren: Kylie Donley, Beaux Donley, Tristan Saucedo, and Miles Moorman. He is also survived by his Goddaughter, Kimberly Pittman Clark and husband Weston, a number of nieces and nephews, and countless forever friends.

The family will receive friends on Thursday, June 18, 2020 from 5:00 p.m. till 7:00 p.m. at Metcalf Funeral Directors. Graveside services will be officiated by Pastor Robert Tiner, Immanuel Lutheran Church of Giddings, Texas, on Friday, June 19, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at Conroe Memorial Park Cemetery.

The family wishes to thank the many friends who have travelled with them on this journey. Also, thanks to the employees of Lakeside Pharmacy in Montgomery, Royal Palms Assisted Living in Conroe, and Dignity Hospice. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider that memorial contributions be made to the Texas Lions Camp, www.lionscamp.com, 4100 San Antonio Highway, Kerrville, TX 78028, or the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl 17, Chicago, IL 60601..

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared with the Geiger family by clicking on the "Add a Memory" tab.

Services

  • Visitation

    Thursday, June 18, 2020

  • Graveside Service

    Friday, June 19, 2020

Memories

James "Jim" Alvin Geiger

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Barbara Teague-Polnick

June 17, 2020

Every time I think of Jim, I smile. I really don’t remember seeing him without a cheerful joke or grin. He was so good at making you feel like you were important and had value. I still remember Jim every time I think of a Disney film. What fun years those were at Region VI ESC! Mary-I am so glad that you had all of those years together in your peaceful place by the lake. Your love for each other was such a blessed thing.

Lu Pochelski

June 17, 2020

Cindy and Eileen,

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.

May God wrap His loving arms around you and give you comfort.

Lu

Susan Strohmeyer

June 16, 2020

My sincere condolences to Mary and the rest of the family. I was so fond of Jim. He was sweet, hospitable and had a funny, dry sense of humor. Both Jim and Mary helped me immensely when my parents died -- and that is something you never forget. I am one of the many, many people who will truly miss Jim Geiger. ( I am going to include a photo from Father's Day 2011. Jim was an outstanding Father to all of his children, cats and dogs.)

Mark Scott

June 16, 2020

Goodbyes are not forever, it simply means we'll miss you until we meet again. Thank you for being such as blessing to all of us. Rest in peace Jim.

Karen Hale

June 15, 2020

Jim was so much fun to go camping with or any other gathering. Remember meeting him at Perdenales State Park the first time in his “fancy” truck when a number of us were camping💖. He will be missed! Karen & Ron

Joan Harvey

June 15, 2020

Dear Mary, When Pat & I moved to Huntsville I thought we left all our friends. Never knowing the best was yet to come. It was a privilege to enjoy your & Jim's company. We shared many happy times. Thank you for all the good times. Keep smiling.
Love Joan

Charles Wagamon

June 15, 2020

Jim was always the helper for kids in need. This was his reputation at Ector and remained his reputation for all of his life.

David Robinson

June 15, 2020

To say Jim was a mentor to me is such an understatement. What an impact and influence on so many people.

He would always introduce me to people as his twin brother. What a privilege and honor that means to me. He was like a brother.

Love you brother!
David

Joanie Rethlake

June 14, 2020

Dear Mary,
I am saddened by your loss. May you find happy memories when you celebrate Jim’s life. May he Rest In Peace. Your are in my prayers.

Love, Joanie

Chris & Tonnie De Jonge

June 14, 2020

Our deepest sympathy to you and your family.

Chris &Tonny

from The Netherlands

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