Anne Zita Geiger
April 22, 1923 – July 18, 2020
Anne Zita Fabisak Geiger was born in Isadore, Michigan on April 22, 1923. She was number 10 of 11 children born to Frank and Balbina (Belle) Cerkowski Fabiszak. The last of her generation, she left us peacefully early morning on July 18, 2020 for her eternal home. Her childhood on the family farm in Isadore was simple learning polish, attending church, school and picking cherries. She spent summers with her older sister Julia, where she learned many useful skills for future homemaking. At age 13, Anne moved to nearby Traverse City, Michigan where she attended and graduated from St. Francis High School. During her senior year, while living with Dr. and Mrs. Beebe, Anne met her future husband, Emil James Geiger, otherwise known as Jim, from St. Louis, Mo. She was 17, he was 23. He was a young, handsome, traveling salesman. Fortunately, Dr. and Mrs. Beebe took a liking to Jim, frequently inviting him to spend weekends at their home, where Anne and Jim became better acquainted. Eventually, the Beebe’s, Anne, and Jim made a trip to Isadore to meet her parents, Frank and Belle. A wedding date was set for August 18, 1941. Jim had recently converted to Catholicism, so Holy Rosary church in Isadore, Michigan provided the perfect setting for a country wedding. The honeymoon began following an outdoor reception on the family farm. At the time, a local resident reminiscing about their wedding said, “it was a romantic fairytale”. A house trailer (Windstream) pulled by Jim’s recently purchased 1941 Plymouth, became the home of Mr. and Mrs. Geiger for the next 16 months. Together they traveled the United States, working a sales route between designated cities. Life on the road did not settle down until Ruth Anne was born in February 1943. A small brick house at 8801 Corwin Dr, Jennings, became their first home in the suburbs of St. Louis, MO. Ruth Anne was followed by Thomas Allen, in August 1944. Sadly, Tommy only lived 8 days. Barbara Jean arrived in January 1946, followed by Linda Marie in August 1947. David James was born in May 1949, and Steven Ray joined the family in August 1953. After celebrating every birthday throughout each year, the weddings started in 1963 when Ruth Anne married Leonard Bodus. Barbara married Ed Zamenski in 1966, David married Susan McKeever in 1973, Steve married Sandra Milam in 1979, and Linda married Walter Himmelmann in 1990. From 1964 through 1986, the family tree grew in scope and size producing 14 grandchildren. The Bodus family: Tom, Christine, Michael, Jonathan, Angie, and Joey. The David Geiger family: Greg, Geoff, Katie, Jason, and Alex. The Steve Geiger family: Emil John and Amy. The Zamenski family: Andy The 14 grandchildren produced 30 great-grandchildren: Dominic, Lorelei, Heather, Jacob, Samuel, Isaiah Grant; Aaron Bodus; Liliana and Isabella Bodus; Sarah, Xavier, Hannah, and Joshua Bodus; Gavin, Ainsley, and Kellen Geiger; Grace, Logan, Hope, and Faith Geiger; Gabriel, Sophie, and Isaac Geiger; Lucas and Mason Geiger; Dakota, Toby, and Judah Geiger; Madelyn and Anna Zamenski. During their 71 years of marriage, Anne and Jim enjoyed a successful career in sales. They cherished the many friends and acquaintances they made through Guardian Service cookware 1948 to 1957 and Watkins Quality Products from 1957 to 2020. Remembered as Annie, Mother, and Grandma, Anne was an astute businesswoman figuring numbers quickly in her head, knowing how to save a dollar or maximize a profit. She was a great cook, initiating large family gatherings with abundant food. Chicken and dumplings, biscuits and gravy, homemade applesauce, and pickled beets were popular requests. Carrying on the tradition, grandchildren, and great grandchildren were remembered and celebrated often. Amongst their special memories: plastic Easter eggs with money inside. Angie shared “I knew I was loved by Grandma, knowing I was celebrated.” Christie said she always made sure she sat next to Grandma as a child, she knew Grandma would feed her; Amy asked Grandma during one of her visits as a child: Grandma why do you always make rice Krispy treats? Her response: “I can give them to a child and there are no crumbs.” Amy’s observation: Grandma did things with purpose. She loved to play pinochle, and rummy and it seemed she always won no matter what the game. Often, I thought to myself “how does Mother always win?” A story comes to mind, that we heard about Dad on the evening they met. The scene was a local dance hall somewhere in Traverse City, Michigan. A handsome man walked through the door and asked a row of young ladies if anyone wanted to dance. My Mom immediately stood up and they danced. Eventually Daddy asked to take her home, but she declined. Dad always added “she said she had a date that night, but I never saw him.” The night of the dance, my Dad did not take her home, but being quick to think and not miss an opportunity, my Mom invited him to attend a May crowning of the Blessed Mother the following night. We are the results of that first dance. In hindsight, my Mom did have a winning attitude, worked hard, and demonstrated great discipline daily. Her last day of work was July 13, 2020 and a family friend observed, “When have you ever known anyone who is on hospice and still working?” Since Memorial Day weekend, my Mom enjoyed all the out of town visitors. It is as if God sent a “cloud of witnesses” in preparation to leave her body and be present to Him. I witnessed a genuine love for her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and friends. It was a special time and I knew she was grateful to be able to express her love and say her goodbyes with a purpose (as Amy had observed). The most important thing to remember about Mom was the strength she found in her faith. She was not a stranger to suffering. “Take up your cross,” was a favorite statement, as she believed in God absolutely and that He would always provide the necessary grace to get through life’s most difficult moments. This was true throughout her life and I saw God’s peace comfort her through her final days in profound ways. The morning of July 18, God called her home to another “cloud of witnesses”. Over the past 5 months, her shortness of breath increased. Attempting to keep her calm by patting her back, I would say: God is a breath away. He breathed life into you on the day you were born. He is with you now. He loves you and His Holy Spirit is in you. She would calm and catch her breath. I was with her as her last breath came gently through her lips. I felt it on my face as I was kissing her check. I learned the word in Greek for breath and Holy Spirit are the same, and I know her last breath was a kiss from the Holy Spirit. I know she is at peace and present with Our Lord and another cloud of witnesses. Anne is preceded in death by her children Thomas Allen, 1944; Barbara Geiger Zamenski, 1975; Steven Ray,1986; great grandchild Laura Jane Geiger, 2006; and her husband, Emil James, October 11, 2012.
Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m, Friday, July 24. 2020, at Alexander-White-Mullen Funeral Home, 11101 St. Charles Rock Road, St. Ann. Rosary Service will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday July 25, 2020, at St. Jude Catholic Church 2218 N Warson Rd, Overland, MO 63114. Burial will follow at Mt. Lebanon Cemetery.
Friday, July 24, 2020
Saturday, July 25, 2020
Anne Zita Geiger
July 21, 2020
My grandma was the matriarch of our family and the glue that kept us together. She instilled the importance of family all the way down through the generations. There may not have always been peace and harmony but when push come to shove, we would be there for each other when it mattered most. I hope and pray that this legacy continues to be displayed through those she leaves behind. We love you, grandma. We have been so blessed to have you in our lives for so many years.