November 20, 1932 ~ July 14, 2010
Dr. Charles Leonard Geiger passed away peacefully at home and in the presence of his family Wednesday, July 14, 2010. Dr. Geiger was born in 1932 in Boaz, Alabama to William Marlin Geiger and Leah Tolbert Geiger. He spent his childhood in Gadsden, Alabama; Portland, Oregon; Atlanta Georgia; and Panama City, Florida, where he graduated from Bay High School in 1950. He attended Davidson College, graduating in the class of 1954 with a dual major in Physics and Premedical studies. He was a member of the Physics Honor Society and was a tenor soloist for 3 years in the Davidson Male Chorus. Dr. Geiger attended Emory School of Medicine in the class of 1958. He completed his internship in Pathology and his two year Residency at Emory Hospital, and spent his third year of Post Doctoral Pathology at Emory as a Fellow of the National Cancer Institute. For the next two years he was appointed to the Emory Medical School faculty as Assistant Professor of Pathology and served as Assistant Director of the Laboratory at the Atlanta Veterans Administration Hospital. In 1963 he joined the U.S. Air Force Medical Service, serving as Captain at Eglin Air Force Base. During this time he became a member of the American Society of Clinical Pathology as a Fellow of the College of American Pathology. On leaving the Air Force, he moved with his family to Gainesville, Georgia to work with Dr. Hamil Murray. After studying at Oak Ridge he obtained a license from the Atomic Energy Commission and opened the first radioisotope laboratory in North Georgia. During this time he remained on the Emory Medical School Faculty as Professor of Clinical Pathology. He later moved his practice to Lanier Park Hospital in Gainesville, where he continued to work for the next 14 years until his retirement from Medicine in 1991. Upon his retirement he began a long term study of the natural world and volunteered several thousand hours as a naturalist at Elachee Nature Center. While he was still physically able, he devoted his time and study to Paleontology. He often referred to these years as the most enjoyable in his life. He considered the most fortunate event in his life meeting Rebecca Becky Deal on a blind date in 1953. They married in 1956, and their marriage continued to grow in joy and meaning until his death. He was preceded in death by his eldest son, William Marlin Geiger. His is survived by his wife, Rebecca; his daughter-in-law Catherine Brooks Geiger and grandchildren Caitlin and Christopher, of Gainesville, Georgia; his son Leonard Geiger, Jr., his wife Christina and their daughter Ava, of Jacksonville, Florida; his daughter Beth Geiger Bolstad, her husband Arlen and their children Joanna, Emma and Thomas, of Richmond, Virginia; and his son Ralph Geiger, of Washington, DC. Dr. Geiger was a man who lived in awe of the mysteries of the natural world and of the human heart. He was profoundly kind. A memorial service will be held at Grace Episcopal Church in Gainesville at 2pm on Saturday July 17, 2010. In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorials be given to Elachee Nature Science Center, 2125 Elachee Drive, Gainesville, Georgia 30504.
I first met Dr. Geiger down the street from us when we moved here to Gainesville. He was always upbeat , pleasant and calm. I later had the opportunity to work with him and learn from him at Elachee Nature Science Center when I became a volunteer trail guide. He taught me quite a lot about the woods, trails, and life in general and I will miss him and his easy going demeanor. I am very glad I had the opportunity to know him and I am sure I am but one of the many that will feel a loss from his passing and will be praying for the family daily.
Dear Becky and family. My prayers are there with you during this time of your profound loss. May you come to know the Peace that passes understanding as our Father holds you in His great and loving arms.
Las Vegas, Nevada
I did not know Dr. Geiger personally, but I also atttended Davidson College, graduating in 1957. His good friend the Rev. Robert Dunbar, also a Davidson graduate sent me Dr. Geiger’s obit.
May his soul and the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace.
Lawton Posey, ’57