Shirley A. Geiger
Shirley A. Geiger, 90, of Okoboji, passed away Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, at her home in Okoboji.
Graveside services for Shirley were held Saturday, Oct. 10, in the Lake View Gardens Cemetery in Spirit Lake. Arrangements are under
the direction of the Schuchert-Lentz
Funeral Home in Spirit Lake. Online condolences may be sent to www.spiritlakefuneralhome.com.
Every conversation is now a little faster to run dry, every Hawkeyes and Panthers game a little short of cheers, every drink less full and bowl of munchable snacks less filled. There will be less twinkling festive decor filling lives and fewer thank you cards and celebratory letters filling mailboxes. And those losses come to us because Shirley Ann Geiger (nee Thompson) consummate host, dedicated educator, and friend to all passed away on Friday, Oct. 2, at her home in Okoboji, Iowa, after 90 years brightening the souls of everyone she met.
Shirley was born on April 22, 1930, in Ringsted, Iowa, to Truman and Ella (Birkland) Thompson. At Cylinder High School, Shirley was an exceptional scholar and athlete: class president, editor-in-chief of the high school paper, valedictorian, five-year forward for the girls' basketball team, and record holder for most points scored in a single game. After graduation, Shirley attended Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa) where she was president of her sorority and named to the Who's Who Among Students of American Universities and Colleges.
After earning her degree in teaching, Shirley taught Business in Ida Grove, Iowa, and then Physical Education in Cedar Rapids, where she was named as the first female athletic director in the Cedar Rapids School System.
On Aug. 7, 1976, Shirley married the love of her life, Dr. Richard Earl Geiger, an oral surgeon and University of Iowa graduate. As a couple, their combined love of sports united in a dedicated passion for the teams of each other's alma mater, only to the exclusion of those games where one played the other.
Shirley worked as a receptionist and bookkeeper in Richard's dental office, and the couple was prosperous in life and in the greatness of friendships they forged. Shirley and Richard traveled together extensively, often to attend many of the bowl games to cheer on their beloved Hawkeyes. Each was an avid golfer, but it was Shirley who beat Richard to a first hole-in-one when she struck a perfect shot at a course in Sarasota, Florida.
The Geigers spent their years living in Cedar Rapids, Okoboji, and Florida, and in every home, Shirley celebrated the seasons and holidays across her walls and on every surface. For Shirley, any event was an opportunity for a dedicated napkin or even a combination of napkins, stickers, and drinking glasses.
Eventually the couple settled in Okoboji, but always kept their home an open and welcoming place for visiting friends and family. Together, Shirley and Richard embodied a dedicated commitment to family and friendship that is rare today a friend of the Geigers was a friend for life. Shirley kept up correspondence with friends and family across the country through cards, letters, emails and even hand-cut annotated newspaper clippings shipped off to those in need of local or Iowa college sports news.
In 2018, Richard passed away and Shirley lost a piece of her heart, a bountiful source of humor, and her favorite mixologist. Shirley remained active and sharp of wit to the end of her days and seldom was a family celebration held with her absent.
Now, the world has lost Shirley, but in our loss, it is to us to make up: decorate, celebrate, write your loved ones, root on your sports teams, be a gracious host and an unwavering friend, and know that when you too pass from this world and find yourself at the pearly gates, Shirley will most certainly be there to greet you, welcoming and gracious as ever.
She is survived by her stepdaughter, Valerie (Steve) Padia of Hurst, Texas; two stepgrandchildren; two stepgreat-great-grandchildren; niece, Julie (Dan) Doxtad of Galva, Iowa; great-nephews, James, Matthew (Meagan), Lucas (Donna) and David (Jenna) Doxtad; and eight great-great-nephews and -nieces.
She was preceded in death by her parents her husband, and her brother, Willard "Whitey" (Elaine) Thompson.