Walter Bernard Geiger, Sr., 93, died at his home in Savannah, GA on Sept. 20, 2020. He was born in Zurich, Switzerland on Nov. 13, 1926 and immigrated through Ellis Island to America with his parents Bernard Geiger and Berta Fischer Geiger. They lived in New York City where his father had a sponsor and job and all three became naturalized American citizens and learned to speak English.
Walter was christened at Lexington Avenue Lutheran Church in New York and attended Stuyvesant School for Boys. The family moved to Chaplin, CT where he graduated high school. He immediately enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and was eventually stationed in France. After WWII, he earned a B.S. degree from the University of Connecticut and went on to get a Master’s degree in Forestry from Duke University.
He went to work for Union Bag and Paper Company in Savannah in 1951 where he met and married Vivian Lanier in 1953. They were blessed with four wonderful children. Walter was PTA president at Virginia Lord Heard School and active in his sons’ Cub Scout Troop. He and three friends started the Republican Party in Savannah.
The family moved to Ailey, GA in 1969 where Walter opened a plant for Union Camp in nearby Higgston. He was a member of Ailey Baptist Church where he was a Deacon, Sunday School teacher and sang in the choir.
After several transfers, the last being to Savannah, he retired from Union Camp. He moved his membership to First Baptist Church. He was a lifetime member of the Society of American Foresters. After retiring, he enjoyed 22 years of employment and camaraderie at Habersham Beverage in Savannah. He was proud to be a Red Cross VIP blood donor.
Walter was predeceased by his parents; mother and father-in-law Jewel and Howell Lanier; and fellow forester Jean C. Santoro who was like a brother to him.
In addition to his wife Vivian, he is survived by his children, Walter Bernard Geiger, Jr. (Laura), James Christopher Geiger (Christie), David Lanier Geiger (Angie) and Kaye Geiger Eaton (Philip); 11 grandchildren, James Christopher Geiger, Jr. (Blair), Katie Geiger Beacham (Jeff), Andrew Cason Geiger (Linnea), Caroline Geiger Wortman (Nate), David Nicholas Geiger (Julia), Kelsey Geiger Marino (Dave), May Melton Geiger, William Geiger Eaton, Livia Lanier Geiger, Shelby Noelle Geiger and Anna Kathryn Eaton; five great-grandchildren, Colton and Layla Beacham, Walter and Theodore Geiger, Violet Geiger and one on the way; Katie’s mother Kay B. Geiger; and a cousin Erica Marcolin (Heinz) of Zurich.
The funeral service will be held Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, at 2 p.m. in Greenwich Section of Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah with Father John A. Caparisos delivering the final prayer.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Blessed Sacrament School in Savannah in memory of Father Jeremiah McCarthy or First Baptist Church of Savannah.
The family extends special thanks to Dr. Lawrence Zottoli, Jr. and caregiver Rosa Young.
Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.