If you knew my brother, Jeffrey Ross Geisler, I think you’d agree that this is what he would have said in his obituary, minus a few expletives!
Sunday, August 22nd was my last day in Portland. I received a call from the Man Above, so I’m out of here. It was an unexpected and quick exit that did not involve the China virus. My heart attack came at almost the same age, 71, as my dad’s in 1959. He died when I was only nine, so you can only imagine how many times I wished that he was still around. Now, finally, I’ll be able to have those father-son talks that I’ve missed. I think he will be proud of me, albeit a bit chatty!
My mother, Mary L. Hatchitt, married my father, William H. Geisler, in 1946. Our father was a registered pharmacist. They moved from Davenport, Iowa, to Kankakee, Illinois. My oldest brother, Greg, was born in 1947, then Glenn in 1948, and then me in 1950. Yep, I’m the baby.
From Kankakee we moved to Joliet, Illinois. A year or so before dad died, he was able to own his own drug store in the nearby town of Mokena. Mom held on to the store for a while but ultimately sold it. She raised the three of us on dad’s social security. Looking back, I don’t know how she did it, but we never seemed to lack for anything.
Mom was a corker. I tried to honor her spirited life with mine. She lived to be 89 and her ashes were spread on her favorite beach near Venice, Florida. I’d like mine to do the same.
Many of you didn’t know this, but my brother Glenn, gave me one of his kidneys in 2001 and ended the need for two years of self-dialysis. Glenn, your perfect kidney, allowed me to live a full life the past 20 years. What a gift!
Driving a VW bug, I made it to Portland in the early 70’s where I launched my Pacific Real Estate business. In the years that followed, there were some very special women in my life. They know who they are, and I thank them for their tenderness.
I truly loved Portland. My real estate business allowed me to learn and love her vibe and then share it with those that trusted me to find their next home. I really liked doing that. Living on a floating home on Hayden Island was idyllic. You may have seen me in my kayak smoking a cigar and paddling after a swan named “Fluffy Bottom” on the Columbia River.
My desire to help Portland live up to her potential could be evidenced by direct involvement, since I don’t expect others to solve my problems. I was glad to serve as the chairman of the Hayden Island Neighborhood Network, HiNooN. Having the Bybee Lakes Hope Center open made me proud. My efforts to get EcoLube Recovery to reduce emissions were impactful. Even the distribution of blue bags made me feel good.
If you don’t already know, good friends are what life is about. I’ve been blessed. Cliff, Laura, and Al, I’m looking down at you! There are so many more that made my life enjoyable, so you may be getting a postcard from me, a task I’ve left to my brother.
The idea of moving back east, southeast actually, and reuniting with my brothers, Greg in Georgia and Glenn in Florida, was not strong until this past year. Alas, my Portland has changed.
If you’d like to share some stories about me, a celebration of life will be held at 2:00pm on the 12th of September at the Hidden Bay Café. Thank Carl for me and try my favorite cheeseburger.
Life…it is what it is!
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