Greer, Robert

GREER, Robert "Bob"

Robert "Bob" Geer passed away March, 28, 2024. He was born May 21, 1924 in Charlotte, NC to James and Hattie Alice (Stallings) Geer. During the thirties depression, his dad lost his restaurant business and the family moved to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Rutherford County, NC to an inherited farm of his mother's when Bob was ten. He often said he had the best of both worlds: a city-boy and a country-boy life.

Bob graduated from Rutherfordton-Spindale High School at age 16 and matriculated King's Business College in Charlotte, graduating in 1942. He was hired by the Southern Railway System in Charlotte until drafted into the U.S. Army in January 1943. His basic training was at Camp Robinson, AR until he shipped out to Prince Rupert, BC, Canada, a sub-port of Seattle, supplying materials to our troops in the Aleutian Islands and South Pacific. His specific assignment was in the Office of Inspector General in the Alaskan Defense Command until his discharge in December, 1945 at the end of World War II.

He returned to North Carolina and entered the University at Chapel Hill under the G.I. Bill. Before graduating, Southern Railway System hired him away with a position in Charlotte, quickly transferring him to headquarters in Washington, D.C., as an Executive Secretary to two succeeding Presidents of the railway, traveling the system in their two private railway cars all over the country.

In Washington, Bob met the love of his life, Mary Boyle, from Masontown, PA, who had served during WWII in the WAVES and was working in the foreign service of the State Department. They were married on October 17, 1950. She preceded him in death on June 15, 1996.

His next move was to Knoxville, TN, as District Manager in marketing. This is where his son and only child, Robert, Jr., was born on December 7, 1954.

From Knoxville, the family moved to various positions in Chicago, IL, Richmond, VA, New York, NY, St. Louis, MO, Atlanta, GA, Washington, D.C., and back to Atlanta as Vice President of Industrial Development and Real Estate of Norfolk Southern Corp., the merger of Southern and N&W Railways. Bob retired on June 1, 1985 and remained in Roswell, GA.

After retirement, he and his family traveled to all the states in the United States and Provinces of Canada, and to many countries around the world, including: Ireland, Great Britain, Scotland, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Greece & islands, Turkey, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Cuba, Hong Kong, and China.

Bob's three siblings in age order were Leo, who died at 78 (accidental), Frances Angelina (Ann), who died 2 months shy of 100, and James who passed 3 months shy of 99. All four served in WWII. Bob's siblings served in Africa, Sicily, France, Germany, and the South Pacific, and Bob in Canada. His brother, James, served under Colonel George Patton as his first company commander in Ft. Benning, GA, all the way to Germany through North Africa, Sicily, Normandy plus 3, France Battle of the Bulge to the Elbe River, when Patton was a four-star general. France awarded James its highest medal, the French Legion of Honor.

Bob often said he looked forward to going to work every day, representative of his positive attitude, and believed in giving back. Even as a young man In Knoxville, he was twice voted volunteer of the year by the Sertoma Club (service to mankind) for his work with The John Tarleton Institute for Mistreated Children by organizing a band with instruments, teachers, clothing for every child, monthly birthday parties, plus toys at Christmas. He also served as Secretary of the First Knoxville Metropolitan Planning Commission.

A life-long piano student, he taught piano gratuitously to seniors for ten years after retirement; a member/advisor to the Atlanta Steinway Piano Society, where he financed a scholarship for promising high school students in honor of his son; volunteered for thirty-odd years with Encore Associates of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, working the information Desk; ushering for Children's programs at Symphony Hall and various locations around Atlanta; and played interlude piano for the yearly Symphony's Decorators Showcase House to raise money for the symphony.

As an avid art buff, he was a Patron/Donor of the High Museum of Art and did watercolors and pen and ink drawings as a hobby. An avid reader, he volunteered with the Roswell Library and was proud of his service on the Board of Directors of the Georgia State Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the Geer Family Association, serving as Regional Manager in the southeastern states, and for three years, as president of the National Organization. He enjoyed golf into his nineties; did his own yard work, by choice, until he was 88, and claimed proxy grandpa to all the kids he knew. This was partly occasioned by his son preceding him in death on April 6, 2013, leaving no children.

Many of his family, friends, and neighbors always told him if they reached his age, they wanted to be "Bob Geer". That always brought a smile to his face, and his advice was to "live simply, love generously, have a strong faith in God, and do all you can for your fellowman." A favorite niece concluded, "That pretty much sums up Uncle Bob."

There will be a mass on Friday, May 17, 2024, 10:30 AM at St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church, 11330 Woodstock Rd., Roswell, GA 30075. Bob will be laid to rest with his wife and son at Arlington Memorial Park with military honors following the mass.

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