Funeral Mass for Leo Geiger, 80, of Rockford, Ill., formerly of Dickinson will be 2 p.m., Friday, July 10 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Dickinson with Father Keith Striefel celebrating. Leo will be buried in St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery, Dickinson on his 57th wedding anniversary, July 10.
Visitation will be from 2-9 p.m., with a prayer service at 5:30 pm. at Stevenson Funeral Home in Dickinson.
Metastatic cancer claimed the life of Leo Geiger, beloved husband of Alvina (Anderson) Geiger, on the afternoon of Monday, July 6. He passed quietly in his home surrounded by family.
Living in Rockford, Ill. for the past 12 years (to be close to his grandchildren), Leo pursued an active retirement from his careers as a hospital administrator (36 years) in rural North Dakota and an x-ray and lab technician (10 years) in Harrisburg, Ill. Originally from near Gladstone in western North Dakota, he contributed to rural health care in that state, serving as a member and then president of the North Dakota Hospital Association. He received the Shirley Ann Monroe Leadership Development Award from the American Hospital Association in 1991. Leo travelled to Washington, D.C. to lobby on behalf of rural health care reform and actively supported the establishment of the Office of Rural Health at the University Of North Dakota School Of Medicine, from which his daughter and oldest child, Marianne, graduated in 1984.
Leo’s vision benefitted the town of Ashley, (1,200 people) where he recruited doctors Roland Fleck and then Udom Tinsa, who practiced in this medically underserved area for many years. He built elderly independent living apartments, badly-needed nursing home beds, and modernized the 24-bed hospital, securing federal grants for each. He was one of the founding members of “Opportunities incorporated,” an investment growth corporation meant to bring new businesses and professionals to Ashley.
At St. Aloisius Hospital in Harvey (2,500 people), Leo built a 20-plus bed Intermediate Care Facility. He tore down and rebuilt the ancient nursing home, adding more beds and modernization. Leo built a new clinic building, recruited five doctors, and created a medical corporation. He later was promoted to corporate administrator by the Sisters of St. Francis, who owned hospitals in Harvey, Bottineau, and Rolla, and Spring Valley, Ill., and relocated to their corporate headquarters in Valley City.
Leo was an avid hunter in his younger days, once bagging a prize antelope. He was a conscientious provider, and loving toward his family. His sense of humor and Norwegian jokes were (and still are) legendary. He had charisma and a gift for connecting with people that made him a success at whatever he chose to do.
Leo’s three children, (Marianne Geiger, a psychiatrist in Rockford; Greg Geiger, a baggage handler United Airlines Las Vegas; Edward Geiger, Atlanta, flight operations for Delta Airlines) were all with him in his last days, providing around-the-clock care, as was his daughter-in-law, Susan Shaynak-Geiger (Edward). Other surviving family: son-in-law Scott Clark (Marianne), two grandchildren, Katherine and Christopher Shiro (Marianne), and two step-grandchildren, Adam and Amanda Clark.
Donations in his name may be directed to Ashley Medical Center, Ashley, ND 58413 or St. Aloisius Hospital, Harvey, ND 58341.
Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at www.stevensonfuneralhome.com.
Stevenson Funeral Home, Dickinson
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