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Eleanor (nee Tate) Geyer

d. September 7, 2021


Eleanor Geyer, née Tate 1935-2021

Eleanor Geyer, aged 86, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family, on Tuesday, September 7, 2021.   

Elly was born in Binghamton, New York, the eldest of three children of the late George and Irene Tate (née Ackley).  

She was preceded in death by her husband, Howard Geyer.  Elly leaves behind her two brothers whom she loved, Robert (Paola) and George; her two daughters, Katherine (Rob) and Elaine (Didier); a son, Douglas (Erica); and six grandchildren, Elise (Jaime), Claire, Natalie, Olivia, Anna and Grant, whose lives were profoundly enriched by her incalculable generosity of spirit. 

Athletic and outgoing, Elly graduated from Binghamton Central High School, class of 1953, and earned a Bachelor of Arts with a focus in Child Psychology from Lake Erie College in 1957, where she was senior class President.  She sailed on the SS America to spend her 1956 winter/spring term in Grenoble, France, sparking what became a lifelong love of travel that took her to multiple European countries. Her furthest sojourn was to Mali, in West Africa, where she toasted in the New Year of 2002 on the banks of the Niger River. She spoke and understood more French than she let on, and surprised even in her final weeks with some expertly turned phrases.  

She met Howard, a mechanical engineer from Columbus, Ohio, on a blind date. They married in 1958, and over the course of sixty-two years, built a path and a family together as they navigated life.  She devoted enormous love and attention to caring for Howard at home during his final years. Their marriage was a moving testament to the quiet power of partnership, humor, and unfailing love. 

A calm, kind and (extremely) patient mother — as well as an excellent cook! — she was the source of unconditional love and support for her family and was greatly loved in return.  Her most fervent wish for each of her grandchildren was that they have confidence in their abilities to do whatever they wish with their lives. As a wonderful mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend, her absence will be acutely felt by all, but each will carry forward something unique from the special relationships built with her.   

Elly loved her many friends and was loved in turn for her warmth, generosity and kindness.  During these last two challenging years, she missed regularly seeing her sisters from PEO Chapter C. 

She and Howard also enjoyed attending church with their children until their health precluded it. They faithfully spent alternate Sunday mornings at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church and the Columbus Church of Christ, where they made many friends, as they did wherever they went. Elly particularly valued her time with the Sage Sisters from the Columbus Church of Christ, a group of more mature women who love to serve others and learn more about God and each other. 

Elly loved nature, wildlife and birding, and devoted time to developing that love in others, first as a troupe leader with the Girl Scouts in Brecksville, Ohio and Gastonia, North Carolina, and later as Volunteer Coordinator at the Cox Arboretum in Dayton, Ohio. She reflected that her years at the Arboretum, spent surrounded by beauty and the changing seasons, were some of the best in her life. She visited “the Arb” for the last time in 2020 with great pleasure. In her last days, she was accompanied by the soothing colors and gentle sounds of the busy animal and bird life in the garden she planted and tended outside her own home. The family is grateful to the anonymous sender of a beautiful, soft hummingbird plush. “Jeremy”, as she called him, never left her side in her final weeks. He provided much comfort with his quiet patience and readiness, as she said, to “fly with me”. 

A small service will be held for close family Monday, September 13, 2021 at the Tidd Family Funeral Home in Hilliard, Ohio.   In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to the Cox Arboretum Foundation; 

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