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Obituary: Emil Geering

Fri, Feb 26th 2021 09:30 am

Emil Geering, formerly of Grand Island, died Feb. 20, 2021, at age 97, in Meadowbrook Care Center, Cincinnati.

His strong will to live was inspiring, and he is sadly missed by his family.

He was born in Yonkers, on Feb. 8, 1924, to Emil and Anna (Weiser) Geering. He was raised in Dobbs Ferry, and spent much time in his parents’ bakery. Many tales are told of his boyhood mischievousness there.

 He received his B. S. from Hobart College while in the U.S. Navy V-12 program. He served in the Navy in World War II for three years, mostly on the USS Gazelle, a tanker in the Pacific theater. In 1945, he was honorably discharged as a lieutenant (j.g.).

He worked for several years at Best Foods Co. in New Jersey, then went on to get an M.S. and, in 1950, a Ph.D. in organic chemistry (both at Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn).

He was married to Marion Petchel in the Lady Chapel of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City on July 25, 1953, and he and his wife moved to Western New York in 1954. He was employed at Hooker/Occidental for 37 years, during which time he earned 49 patents. He was a manager in research and development, and later in technical services. During this period, he also earned an MBA from the University at Buffalo.

He was a member of the American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemists. Emil was a man of many talents: woodworking, including furniture and sculpture; piano playing on his beloved Steinway; gardening; bookbinding; cooking and baking artisanal breads; and abstract painting (for which he was honored with an exhibit at Manhattan College in New York City).

He coordinated many blood drives on Grand Island for the American Red Cross, and served on the Grand Island Memorial Library board for nine years, five as president.

A frequently used expression of his was, “Everything is relative,” which his wife joked would be on his tombstone someday, as it so aptly depicted his outlook on life and being.

He lovingly cared for his dear wife through her long illness and death in 2009. Failing health eventually dictated that he move to Crescent Springs, Kentucky, to live with his oldest daughter, Anne (Rick) Gaunder, and then to a nursing home. His other beloved children are Timothy (Linda) Geering of Mason, Ohio; Mary Louise Geering of Brooklyn; and John (Kris) Geering of Mountain View, California.

He is survived by nine grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and his older sister, Anna Cross, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Funeral arrangements will be private due to COVID-19 concerns.

Burial will be in St. Stephen Cemetery, Grand Island. Condolences may be offered at www.kaiserfuneral.com. Memorial contributions may be sent to Grand Island Memorial Library, 1715 Bedell Road, Grand Island, NY 14072. A video memorial celebration of Emil’s life will be held at a later date. Please contact John Geering at [email protected] for information.

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