Charles Leonard Geiger ’54

Charles Leonard Geiger ’54, of Gainesville, Ga., passed away peacefully at home and in the presence of his family July 14. Geiger was born in 1932 in Boaz, Ala., to William Marlin and Leah Tolbert Geiger. He spent his childhood in Gadsden, Ala.; Portland, Ore.; Atlanta, Ga.; and Panama City, Fl. He attended Davidson, graduating in the Class of 1954 with a dual major in physics and premedical studies. He was a member of the Physics Honor Society and was a tenor soloist for three years in the Davidson Male Chorus. Geiger attended Emory School of Medicine in the Class of 1958. He completed his internship in pathology and his two year residency at Emory Hospital, and spent his third year of postdoctoral pathology at Emory as a fellow of the National Cancer Institute. For the next two years he was appointed to the Emory Medical School faculty as assistant professor of pathology and served as assistant director of the laboratory at the Atlanta Veterans Administration Hospital. In 1963 he joined the U.S. Air Force Medical Service, serving as captain at Eglin Air Force Base. During this time he became a member of the American Society of Clinical Pathology as a fellow of the College of American Pathology. On leaving the Air Force, he moved with his family to Gainesville, Ga., to work with Dr. Hamil Murray. After studying at Oak Ridge, he obtained a license from the Atomic Energy Commission and opened the first radioisotope laboratory in North Georgia. During this time he remained on the Emory Medical School Faculty as professor of clinical pathology. He later moved his practice to Lanier Park Hospital in Gainesville, where he continued to work for the next 14 years until his retirement from medicine in 1991. Upon his retirement he began a long-term study of the natural world and volunteered several thousand hours as a naturalist at Elachee Nature Center. While he was still physically able, he devoted his time and study to paleontology. He often referred to these years as the most enjoyable in his life. He considered the most fortunate event in his life meeting Rebecca “Becky” Deal on a blind date in 1953. They married in 1956, and their marriage continued to grow in joy and meaning until his death. He was preceded in death by his eldest son, William Marlin Geiger ’79. He is survived by his wife, Rebecca Geiger, 715 Mountain View Cir., Gainesville, GA 30501-1672; his daughter-in-law, Catherine Brooks Geiger, and grandchildren, Caitlin and Christopher; his son, Leonard Geiger, Jr., (Christina) and daughter, Ava; his daughter, Beth Geiger Bolstad ’85 (Arlen) and children, Joanna, Emma, and Thomas; and his son, Ralph Geiger. Geiger was a man who lived in awe of the mysteries of the natural world and of the human heart.