Colleen Yvonne (Wilson) Geiser was born July 31, 1932, in Berwyn, to Tom and Anna (Roessler) Wilson. Her family headed west to Oregon during the Great Depression, but had to settle in Idaho when they ran out of money.
Colleen attended school in Idaho, before the family moved back to Nebraska. She attended junior high school in Bellevue, and graduated from Tekamah High School in 1949. Following high school, Colleen received her teacher’s certificate after one year at Dana College. She continued to take classes, and ultimately earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Dana College in 1969, becoming the first person in her family to earn a college degree. Colleen’s dad had her riding horses as early as age 1, and she grew into quite an accomplished horsewoman; both showing horses, and barrel riding. Colleen was also active and proficient at many sports, and played softball and basketball for Dana College.
Colleen married Floyd R. Geiser Jan. 27, 1951, at the Presbyterian Church in Fullerton, and they were blessed with two children,: Tom and Jane. Colleen and Floyd lived in Waterloo and Fremont before spending the last 40 years in Oakland. Floyd preceded her in death this past June.
Colleen taught for many years in the Waterloo, St. Edward, and Elkhorn school systems, before retiring in 1973, when she and Floyd moved to Oakland. While in Oakland, she helped Floyd with his seed corn business, and was a member of the Oakland Methodist Church. She was proud to be the first woman elected to the Waterloo School Board from 1958-1962, and also co-started the “El CID” ladies golf tournament in Oakland.
Colleen was a very talented woman. Anything that she tried, she did well. She enjoyed being active playing golf, fishing and bowling, but also was a talented painter, and even wrote a book about her family immigrating to the United States.
Colleen enjoyed directing and acting in Oakland Community plays. She was a big fan of Nebraska football, and loved to travel, especially to Hawaii and her yearly trip with Floyd to Las Vegas. She was a stubborn, strong-willed woman, who always had a smile on her face, and was known to tell it like it was. Colleen was proud of her college degree and especially loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She will be remembered for her many talents, and for always being friendly and outgoing.
Colleen passed away Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at Valhaven Nursing Home in Valley, at the age of 80 years, 2 months and 18 days. She was preceded in death by her parents, Tom and Anna; grandson, T.J. Geiser, and great- grandson, David Hernandez; and husband, Floyd.
Colleen is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Tom and Virginia Geiser of Norfolk; daughter Jane Simpson of Opelousas, La.; grandchildren, Tony Medinger, Mandy Melancon, Nick Geiser, Tanya Hernandez, Jake Geiser, and Tracy McClinton; great-grandchildren, Ciara Melancon, Bailey Melancon, Darius Geiser, Shayla Hernandez, Shania Hernandez, Tanya Hernandez, Kaylea Geiser, Abbygail Geiser, Trinity Geiser, Blake Adams and Caleb Adams, sister and brother-in-law, Mary Lou and Garry Mason of Fullerton, and niece, Kelly and her husband Dennis Zarek of Fullerton.
Funeral services were Oct. 22, 2012, at Reichmuth Funeral Home in Omaha. Interment was at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Elkhorn. Memorials are suggested to the Alzheimer’s Association or the American Cancer Society.
Condolences may be sent to www.reichmuthfuneralhomes.com .
Published in Custer County Chief, Oct. 25, 2012