ORRVILLE – Willis Earl Geiser was born August 23, 1932 on the family’s dairy farm in Kidron, the sixth child (of seven) of John and Helen Geiser. Willis was raised a dairy farmer, and was recognized by the Ohio Holstein-Friesian Association for owning a record-setting cow named Queenie (who once produced 22,368 pounds of milk and 912 pounds of fat in a single year). In 1954, Willis married Doris Lehman and the couple had seven children over the next 12 years, during which time he took stewardship of the family farm. Then, in 1964, after the deaths of his parents, (and at the request of his siblings) Willis sold the farm – giving up the only way of life he had ever known – and moved his family to Orrville where he took a job with McClaine Trucking.
While Willis drove truck for the next 30 years, he never really gave up the farm lifestyle, always finding time for gardening, woodworking, and tinkering – he was certain he could find a better, more efficient way to do anything. Willis also maintained logs of everything he did: hundreds of pages of directions and hand-drawn maps to all of his stops as a truck driver across the United States; detailed information on planting and harvesting dates and times, including the weather; and generations-worth of genealogical data. All studiously collected and carefully recorded in well-worn journals.
After his retirement from Louisiana Pacific in 1994, Willis devoted his time to the same activities he’d enjoyed all his life; tinkering as a handy-man on a horse farm, woodworking as the general contractor for several houses, and of course maintaining his own garden and landscaping (complete with journals). Forever a farmer at heart, Willis never tired of his constant projects and was always on the move. Still, whether visiting the Wilderness Center with grand (and eventually great-grand) children, or helping his sons and daughters with gardening or home improvements, Willis found time to enjoy his family as well.
Willis Earl Geiser, 80, passed away on July 9th, 2013 in the presence of his family. He is survived by his children Laverne Geiser of Toledo, Shirley Stewart of Orrville, Byron (Jerri) Geiser of Orrville, Becky (Dale) Dannemiller of Smithville, Judy Geiser of Orrville, Lori (Bob) Arsenault of Hilton Head Island, SC, Bob (Sarah) Geiser of Medina, 16 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren.
There will be no calling hours or services.
McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster is assisting the family.
Online condolences may be sent to www.mcintirebradhamsleek.com
No calling hours