Joseph W. Geyer, Sr., 89, of Southbury (formerly New Milford) left our world to join the love of his life, Nadine, on May 20, 2019. He was born in Wilkes-Barre, PA on May 31, 1929 to the late José and Isabel (Llewellyn) Santiago and was later adopted by his step-father, William Geyer, when Isabel remarried.
Joseph earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Mansfield University (formerly Mansfield State Teachers College) and a Masters of Music Education from Boston University. He taught in the Camden (NY) Central Schools from 1953-1954, Meyers High School (Wilkes-Barre, PA) from 1954-1959 and Litchfield (CT) Public Schools from 1959 until his retirement in 1986. In retirement, Joe served on the New Milford Board of Realtors.
Joseph served his country proudly in the Army during the Korean War and often told the story of playing taps to the North Koreans each night at sunset.
Professionally, Joe was a member of the CT Music Educators Association (President 1983-85), Berkshire League Music Festival and Phi Beta Mu. He was a tenor oratorio soloist for the Norwalk Symphony, Danbury Community Chorus, Asylum Hill Congregational Church and the Choir Director for the Litchfield Congregational Church for many years. He directed the Torrington Men’s Choral Club, the Bristol Chorale, and the Southington Festival Chorale at various times during his life.
Joseph had a love of sports. He was a die-hard Yankees fan and played golf on a regular basis until he had to hang up his clubs this past spring. His love of sports translated into officiating. Joe spend many years refereeing volleyball, softball and wrestling at the high school and college level.
Joseph was a member the Philanthropic #164 F & AM (NY) and St. Peter’s Lodge in New Milford. He was honored to recently receive his 65 year membership pin.
The public service aspect of Joe’s life included serving as a Justice of the Peace in New Milford and serving on the New Milford Board of Education for 15 years where as Chairman of the Northville School Committee, he was able to see the new elementary school come to fruition.
Joseph was predeceased by his wife of 64 years, Nadine D. Geyer of Southbury. He leaves behind his children and their spouses: Pamela Geyer, Joseph(Julie) Geyer, Nadine(Jeffrey) Pratt, David(Marina) Geyer, Paul(Jill) Geyer and Rebecca(Alex) Barelka; Grandchildren: Christopher (Tiffany) Marsh, Lindsay Marsh, Michael & Jennifer Geyer, Katie(fiancé Tom DiMarco) Pratt, Melissa Pratt, David, Jr & Daniel Geyer, Paul, Jr & Anna Geyer and Rachel & Jackson Barelka of and Great-granddaughter Ellie Marsh.
The family would like to thank the staff at The Hearth in Southbury and Danbury Hospital for the wonderful care they provided.
In lieu of calling hours, a celebration of Joe’s life will take place on Saturday, May 25 at 11am at North Congregational Church, 11 Main St. North, Woodbury, CT to be followed by a reception at 11:45 in the church parlor that will include a Masonic Service. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Friends of the New Milford Public Library, Inc., New Milford, CT. or the Wounded Warrior Project.
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