Life Story / Obituary
William "Bill" Kenneth Geer Jr., age 71 of Traverse City, died March 31, 2018. Bill was born on June 17, 1946 in Eunice, Louisiana to William and Ida Mae (Doget). He grew up in Elton, LA.
Bill attended college at USL in Lafayette, LA. After leaving college, he went to work in oil exploration. He was trained in highly technical exploration work which he did both on ships and in South America where he spent several years before coming to Traverse City. He later worked in quality control for various manufacturing companies in Traverse City.
Bill married Dolores (Wien) Lyskawa on March 26, 1988. He married into "Our family", with one teenage and one pre-teen daughter and he was a loving stepfather to Diane and Jenny. Being a grandpa to Rob and Zak and watching them grow up, was one of the biggest joys in his life.
For many years, Bill did most of the cooking. On New Year's Day, he always prepared pork roast, black eyed peas, rice, turnip greens and corn bread. In the summer, we all loved his grilled chicken and pasta salad but he will be best remembered for his Gumbo and Jambalaya.
Bill enjoyed traveling and over the years. The family made trips to the U.P., Cedar Point, Sea World, Opryland, Mammoth Caves, Toronto, San Diego, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, Orlando, New Orleans and Alaska. But some of the best times were at a rented cottage on Skegemog Lake. Having grown up in southwest Louisiana where his family spent a lot of time boating, fishing and water skiing, Bill was happiest when on his boat, just cruising and fishing.
One last trip in 2016 was visiting Bill’s family in Louisiana. He especially enjoyed meeting 11 great, great nieces and nephews. It had been a long time since the last visit!
After retiring, Bill enjoyed doing volunteer work at both Munson and MCHC, as well as one summer at the T.C. Beach Bums Stadium.
Bill was diagnosed with Parkinson's/Multiple System Atrophy in 2015. It was his wish that upon his death, his brain would be donated for Parkinson's research. That has been done through the Michigan Brain Bank, Brain Donation and Autopsy Program at the University of Michigan.
Bill is survived by his wife, Dolores "Dee"; stepdaughters, Diane (Dave) Coates and Jenny (Paul) Sparks; grandsons, Rob and Zak Denny; sister, Bonnie (Mike) Richard; nieces, Margaret (Mike) Guillory and Kim Richard, nephew, Aaron (Laci) Richard, two great nieces and several great, great nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Juanita (Sue) Geer and infant nephew, Shannon Richard.
Memorial contributions made in Bill's name may be directed to Parkinson's Research or a charity of your choice. An informal gathering will be held 5pm to 8pm, Friday, April 6, 2018 at Life Story Funeral Home, Traverse City. Please visit www.lifestorytc.com to sign the guestbook and share your thought and memories with the family.