Cover photo for Eileen Geiger's Obituary
Eileen Geiger Profile Photo
1923 Eileen 2021

Eileen Geiger

January 1, 1923 — July 8, 2021

     Eileen (Bartruff) Geiger, age 98, a resident of Cozad, Nebraska, for most of her life, passed away on July 8, 2021, while pedaling the halls of Westhaven Community in Boone, Iowa. Due to the unpredictable and rapid increase of Covid-19 caused by the delta variant in 2021, her Celebration of Life service was postponed until 2022 and will now be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 9, 2022 at Cozad United Methodist Church in Cozad, NE.

     Eileen was born on her parents' farm in rural Eustis, Nebraska, on New Year's Day of 1923, a few minutes after her twin sister, Estaleen. She was the seventh child born to Gottlob Wilhelm and Engel Caroline Philippine (Koester) Bartruff.         

Eileen attended school in Eustis and graduated from Eustis High School as the salutatorian of the Class of 1940. She felt a bond to her classmates and kept in contact with many of them her entire life. Eileen attended college at the University of Nebraska and taught school for six years in rural schools in the Eustis area. She thoroughly enjoyed teaching children.

     On February 16, 1947, Eileen was united in marriage to Frederick Herman Geiger at the Methodist Church in Eustis, Nebraska. The couple then spent nearly seven decades on their farm east of Cozad where they raised their three children.

     Eileen loved crafts of all kinds, especially sewing, crocheting, and quilting, and made two quilts for each of her grandchildren and numerous crocheted Christmas ornaments for them. She was proud of her Christmas tree decorated with nearly a hundred ornaments she had crocheted and was honored to have her tree on display at the Henri Museum. Eileen filled her yard with a huge variety of flowers and also adorned her home with houseplants. She was an avid vegetable gardener, too, raising much of the food she served her family. She spent hours and hours annually canning and freezing the produce from the huge garden she and Fred tended and she delighted in sharing the bounty with friends and family. She also enjoyed entering her flowers, produce, and needlework at the county fair every year and was proud of all the ribbons she won, especially her Best of Show rosettes. After the State Fair moved to Grand Island in 2010, Eileen entered her crafts there and delighted in all the blue ribbons she won.

     A special highlight of Eileen's year came in the fall when hundreds of school children, church members, relatives, neighbors, and friends came to the Geiger pumpkin patch to select pumpkins, gourds, squash, and corn, all free of charge. Every fall she and Fred loaded their car with autumn's bounty and delivered the pumpkins and gourds to their Nebraska grandkids' schools for the grandkids to share with teachers and classmates. She and Fred were so disappointed when health issues forced them to discontinue the pumpkin patch.

     Eileen was also an excellent baker and treated her family to pie and sweet rolls weekly. Her dinner rolls melted in your mouth. She baked over 20 varieties of Christmas cookies every year, along with krapfen and pretzels, and also baked and decorated angel food cake for every family member’s birthday.

     The United Methodist Church was a very important part of Eileen's life. She was a dedicated member for over 86 years, held numerous offices in United Methodist Women and in several church circles, played in the bell choir, served on the funeral committee for years, frequently worked in the Thrift Store, and spent several years making banners for the sanctuary and lap quilts and Christmas cookie trays for the elderly. She also taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School for many years. Eileen was a member of the S.O.M. Extension Club most of her adult life, served as a 4-H leader for many years, was a member of a craft club for several years, and also enjoyed the many years she and Fred spent as members of a neighborhood pinochle club. A highlight of every fall was Husker football. She enjoyed attending games and never spent a football Saturday not wearing red, even when she wasn't at a game or wasn’t even in Nebraska. But more than anything, Eileen delighted in her grandchildren and great grandchildren and glowed in their accomplishments.

     For over 14 years, Eileen was a tireless caregiver to Fred following his stroke, enabling the couple to remain in their home all that time.

     Eileen is survived by son, Dr. Randall (Marlene) Geiger of Ames, IA; daughters, Judi (Jim) Harper of Grand Island and Jane (Michael) Cohen of Morgan Hill, CA; grandchildren, Robin (Scott) Litchfield of Ankeny, IA; David (Anna) Geiger of Raleigh, NC; Jodi Harper of Mission, KS; Jason (Megan) Harper of Tucson, AZ; Jami Harper of Phoenix, AZ; and Kristin (Todd) Geiger-Thorson of Leland, IA; great grandchildren, Rylee Litchfield, Garrett Litchfield, Kira Geiger, Elliott Geiger, and Matthew Harper; and sister-in-law, Valerie Geiger of Cozad.

     She was preceded in death by her husband in January of 2020; granddaughter, Jill Harper; parents; brothers, Dale (Katherine) Bartruff, Raymond (Edna) Bartruff, Walter Bartruff, and Leo (Phoebe) Bartruff; sisters, Leona Bartruff and Estaleen (Oscar) Weissert; and brothers-in-law, Carl Geiger, Ralph (Elaine) Geiger, and William Geiger.    

     Eileen’s burial took place in a private family service at Cozad Cemetery in July of 2021.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Eileen Geiger, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Cozad United Methodist Church

1515 B Street, Cozad, NE 69130

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