|Birth: ||Jul. 14, 1928|
|Death: ||Sep. 3, 1992|
Wife of Rev. Robert Stokley Geer; Daughter of Robert Leon Underwood and Edith Jane Buell.
Roberta Geer, supervised top high-school newspapers
from: prob. Miami News or Miami Herald
Roberta "Bobbie" Geer, a Baptist minister's wife who supervised award-winning high school newspapers from Miami to Marshall, Texas, has died after a long bout with cancer. She was 64.
Under her guidance, the Killian High School Cougar's Roar won so many state and national awards that former Miami News columnist Ellis Berger once suggested that her Killian paper "would compete well with any typical community newspaper."
High school journalism teachers are often reluctant to let students tackle sensitive and controversial issues. Not Geer. Her students produced issues dealing with AIDS, birth control and school clinics.
"She made sure both sides were treated fairly and objectively," said Killian Principal Anthony M. Pariso. "She was an outstanding educator."
Geer often stayed after school for three or four hours "approving our editing and p. layouts when most journalism teachers simply sent the raw material to a printer's shop," said Ted Bridis, a former Killian student who works for Associated Press in Oklahoma. "At the University of Missouri, considered among the finest journalism college in the country, I wasn't taught p. design until my junior year. Mrs. Geer taught us in 11th grade. I still use her lessons every day."
Geer also sponsored student papers in Sarasota and Marshall, Texas. "She taught me more about writing and editing than any of the journalism professors I had in college," said one of her former Marshall students, Roddy Stinson, now a columnist for the San Antonio Express-News.
"The Ramp won just about every national and state award possible during the time Bobbie was its sponsor," recalled Edward Brown, Jr., former principal of Riverview High School in Sarasota, where Geer taught from 1972 to 1980. "She really cared for her students, and they could sense this quality in her."
Geer like to tell her Killian students that when she started out in Marshall, the school paper "was only four p.s, advertising was 50 cents an inch and we drew p. dummies on the backs of book covers." By the time she got to Killian in 1982, advertising was flirting with $5 an inch and papers were usually 12 p.s. She pushed her staff for new ways to explain things, once demanding that reporters find out whether the amount of milk used in the cafeteria would fill up a swimming pool. She constantly begged reporters for more "sparkle" in their writing. This led mischievous seniors to give her a gift-wrapped box of glitter at the end-of-school-year party.
Geer was a Baptist minister's wife for 41 years. Her husband, the Rev. Robert Geer, is missions pastor of Riverside Baptist Church. A year before her death, Geer joined her husband on a mission trip to Belize, where they ran a Bible school for young children.
A lifelong Sunday School teacher, Geer once taught a class that had people born in seven countries. She wound up using Chinese, Spanish and Dutch translations of the Bible to get her message across.
As the cancer spread to her spine and the prognosis grew grim, Geer took solace in scripture. "Naturally," she would say, "I want to live like anyone else does. But at the same time I know I am walking with the Lord and he gives me the Scriptures that help me."
She is survived by her husband Robert; a sister, Nancy Langford; two children, Fred Geer, 32, and Mary Ann Geer McBath, 31; and a grandchild, Megan McBath.
Visitation is 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at Van Orsdel Funeral Home, 11200 N. Kendall Dr. A memorial service will be held Sunday at 4 p.m. at Riverside Baptist Church, 10775 SW 104th St. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Florida Baptist Children's Home, 7748 SW 95th Ter.
Legacy of pastor's wife was teaching journalism
by Jack Brymer, editor
from: "The Witness," the Florida State Baptist paper
Although praised as the model pastor's wife, Roberta "Bobbie" Geer of Miami was eulogized Sept. 13 for a career of teaching journalism. She died in Maimi's Baptist Hospital Sept. 3 following a three-year battle with cancer.
For 41 years, she was married to Pastor Robert S. Geer. Together they served churches in Texas and Florida, including Bee Ridge Baptist Church in Sarasota, First Baptist Church, Immokalee, First Baptist Church, Eustis, Gateway Church in Miami, and most recently Country Walk Mission of Miami's Riverside Church. Bob Norman, pastor of Riverside Church, characterized "Bobbie" as a servant, a giver, and a supportive pastor's wife. Her own husband, Bob, told the "Witness" that "no preacher could have had a better wife. She was the joy of my life."
But her legacy, said Anthony Pariso, principal of Killian Senior High School in Miami, is her distinguished career as a high school teacher of journalism. She supervised award-winning high school newspapers from Marshall, Texas to Miami.
Killian High School's Cougar Roar won so many state and national awards that former Miami news columnist Ellis Berger once suggested that the student newspaper would compete well with any typical community newspaper.
"She taught responsibility," Pariso said, citing treatment in the student newspaper of sensitive issues such as birth control and AIDS. "She made sure both sides were treated fairly and objectively," said Pariso. "She was an outstanding educator."
During her husband's pastorate at Bee Ridge in Sarasota, Geer taught English, journalism and bible literature at Riverview High School, and served as sponsor of the school newspaper.
Under her leadership, according to principal, Edward Brown Jr., the school's newspaper was recognized as one of the best in the state. She served as a member of the Florida Scholastic Press Association (FSPA), and was a recipient of both the Silver and Gold Key Awards of the FSPA for outstanding service.
A Texas award-winning columnist for the San Antonio Express-News, Roddy Stinson, said Geer taught him more about writing and editing in high school than any of the journalism professors he had in college. "At the time (1958-59)," Stinson wrote, "her knowledge and grasp of the subject matter and her willingness to spend whatever time was necessary to teach interested students (of which I was one) set her apart from most teachers. "Add to those qualities the sweetest disposition on God's earth, and you will understand why more than 30 years later I still think of her often and remember her with special respect and affection."
Stinson said it was through Geer's "direct influence" that he became editor of the high school paper and then attended the University of Texas where he earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism and a master's degree in communications. "She taught me well, and I have tried to live up to the standards of journalistic excellence that she preached to a 17-year-old boy," Stinson said. From 1964-7-, Stinson edited publications for the Brotherhood Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
A life-long Sunday School teacher, Geer once taught a class with people born in seven countries. As a result, she used translations in Chinese, Spanish and Dutch to get her Bible messages across. One class member was Yih Chang, a medical student, who wrote her in July saying, "Your love and consideration toward other people is always a model for us."
In addition to her husband, Robert, Mrs. Geer is survived by a son, Fred, and a daughter, Mary Ann Geer McBath, a grandchild, Megan McBath, and a sister, Nancy Langford, wife of N. B. Langford, pastor of First Church, Panama City.
Robert Leon Underwood (1903 - 1961)
Edith Jane Buell Underwood (1904 - 1969)
Robert Stokely Geer*
Edith Roberta Underwood Geer (1928 - 1992)
Nancy Buell Underwood Langford (1932 - 2001)*
Miami Memorial Park Cemetery
Created by: Samuel Taylor Geer
Record added: Aug 10, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 20875343