Obituary for James William (Geer) Geer

APRIL 8, 1933 ~ OCTOBER 11, 2019 (AGE 86)

James W. Geer, 86, of Middletown passed away October 11, 2019. He was born April 8, 1933, in Weehauken, New Jersey, the son of late James A. and Mary Louise (Nees) Geer. On April 5, 1959, he married the love of his life Sara-Marie Guarino, who survives him.

James received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Salve Regina University where he also enjoyed his tenure as an adjunct instructor in computer science. He devoted 30 years of his life in military service to the US Navy where he retired at the rank of Master Chief. The Navy was a vocation that brought him the most professional happiness as he molded the lives of young men into adulthood in the service he loved. As a retired sailor, James was a member of the Destroyer Escort Sailors Association. He served his church and community at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church as an usher for Sunday services. His dedication to his faith and to service was evidenced by his commitment to the Knights of Columbus as a lifetime member for more than 60 years holding positions that included Past Grand Knight and Past District Deputy. In addition, he was a lifetime member of the Newport Ancient Order of Hibernians. In his later years he volunteered for the Edward King House Senior Center where he greeted all who entered with a smile.

With all of his accomplishments as a sailor and a man of faith, James’s love for his family and friends brought him the most joy. He was a “bigger than life” figure of a man that filled a room with laughter from the moment he walked in. He adored his beloved wife “Sal” who stood by his side through many military moves and all that comes with being a “Navy wife”. As a couple, they were truly partners who defined for his family the definition of love and commitment. His children were the jewels in his crown; proud of every accomplishment, no matter how big or small. But mostly he was the gentle giant his children could lean on through thick and thin, through laughter and tears. He extended his love for his children to their spouses with the same fervor as if they were his own. His grandchildren made him beam with pride as he guided them into adulthood, reminding them that the wisdom of the past was best handed down to guide the future. He will be sadly missed by his friends, students and those whose lives he touched along the way.

He is survived by his wife and partner of 60 years, Sara-Marie (Guarino) Geer; his son and daughter-in-law Brian and Carmela (Veneziano) Geer of Middletown, his son and daughter-in-law Gregory and Stacey (Ledoux) Geer of Attleboro, MA; his daughter and son-in-law Wendy (Geer) and Michael Ferrara of Portsmouth; his grandchildren, Devin Geer and his wife Stephanie, Anthony Geer and his wife Erica, Samantha Geer and Liam Geer; and his great-grandchild Michael James Geer.

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Calling hours will be held at Memorial Funeral Home on Broadway in Newport from 4pm to 7pm on Wednesday, October 16th. Funeral Services will be conducted on Thursday, October 17th at Memorial Funeral Home at 9am and a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Newport at 10am. Burial will follow at the Newport Memorial Park on Howland Avenue in Middletown. Donations may be made in James’s name to St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, 12 William Street, Newport, RI,02840.

Source: Memorial Funeral Home – https://www.memorialfuneralhome.com/notices/James-Geer