Charles (Charlie) Madison Geer, Jr.
Published 3:29 pm Monday, August 30, 2021
A true Southern gentleman, straight-talker, and honorable man, Charles (Charlie) Madison Geer, Jr., 94, died peacefully on Aug. 26, 2021, at his home in Lumberton, North Carolina. He was born on Dec. 26, 1926 in Gastonia, North Carolina to Charles Madison and Alice Louise Evans Geer. Charlie grew up in LaGrange but enjoyed frequent trips to Shuqualak, Mississippi to visit his extended family and ride his beloved pony, Cricket. He graduated from LaGrange High School in 1941 at age 15 then attended The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina for two years.
In December 1943, at age 17, Charlie joined the Naval Air Corps and served for two and a half years in World War II. His flight time was on a TBM Navy torpedo bomber where he served as a radar operator and tail gunner. He was honorably discharged in July 1946 having achieved the rank of AETM 3rd Class, Airborne Electronics Technician.
Next, he attended the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, graduating in 1949 with a major in industrial engineering. He then went on to Harvard Business School where he earned his MBA in 1951.
Charlie then began a 44-year career working for textile companies throughout the Southeast. He started at Deering Milliken (Abbeville, South Carolina) in the Engineering Department. In 1954, he moved to WestPoint-Pepperell, working in LaGrange and New York City. In 1960, after a two-year stint as an engineer/consultant with a civil engineering firm (Lee Associates) in Charlotte, North Carolina, Charlie joined Burlington Industries, in Greenville, Calhoun Falls, and Abbeville, South Carolina. In 1967, he became supervisor for another textile firm, Dan River, overseeing operations at mills in Virginia and Alabama. Rejoining West-Point Pepperell in 1971, he became general manager of the Ahoskie plant until he was moved to their Lumberton, North Carolina plant. He retired as a vice president in 1991.
Charlie was a wonderful husband and father. He married Eleanor Sue Keeter (1927-2020) on Jan. 16, 1960, in Charlotte, North Carolina; they were happily married for 60 years and raised two very loved children. Since his retirement, Charlie enjoyed consultation work and service to his community. He was an active (and founding) member of the Century Investment Club as well as the Lumberton chapter of the Rotary Club where, over many years, he served as president, first newspaper editor, assistant governor, and was a Paul Harris Fellow. He also devoted much of his time to the First Presbyterian Church of Lumberton where he was a deacon, elder, and chairman of the Finance Committee for many years. But he especially cherished time with his family, whether boating on “The Happy Hour,” traveling with them, or simply enjoying their company at home in Lumberton.
Charlie is survived by his two loving children (and their spouses), Charles Madison Geer III (and Lili, Charlotte, North Carolina) and Jeane LeEtte Geer-Taylor (and Darryl, in Hope Mills, North Carolina), his sister Marguerite Wellborn (and her husband, Marshall, in Atlanta), as well as many nieces, nephews, and extended family members.
The family would like to extend their gratitude and thanks to the devoted long-time caregivers for both Charlie and his wife Eleanor, as well as their many wonderful neighbors and friends who have helped them so much over the years.
A service to celebrate Charlie’s life will be held at 3 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Lumberton (1002 N. Chestnut Street) on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021. The family will greet friends prior to the service, at the church, from 2-3 p.m. (masks required). A private interment with family will follow at the church’s columbarium.
In lieu of flowers, the family gratefully requests that memorial donations in Charlie’s honor be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Lumberton (PO Box 1061, Lumberton, North Carolina 28359), Rotary International (www.rotary.org/en/donate), or the Lumberton Rotary Club, District 7730 (PO Box 967, Lumberton North Carolina 28359).
Condolences may be left on the online guest book at Floyd Mortuary’s memorial website (www.floydmortuary.net).