Beatrice Carmen Geishecker died peacefully at Westhaven Community in Boone, Iowa on February 28, 2018. She had lived there for four years. A Mass of Christian Burial will be 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in St. Joe. Burial will be in St. Joseph Cemetery. Visitation is from 12-1:30 Tuesday at the church. The Mason-Lindhart Funeral Home is assisiting the family.
Bea was born December 31, 1926 to Charley and Bessie Axdahl Michaelson at their home near Hardy, Iowa. She attended a country school and then a consolidated school near Renwick. As the youngest child, she was allowed to tag along to dances with her older siblings. It was at one of those dances where she met John Geishecker of Livermore.
Beatrice and John were married November 13, 1945 at St Joseph's Catholic Church in St Joe and lived all of their married life on the Geishecker home place. The couple had four children: John in 1951, Barbara in 1952, and two more babies who died soon after birth, Mary in 1953 and Joseph in 1956. Their life revolved around the farm and family and faith.
If there was something to be done on the farm, Beatrice would take care of it. She was the good shepherd to her flock, going out to tend to the lambing sheep every couple of hours. She was the one out in the field plowing under the stars, literally running from the field to the house in order to get dinner on the table for hired workers.
Bea loved spending time with her family. She talked about dancing with her babies in the kitchen and how Grandma Geishecker would come from Algona to take care of the kids while she went to the field. When the kids were old enough, they walked beans with their mom. She always made it tolerable, even fun. They got eggs ready to sell, raised chickens to butcher, froze sweet corn, and canned tomatoes. The large garden grew so well in that fertile, black dirt and on Sunday afternoons they worked in it with Bea’s parents who came to visit every week.
If there was Mass, she was there. She went to church early and stayed late. She was a convert, which always makes the best Catholic. Beatrice thought highly of every priest who was her pastor and of the nuns in St Joe and Humboldt. She encountered the nuns every day as she helped her husband clean the school when he was the janitor. She remained friends with many of the priests and nuns. One nun in particular, Sister Consilia Schoenherr, was a pen pal. It was later revealed that they’d shared a special bond because her name had also been Beatrice.
When Bea lost her husband in December of 1987, she followed his wishes and moved off the farm to settle in Humboldt. She continued to drive his recently purchased full size truck back and forth to Fort Dodge every weekend to pick up her son John. She’d take him home for a hot meal and to spend time together. No other event took priority over these weekly visits.
Beatrice loved her granddaughters, Melissa and Vanessa. She would sit holding Melissa for hours, the baby sleeping contently in the warmth from Bea’s hot flashes. When Melissa went to stay with Bea and John while her parents went on a long trip, it took some work to convince her that it was already time to come home after only two weeks. Vanessa started going to Grandma's without her mother at age two. Beatrice was a very active grandma, playing her version of tennis with the girls out in the driveway or taking them to the pool, where she’d never let them out of her sight. The highlight of the year was their trip to the Mulligan Stew – not for the soup but for the bingo, ring toss, and other games funded by Grandma Bea.
The endless generosity, the selfless acts of kindness, the LOVE: that was Beatrice Geishecker.
Left to feel her loss are her children, John Geishecker of Fort Dodge and Barbara (Ed) Wright of rural Boone, granddaughters Melissa (Greg) Pray of Johnston and Vanessa Brayton (Mark Wade) of Toronto, Ontario, sister-in-law Janice Michelson, many nieces and nephews, great granddaughter Pray due in July, plus all of the people who she dealt with and who dealt with her. She is an unforgettable soul.
Those waiting on the other side are Bea's husband John, babies Mary and Joseph, as well as Bea's parents, sister Myrtle Cathcart and brother Kenny Michelson, niece Karen Moore, and nephew John Illg. So many cousins are already there, as well as her childhood friend and Barb's godmother, Jeanne Jamison, who died a year ago.