ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our beloved Earl Geiger. Born on November 17, 1919 in Grinnell, Iowa. Earl married Ginny Brush on July 31, 1941.

On May 17, 2020, in Bloomington Minnesota at age 100, Earl passed away just hours after Ginny, his partner for nearly 79 years of marriage.

We will remember him forever.

Donations in Earl's honor may be made to Friendship Village Bloomington Employee Emergency Fund which helps employees who contracted the corona virus. Checks made out Friendship Village Foundation with Employee Emergency Fund in the memo may be mailed to 8100 Highwood Dr., Bloomington MN 55438

Funeral service will be June 5 at 2 pm CDT and will be live streamed at www.mary.org
Posted by Stephanie Walsh on May 21, 2020
I just read Earl's bio and all I can say is Wow! What a life well lived. And all of that packed into only 100 years! As a kid, he was my favorite uncle (I think because he was missing a finger from a farm accident and I thought that was really cool). Some of my best memories were visiting Earl and Ginny and family at Gull Lake. They were always very generous and fun to be around. So sad that they are no longer with us. 
Posted by Michael OConnell on May 19, 2020
Earl and Ginny Geiger were dear friends since the early 1990s. My wife Sue and I have many fond memories of them as a couple and as individuals. Ginny-the voracious reader-you always wanted to read what she recommended. Her engaging, bright smile and care about how things were going with you was her signature attribute.
Earl-the original entrepreneur and enthusiastic and generous supporter of all who knew him. He was a devoted husband, father, and friend.
Most memorable is Earl and Ginny's marriage--starting with farming in Iowa and virtually ending with their dying together. Their love for each other for over 79 years and their wonderful family are the hallmarks of their life together and their lives. Their marriage was inspiring to many of us who were blessed to know them. May they Rest In Peace.

Michael O'Connell and Sue Hayes
Posted by Belinda Engler on May 18, 2020
I'm so sorry to hear that both Earl and Ginny have passed away. I'm glad for their sakes though that they are together in Heaven. I would have liked to know them better. I have childhood memories of their wonderful hospitality. My Mom always talked about how she'd follow Earl out to feed the cow after dark. She thought maybe he was a little afraid of the dark! I doubt that. They were always the closest of her siblings when she was younger.
Posted by Ro Weldon on May 17, 2020
Prayers and love to the entire Geiger family.
I always looked forward to having conversation with Earl at Tom and Cindy's. Earl could tell a good story and his life experience was always fascinating. A life well lived, and not to be forgotten.
Posted by Jean Roozendaal on May 17, 2020
Dear Geiger Family,
Sending my prayers and heartfelt condolences to all the children, their spouses, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of Ginny and Earl.
So many happy memories of meals shared with four generations of family around the table. What a beautiful, fruitful life Ginny and Earl have shared with us all. They will be sorely missed at the next gathering but I will be remembering stories shared. To be with them, was to see a relationship rooted in love over a lifetime. It’s poetic that they should enter into God’s loving arms together. So grateful to have known them and have the Geiger Family in my life.
With love and prayers,
Jean Roozendaal
Posted by Mary Zack on May 17, 2020
Geigers family, I am so very sorry for your lose. Ginny and Earl were the sweetest most beautiful couples I know. It was obvious they were blessed with the most incredible gift life has to offer by finding their sole mate. They touched the lives of everyone around them with kind words and the radiation of their love for each other. They are appropriately called "The Greatest Generation" and will be greatly missed.
Mary (Keppel ) Zack, Pine Beach Peninsula. 

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Stephanie Walsh on May 21, 2020
I just read Earl's bio and all I can say is Wow! What a life well lived. And all of that packed into only 100 years! As a kid, he was my favorite uncle (I think because he was missing a finger from a farm accident and I thought that was really cool). Some of my best memories were visiting Earl and Ginny and family at Gull Lake. They were always very generous and fun to be around. So sad that they are no longer with us. 
Posted by Michael OConnell on May 19, 2020
Earl and Ginny Geiger were dear friends since the early 1990s. My wife Sue and I have many fond memories of them as a couple and as individuals. Ginny-the voracious reader-you always wanted to read what she recommended. Her engaging, bright smile and care about how things were going with you was her signature attribute.
Earl-the original entrepreneur and enthusiastic and generous supporter of all who knew him. He was a devoted husband, father, and friend.
Most memorable is Earl and Ginny's marriage--starting with farming in Iowa and virtually ending with their dying together. Their love for each other for over 79 years and their wonderful family are the hallmarks of their life together and their lives. Their marriage was inspiring to many of us who were blessed to know them. May they Rest In Peace.

Michael O'Connell and Sue Hayes
Posted by Belinda Engler on May 18, 2020
I'm so sorry to hear that both Earl and Ginny have passed away. I'm glad for their sakes though that they are together in Heaven. I would have liked to know them better. I have childhood memories of their wonderful hospitality. My Mom always talked about how she'd follow Earl out to feed the cow after dark. She thought maybe he was a little afraid of the dark! I doubt that. They were always the closest of her siblings when she was younger.
his Life
Even as a small child Earl Geiger was eager for adventure.While playing in his rural Iowa hometown on a Saturday morning Earl saw a barnstormer land in an open field and offer airplane rides for $1.50. Earl ran home as fast as he could to grab his paper route savings so that he could be the first to go up with the pilot. Others in town were afraid but not this small boy who never forgot the ride of a lifetime!

Earl came by his brave spirit naturally. When Earl’s father William fell in love with Dora Ahrens, an “outsider” to his tight knit Amana Colonies community, he left his home to marry this young telephone switchboard operator. At that time members of the Amana Colonies were not allowed to marry outside the community.

As a youngster while squirrel hunting with friends, Earl was accidently shot through his neck.He hitched a ride to the hospital on the running board of a farmer’s truck. Earl claims he managed to survive only by insisting the hospital staff give him hot lemonade which stopped the bleeding in his throat. This incident resulted in Earl’s signature husky voice.

Earl called on farmers with his father, an Extension Agent who worked with farmers on improving agriculture practices.At this young age, Earl became excited about all the new ideas of the time for agriculture, such as rotation of crops and hybrid corn. This interest in innovation would stick with Earl throughout his long and successful career.

By age of 11, Earl owned his own Guernsey calf, which he showed at the Iowa State Fair. Each year his father bought another calf for him to show. By the time Earl started farming, he owned ten milk cows.

Earl grew up quickly. When he was only 14 his father died and his mother was severely injured in a car accident. Earl and his younger sister survived the crash.Because their three older siblings were at university, Earl cared for his little sister, working at various jobs during the year their mother was hospitalized. Once his mother recovered from her injuries, the family moved to Ames, IA where Earl attended Ames high school. He was selected for the All Conference football team.He was a running back, playing both offense and defense. He won an award for the highest grades in history classes.

After high school graduation, Earl ran a farm north of Brooklyn, IA as a partner with his uncle. Earl expanded the farm to include beef and dairy cattle, sheep, hogs, sealed corn, chopped hay, and alfalfa and designed an innovative three-story chicken barn highlighted in the local newspaper in an article titled “The Chickens That Live in the Ritz”Earl bought a tractor with the $750 he had from his dad’s insurance.

During a 4-H tour, Earl met Ginny Brush when he visited her family’s farm to see the calf she raised for the county fair. He was immediately smitten! Earl and Ginny enjoyed many of the same things, especially dancing. Three years later, on July 31, 1941 they eloped. Without the blessing of their respective parents, they drove to Missouri to get married.

They began married life on their family farm, and welcomed their first son, Gary. A second baby died on the farm during birth. In 1944 Earl and Ginny moved their family to Hampton, IA for Earl’s work with Farmers Hybrid Hogs Company. Three years later, in 1947, he sold the farm, bought 50 percent of the Grinnellian Seed Company, and the family moved to Grinnell, IA. Earl and Ginny enjoyed the Grinnell community.Earl became the first Jaycees president. It was here their first daughter, Mary Lynn, was born.

Earl was a natural innovator and entrepreneur.He worked on many business ventures, including an anhydrous ammonia fertilizer business and a farm he rented out on a share basis. Earl sold Grinnellian Seed in 1949 to Cargill of Minneapolis. He remained in Grinnell, overseeing the construction of seed-corn plants in Aurora, NE, and Mount Pleasant, IA for Cargill.

The family moved to Minneapolis in 1953 when Earl became head of Cargill’s seed-production division.They settled in Edina, where their daughter Jane was born.

In 1956 Earl purchased 50 percent of Larson Boat Works in Little Falls, MN where the family moved and son, Tom was born. The family’s time in Little Falls became life defining. Earl and Ginny formed lifelong friendships, the boat business thrived and they built their beloved home on Gull Lake.

Earl, as the managing partner with Paul Larson, steered Larson Boats to a new manufacturing process, in conjunction with Remington Rand, inventing a revolutionary fiberglass gun that made the production of boats faster, less costly and improved the quality of the hulls. Sales of Larson fiberglass boats grew fast and Larson became the largest runabout boat manufacturer in the world. After greatly expanding Larson, Earl sold Larson to Brunswick of Chicago in 1960 and the family returned to Edina.

In 1961 Earl, in partnership with Carl Pohlad, began to buy and sell seven banks. In 1963 he bought Oil-Dyne, a hydraulics company that invented a widely used inoculation gun, and developed a pump for a deep-sea submersible operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. After three years he sold Oil-Dyne to Racine Hydraulics but remained on its board. Also in 1963, at the request of Little Falls businesspeople, Earl bought back into Larson Boat Works and worked to revitalize the company as its president from his office in Edina. In 1966 Larson purchased Glaspar Boats and Larson Industries went public. The Minnesota Marketing Association named Larson Industries “Marketing Company of the Year.”

Under Earl’s leadership Larson Industries bought C. A. Lund Company and Northland Skis of St. Paul to produce new lines of skis for amateurs and professionals with the expert involvement and endorsement of Olympic Gold winner Stein Erikson. In addition, Larson Industries owned Northland Hockey sticks, which claimed 90 percent of the market. In 1967, Larson acquired Rolite, Inc., manufacturer of travel trailers.

In 1970 Earl decided to leave Larson Industries for other business pursuits. The Geiger family bought a bank in Holstein, IA, and formed Geiger (holding) Corporation. Over the next few years Geiger bought six more banks—in Pennock, MN, and Aurelia, Alta, Galva, Anthon, and Sioux City, IA, rebranding all of them as “Heritage Bank.” While still in banking, in 1980, Earl purchased Warren Company, dealing in incentive gift products, and made it the first to import the popular AirPot. Into whatever field he ventured, Earl had a natural talent for business and innovation

Beyond his many business successes, Earl’s great love was his wife, Ginny, and their family and countless friends. Earl joined Ginny as a member of the Catholic Church where he was an active member of St. John the Evangelist in Hopkins, Pax Christie in Eden Prairie, The Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis and Trustee of St. Thomas of the Pines at Gull Lake. Earl followed Ginny through life and in death, passing way just hours after his beloved Ginny.

Ginny and Earl are survived by their four children: Gary (Nancy Egerstrom) Geiger, Mary Lynn VanDyke, Jane Ellen Salland (Andrea Falconieri) and Thomas William (Cindy Woodward) Geiger; 12 grandchildren: Christopher, Adam (Jennifer Galvelis), Luke (Allison Rice), Bill (Alison Daly), Jane (Chris) McGowan, Patrick (Blythe Sobol) Salland, Elizabeth (Jay) Urban , Kenneth (Yalin Chen) Geiger, Daniel (Phuong Nguyen) Geiger, Lynn (Aleja Ortiz) Geiger, Theodore, and Jacob Geiger; and 14 great-grandchildren: Maxwell and Celeste Geiger; Claire, William, and Charles VanDyke; and Caitlin and CJ Claggett, Jordan Robinson, Pearl Geiger, Owen and Crosby Geiger, Tobin Salland, Lillith Geiger and Maya Geiger.

Recent stories

Earl "My Boss"

Shared by Randy Wilkinson on May 19, 2020
I worked for Heritage Bank, Iowa for 29 years and many of those years directly with Earl Geiger.Thru those years I, mainly thru meetings and social events, met and got to know Ginny Geiger. I found Ginny to be a very caring person who would ask about my children by name and wanted to know what they were doing.She was very proud of her family and if something notable was going on in one of their lives she would share that as well.Earl and Ginny were quite the couple and had a long and very interesting life story which is too long to try to capture here and the story will continue on.

I do want to share some thoughts on Earl since I spent a lot of time working for him and my perspective is from a business relationship.I started with the bank in 1984 and it was just a few days later that I met Earl Geiger.In just a short period of time I had learned of many of his adventures and about him.What I appreciated the most about Earl was his straightforward approach to life and banking.If he had something on his mind or was upset about anything he would let me know and then ask: “You get it.” and I would say “Got it.” And then he would say “Okay, what’s next.”And the topic was rarely talked about again and we went forward in a normal manner.Moving forward was a strength for Earl as he was always wanting to know about new products or new ways to do old things.This was true when Fax Machine came into widespread use.He loved his Fax Machine.These were the Fax Machines with that roll of paper that would curl up and smell like those old “Ditto Machines” schools used to use.I would come to my office at the bank and many times on my desk would be curled up Fax’s from Earl that were handwritten and had his thoughts on something that we should do.Many of these were written in the middle of the night. Shortly after he knew I was in the office he would call and want to know my thoughts and how quickly I could implement requested changes or start-- new products. Working for Earl was sometimes challenging but never boring which became a working relationship I enjoyed.



Earl and Ginny Geiger were special people and they will be missed but they have left behind a legacy for their family as well as for the rest of us that knew them.

Randy J Wilkinson


Earl the Serial Entrepreneur

Shared by Tom Geiger on May 18, 2020
Going through old newspaper clippings, I came across a Star Tribune article by David Kuhn dated Dec 12, 1965 that starts out like this...

"Until eight years ago short, dark-haired Earl Geiger was in the seed corn business. Period.
But that was before he found his way into and out of the boat business, into the miniature hydraulic business, back into the boat business, into the snow-vehicle business, into the engineering consultant business into the ski and hockey stick business and, on the side, into the banking business.
Now the 46-year-old Minneapolis entrepreneur is starting..."
I think a lot of people who did business with him would laugh in agreement with that... he was like the definition of "serial entrepreneur".  Always re-inventing and thinking of better ways to do something, his "can-do" attitude was inspiring.

He talked about how he learned a lot as a kid from riding along with his father and though I didn't appreciate it enough at the time, I can say the same. I heard a lot of his stories riding along on his visits to the banks.  In business, he cared deeply about doing the right thing for employees and customers. Treating people right is good business. His passion for ethical entrepreneurism helped inspire Rotary's Camp Enterprise, and me. I'll always treasure those lessons.