Thad Henry Geer passed away peacefully at his ranch on Tuesday, Feb. 4.
He was born in Burns on Oct. 10, 1934, to Henry and Julia Geer. He grew up with his sister, Ellen, and brother, Don.
Thad was so full of life, with many friends and dreams. He loved to have fun. When he graduated from high school, his dad said, “Congratulations son. You have gone all through school and not learned a da__ thing. I think you have set a record.” He went on to attend college at Boise State, but that was not his thing, so he married the love of his life, Joyce Houtz, on Nov. 8, 1953. They built a house together when they were 20, and during that time, they had two daughters, Ramona and Cheryl. In 1963, he and Joyce fulfilled their dream of owning a ranch and bought the Glen Clemens Ranch. The family enjoyed working together in all aspects of ranch life. They later purchased a cabin in the woods and Bertha Soloman’s place on Red Barn Lane.
Thad loved ranching, hunting, friends, parties, food, family and music. He could play any instrument he picked up. He played in bands for many years. He loved to play his mandolin while sitting on the “throne” in the bathroom. One of his dreams was that his grandchildren would form a band, but that was not their dream.
He worked for the United Telephone Company as a lineman for 30 years, and was forced to retire when, at the age of 52, he had a heart attack while on the job. He drove himself to the hospital in Ontario, laid down on a bed in the emergency room, and said, “I need help. I’m having a heart attack.” He recovered, thanks to persistence, and went to ranching full time.
He loved spending time with family and friends, and keeping busy. He was a great story teller, but tended to exaggerate somewhat, and kept everyone entertained. He loved to invent and repair things. He could fix something to last better than anyone. Among his inventions was a special type of fence, a “fructor,” numerous fence stretchers, and a zip line at the cabin. When he lost a tooth, he carved one out of a toothbrush and super glued it in his mouth. He loved to make things out of horseshoes until Joyce said ,“NO MORE.” He could and would do anything.
Yearly trips with his daughters and grandkids were amazing. He always made them the highlight of the year.
Joyce did everything in the house as long as she was able. Thad had never washed a dish or clothing. When Joyce got ill, he had to learn that you need soap in the washer to do laundry, how to do housework and take care of finances. He never did perfect cooking, but he took wonderful care of Joyce for two and one-half years during her illness.
Thad is survived by his brother, Don and his wife, Helene; daughters, Cheryl and husband, Jim Drinkwater, Ramona and husband, Mark Hofman; grandchildren, Talon, Darci, Tanner, Joe and Heidi; great-grandson, Ryker, and many friends. He will truly be missed by all.
Thad was preceded in death by his sister, Ellen; and Joyce, his wife of 60 years.
A memorial service will be held at Pioneer Presbyterian Church at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15. Contributions may be made to a charity of one’s choice.