Lawrence J. “Larry” Geisler, 84

Lawrence J. “Larry” Geisler, 84, of Jefferson, longtime Marshalltown teacher and language arts administrator, died September 11, 2017. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 AM Saturday at St. Columbkille, Churdan, IA. Visitation will be Friday evening from 5 to 7 PM at the church. The Brown Funeral Home of Churdan is in charge.

Larry taught 25 years in the Marshalltown Schools from 1964 to 1989 and was concurrently head of the English Department in Grades 7-12 for 20 of those years. In addition to teaching at Marshalltown High School, he also taught classes in the middle schools and some college courses. He received degrees from Creighton and Iowa State Universities and was also involved in three summer institutes at Harvard University in the 1980s where he advanced from a first-year participant to the instructional staff the following two summers. He had taught at Benson High School in Omaha before moving to Marshalltown in 1964.

He was twice identified for distinguish teaching and was a frequent presenter at conventions of both the Iowa and National Council of Teachers of English and attended 13 conventions of the national organization. He was instrumental in the revival of the local and state spelling contests and was made an honorary member of be Marshalltown National Honor Society when he retired.

He was active in church, community and political activities in Marshalltown. He was a parish council chairman of St. Mary’s Church where he was also a lector and song leader. He was a Holy Land pilgrim at Easter of 1990. He played three stage roles in the Marshalltown Community Theater.

After taking early retirement, he moved to his original home in Greene County where he was again active in community and church work. He led literary discussions in the area for ten years and presented numerous programs in storytelling and poetry for organizations. He had additional stage roles in both the Greene County and Carroll County theaters. As a grade school student, he was twice his county’s oral reading champion, and that success continued throughout his life. He was frequently invited to read at weddings, funerals, anniversaries and many other occasions. In 1996, he received the Governor’s volunteerism award for Greene County and was the first recipient of the Greene County Impact Award, given for extensive volunteer work in that county.

He was preceded in death by his parents, three siblings and two nephews.

He is survived by a sister-in-law and three generations of nieces and nephews.

Suggestions for memorials are the American Lung Association or the Churdan Public Library at Churdan, IA. Communications to his family may be sent to one of two nieces: Sandra Kersey of Box 213, Churdan, IA 50050, or Sylvene Hatfield at 410 140th Street, also of Churdan.