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Russell "Russ" H. Geagel

Russell "Big Russ" H. Geagel, 70, died Sept. 8, 2004, at Providence Hospital, Anchorage, of congestive heart failure. Memorial services were held Sept. 11, 2004, at the Kenai Lake Baptist Church in Cooper Landing, the Rev. James Hisel of Sandia, Texas, officiating.

Geagel was born July 13, 1934, in Denver. He lived in Colorado for 31 years. After serving in the U.S. Army, he worked for Martin-Marietta and Dow Chemical. His adventuresome spirit led him to Alaska in 1965. While in Anchorage he worked as a long-haul truck driver in the aftermath of the Good Friday 1964 earthquake, and worked at the Alaska Native Medical Center, eventually as building and grounds supervisor.

He moved to Seldovia in 1975, where he worked as facilities manager for the Kasitsna Bay Research Lab for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He retired in 1995. He and his wife were snowbirds in Texas for six years. While in Texas, he used his building skills to help the local church with many projects. He returned to living full-time in Seldovia last year.

His family and friends remember him as an outdoorsman. He was a pilot, recreational boater, hunter and fisherman who loved Alaska. He could fix anything and had just finished building a home in Seldovia in June. His family said, "He loved the Lord and his skills will surely be put to good use in Heaven."

Geagel is survived by his wife of 21 years, Linda; his children, Lynn Sutton, Russell Lee Geagel, Pam Blikstad, Michael Geagel, Kim McCaulou, Irene Hoffman, Ilene Hoffman, Ronene Hoffman, Ron Hoffman and Shad Wells; his sister, Helen Bokan, of Lafayette, Colo.; his nephew, Mike Bokan, of Boise, Idaho; 19 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations are requested for the Education Building Fund, First Baptist Church, Sandia, Texas 78383.

Source: Homer News, 16 September 2004



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