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Charles L. Geister, 70

Charles Lee Geister died on July 18, 2009, at United Hospital in St. Paul, after a 23-year battle with heart disease and three week struggle with congestive heart failure.

The son and fifth child of Clarence and Narelle (Atchison) Geister, was born on Jan. 12, 1939, in Prescott. He was taken in by his foster parents Welsie and Ethel (Peterson) Bredahl at the age of 11 months along with his brother Arnold "Bill". They both were raised on their truck garden farm on the highway in Beldenville.

The first 18 years of his life were captured in his memoirs "Lilies of My Valley" (2007) published by the Pierce County Historical Association. This book was in tribute to his foster parents and all the wonderful memories he had growing up on their farm. He attended Forestville Grade School for eight years and ultimately graduated from Ellsworth High School in 1956, subsequently going to River Falls State Teachers College for one semester.

He joined the United States Air Force on Jan. 2, 1957, where he remained for eight years as a mechanic stationed in Denver, Colo., Puerto Rico, and McCoy Air Force Base in Pine Castle, Fla.

He married Alicia Dell Stone on Dec. 29, 1959, and continued to live in Florida for the next 10 years along with his wife and two oldest children, Gloria and David.

Returning to Wisconsin in 1969, he became employed with Sperry UNIVAC (Unisys since 1986) where he worked for 26 years at both the St. Paul and Roseville locations.

On Sept. 1, 1973, he married Marcia Mouw in Alto. They lived in Hudson along with their son, Dan.

In 1978, Chuck moved to River Falls, where his foster mother and best friend, Ethel Bredahl had been living since 1965. He continued to live there for the rest of his life sharing his home at different times with his sons David and Dan, foster mother Ethel, brother, Arnold "Bill" and cats, Tinker and Buddy.

Chuck had many interests and passions, of which music was one of the strongest and most prevalent in his life. He loved the guitar and played it himself, the best way he knew how making many homemade tapes by himself and with groups of friends and relatives. He was also very interested in antiques, especially furniture and restored many pieces for over 30 years.

Some of the many other interests he enjoyed included making wind chimes, barn wood frames, homemade crafts, metal detecting, driving his 1967 Ford station wagon in parades, fishing, bowling, collecting stamps, coins and music. If there was a good song being played, and interesting antique auction going on, or a funny joke being told, you can best bet that Chuck would be a part of these fulfilling events, as he had a great sense of humor as well.

Charles Geister was preceded in death by his foster parents: Welsie and Ethel Bredahl; parents: Clarence and Narelle Geister; and siblings: Clifford, Bernard, and William Geister, David Knutson, and Mary Sedona Waters. Sisters Leona and Dorothy have never been found.

He is survived by three children: Daniel Geister of River Falls, David Charles Geister of Brooklyn Park, Minn., and daughter, Gloria Savannah of Mount Dora, Fla.; grandchildren; Brandon Geister, Emily and Leah Scheid, and Amanda Robison; great-grandchild, Riley Keim; siblings: Bonnie Hunter of Riverside, Calif., Suzanne Hurst of Waldport, Ore., John Erikson of Ark., and Arnold "Bill" Geister of New Richmond; along with many other friends and relatives.

A funeral service will be held on Friday, July 24, at 11 a.m. at the Bakken-Young Funeral Home in River Falls.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, July 23, from 6-9 p.m. and on Friday from 10-11 a.m.

Interment with military honors will be in the Beldenville Cemetery. Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services of River Falls.