Bob Geer Collection, 1930-2021
Bob Geer was born on May 21st, 1924, in Charlotte, NC. He was the youngest of four siblings to parents- James and Hattie Geer. Bob served as a Vice President of Southern Railway Company. James Geer ran a shoe shop and a restaurant before the 1929 Depression hit the Geer family hard. Prior to the 1929 Depression the Geer family lived in the Camp Green section of Charlotte, N.C. before the family moved back to Gilkey, N.C. where Bob’s parents were from. Bob developed an interest in art from his grandmother and mother who were self-taught artists, often using charcoal from their fire to sketch. Bob began piano lessons at age 5 and was often taught for free or in exchange for food items from the family farm. As Bob grew up, his love for the visual arts and music grew into keenly pursued hobbies.
Bob attended King’s Business College where upon his graduation started working for Southern Railway Company (now Norfolk Southern Railway following its merger with Norfolk and Western Railway). He was then drafted into WWII where he initially trained to be an infantryman. Following travel to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Mr. Geer heard that the Inspector General for the Alaska Defense Command was looking for someone with business experience to help run his office. Bob volunteered and began working in such a capacity during WWII.
At the end of World War II, after serving in the US Army, Bob returned to North Carolina, where he matriculated at the University of Chapel Hill under the G.I. Bill. Soon after, Bob was offered a position at Southern Railway Company which he initially turned down. He was then given a second offer, which he accepted, with the thought of eventually returning to Chapel Hill, which never came to fruition. Bob was quickly promoted and transferred to Washington DC as Executive Secretary to the President. He traveled across the country with the President of Southern Railway meeting top leaders of businesses across America. Bob’s career at Southern Railway led to the marketing department and eventually to Atlanta where Bob was named Vice President of Industrial Development and Real Estate. While in DC, Bob met and married the love of his life, Mary Boyle. Later they welcomed their only son, Robert Jr., who became a world traveler and a Francophile. Mary Geer passed away in 2008, and 5 years later, Robert Jr. passed away at the age of 59.
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