Rosemary Geiger was born Rosemary Kovaschitz on October 9, 1918 at the home of her father Stephen Kovaschitz’s parents, Stephan (Stefan) and Mary (Maria) Radish Kovaschitz. Her grandparents and her father were immigrants from Vienna, Austria, and Croatia. Her mother’s family were German immigrants. Rosemary was born at 524 Columbus Ave. in Fostoria, Ohio where her grandparents lived. It was during the Flu Epidemic, and her mother CeCilia Kelby Kovaschitz died 7 days after Rosemary was born. Rosemary’s 19 moth old brother, Charles, died 7 days later on the day their mother was buried.
Rosemary, named by her mother before her death since the name means “remembrance”, was raised by her dad’s parents in their home. She grew up with the last of her grandparent’s 11 children who still lived in the family home. The youngest was 18 at the time. That was our Aunt Dolly. Dolly was really Matilda, but her brother thought her blonde curls and blue eyes that she looked like a doll baby. The other three were John, Frank, and William. Over the later years after her grandparent’s death these four helped raise Rosemary.
Rosemary’s father was killed while working on the B and O Railroad when she was 11. Before his passing he remarried to Louise Krier. They had three children; Marcia, John, and Stephen Paul. Rosemary continued to live with her grandparents.
Rosemary graduated 8th grade from St. Wendelin Catholic Grade School, a Notre Dame Sisters School in Fostoria. Her first two years of high school were as a boarder at St. Ursula’s Academy in Toledo, Ohio staffed by the Ursuline nuns. Her summers were spent with her grandparents. During her last two years of high school, she lived with her Uncle John and Aunt June Kovaschitz in Tiffin, Ohio. She graduated from Calvert Catholic High School in 1936. Her grandpa died in 1931 and her grandma in 1936.
Rosemary moved to Toledo, Ohio to live with her Aunt Dolly and worked at the Boss Glove Factory Office. She met Carl Jacob Geiger in Tiffin and married him on June 1, 1940 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. They built a home at 109 Ann Street and had three children; Susan, Michael, and Dennis. In 1948, they moved to Chehalis, WA to build a new home south of the town on Old Highway 99 where they purchased 18 acres of the Yates homestead property. Children, Sean and Sally Ann were born in Chehalis.
Rosemary worked as an Avon Lady and at Mary McCrank’s Dinner House. She was an active parishioner at St. Francis Mission on Cowlitz Prairie and St. Joseph’s Parish in Chehalis. She has spent years on the board and working for the Lewis County Food Bank. Before that, she worked on the Lewis County Union District Election Board.
She loved to dance, read, watch musical movies, sew, quilt, visit family and remember good times. She was a life-long devout and faith-filled Roman Catholic who took St. Anthony as her personal intercessor.
Rosemary was preceded in death by her husband Carl, brother John, sister Marcia, and grandson Matt.
She is survived by children Sue Campbell, Mike (Mary) Geiger, Denny (Linda) Geiger, Sean (Cat) Geiger, and Sally Ann Geiger. Grandchildren Jennifer Campbell- Brown, Stephan Campbell, Darren Geiger, Darci Geiger Twining, Shannon Geiger Pugh, Mark Geiger, Christine Geiger Johnson, Kyle Geiger, Austin Geiger, Angelique Geiger; step grandchildren Mike Farmer and Justin Trodahl; great grandchildren David and Elizabeth Twining, Skylar and Colton Pugh, Leo Brown, Jack Geiger, Tate and Tucker Johnson, Adeline Bean; step great grandchild Julie Farmer; and great great grandchild Barrett Twining.
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