Wilbur Deane Geeding

  • "Rest in Peace Wilber"
    - Jan Hauber-Erickson
  • "So sorry to hear of Wilbur's passing. I will always..."
    - Marilyn Kerschen
  • "I was a year behind Wilber Deane as he was known at Chanute..."
  • "Sorry to hear of Wilbur's passing; my thoughts & prayers to..."
  • "I will always remember Wilbur as a great trumpet player. ..."
    - Wilbur Dorsey

Geeding, Wilbur Deane, was born to Deane and Getta Geeding on March 20, 1922, in Chanute, Kansas. He died unexpectedly on March 1, 2014. Wilbur earned the Eagle Scout Award in Scouting in 1938. He graduated from Chanute High School in 1940, and showed some affinity for playing the cornet in his high school band; after graduation he earned a scholarship to the Cincinnati Conservatory where he studied for some time; while there he auditioned with the Claude Thornhill big band and went on the road. In 1944 while in basic training at Camp Grant he helped form an 18 piece dance band. Later he was shipped to Fort Lewis, Washington where he joined an Army Concert Band, he played in China, Burma, and India; that unit featured several different bands and also had several dance bands. Following his service in World War II he graduated from Kansas University in June 1947 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and with a Bachelor of Laws in 1950; he passed the Bar in February 1950 and later received his Juris Doctor in 1968. He met Marian Nelson in the Spring of 1949 and they were married December 22, 1949. They moved to Columbus, Kansas where he began the practice of law as an assistant county counselor for Cherokee County, Kansas; they subsequently moved to Casper, Wyoming for a year while Wilbur was employed by Stanolind in the legal department. They decided to move back to Kansas and moved to Wichita so Wilbur could go into the private practice of law. He practiced law continuously in Wichita, Kansas from 1953 through his retirement, but even in retirement came to the law office on a daily basis until his death on March 1, 2014. Three sons were born: Martin Darrow, Paul Clement, and Edward Andrew. Wilbur has five grandchildren, Rachel, Heather, Grant, Christina, and Grace Elizabeth; and three great-grandchildren, Alec, Richlyn, and Chayton. While the children were growing up, Marian and Wilbur were active in Grace Presbyterian Church and later Eastminster Presbyterian Church. He was a member of Albert Pike Lodge No. 303, A.F. & A.M., and Cedar Lodge #103, Chanute, Kansas. He was a 33 Degree Mason in the Wichita Scottish Rite and a member of Kansas York Rite Bodies. He was a member of the Midian Shrine Temple in Wichita where he participated in the Midian Million Dollar Band and various subunits as well as the Hillbilly Band for several decades and being the oldest member of those units at the time of his death; his last performance was on February 28, 2014 in Newton, Kansas. In his earlier years, he was active as a singer in Kiwanis Chorus, Wichita Consistory Chorus and numerous church choirs and was in demand as a tenor soloist. He was a featured soloist in numerous Bar Shows put on by The Wichita Bar Association. He was one of the leaders of the Bar Band which was composed of Wichita attorneys. For decades he was musical director of the Hillbilly Band also known as the Bourbon Street 7 which performed principally Dixie and pop music of the '20's, '30's, '40's, and '50's (and older). He also played and sang in the Dads of Dixieland, a small jazz combo group based in Wichita. He also performed with the Wichita State Basketball Pep Band from 2005 through 2008 and took several trips with that performing group. He was a devoted father and husband to his family and extended family. He took great pride in his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Marian and Wilbur celebrated 50 years of marriage in the year of 1999 with a trip to Hawaii with their family. After he mourned the passing of his wife, Marian, in 2005 he reconnected with a long-lost girlfriend, Grace McMullen (nee Meenen) whom he had met in 1944 while stationed at Camp Grant in Rockford, Illinois. The couple married on November 23, 2006. The story of their meeting again after 60 years was chronicled in a feature article published in the Wichita Eagle on the day of their wedding. Wilbur Geeding will be greatly missed by his family, friends, colleagues, and bandmates, and is survived by his wife, Grace, as well as his three children, Martin and his wife Doris of Wichita; Paul and his wife Marilyn of Raleigh, North Carolina; Edward and his wife Sharon of Clarinda, Iowa; also Grace Ann McMullen Moone of High Falls, New York; and Rich McMullen and his wife Susan of Pecatonica, Illinois. Visitation with Wilbur's family will be from 6:00 - 8:00 P.M., Wednesday, March 5, 2014, at Downing & Lahey Mortuary East. Services will be conducted at 1:00 P.M., on Thursday, March 6, 2014 at Eastminster Presbyterian Church with a committal service at 5:00 P.M. at Swede Center Cemetery, near Chanute, Kansas. A memorial has been established with the Midian Shrine Temple, Plane of Mercy Fund, 130 N. Topeka St., Wichita, KS 67202. Share tributes online at: www.dlwichita.com

Funeral Home
Downing & Lahey Mortuary, Inc.
6555 EAST CENTRAL WICHITA, KS 67206-1924
(316) 682-4553
Funeral Home Details
Published in The Wichita Eagle from Mar. 4 to Mar. 5, 2014
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