Pauline Beatrice (Geiger) Eichler
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Pauline Beatrice (Geiger) Eichler, 86, of Pigeon, died Saturday afternoon, September 28, 2013, from the effects of Parkinson's Disease while under hospice care at Scheurer Hospital Long Term Care in Pigeon, MI.
She was born on June 8, 1927 in Elkton, MI, the eldest child of Edward and Ortha (Melick) Geiger. A lifelong resident of the Michigan's Western Thumb area, Pauline and her eight siblings grew up on the family farm south of Pigeon. At age 16, she graduated from Pigeon High School in 1943 and went to work as a switchboard operator for Pigeon Telephone Company which was owned by the Spence brothers at the time.
On June 22, 1946, Pauline married John E. Eichler in Pigeon. Together the couple farmed John's family's home place where they raised their five children. In 1974, the couple moved into Pigeon where they lived together until John's death on August 2, 1988.
In 1972, the Eichler's business interests expanded with the purchase of Pigeon Telephone Company. In 1981, Pauline returned to the phone company office handling payroll, receivables and other financial business for over 25 years. She was also a member of the Board of Directors helping lead in the creation of Agri-Valley Communications, Inc., the parent company to Pigeon Telephone, Thumb Cellular, Agri-Valley Services/AVCI.net and Agri-Valley Broadband/miSpot.
She continued to work at the corporate office daily until 2007, when her health forced the reduction in her workload. She remained on the Agri-Valley Communications Board of Directors until 2010.
Pauline was a graduate of Central Michigan University and, prior to her involvement with the communications industry, taught at Laker Schools for several years.
She and John were both very active in the Pigeon community and believed in supporting rural living. She served on the Pigeon District Library Board, was a member of the Pigeon United Federated Women's Club and a lifelong member of Salem United Methodist Church where she served as church organist for many years.
In her spare time, Pauline enjoyed quilting and created over 30 full-size quilts during her lifetime as well as traveling extensively with trips to Ireland, Singapore, Mexico, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
Surviving are her children, Edwin H. and Wanda (Hayes) Eichler, David L. and Kathleen (Benkert) Eichler, Neal B. and Annie (Walker) Eichler, all of Pigeon, Beth M. and Paul Pawlak of Marquette, MI and Sue E. and John Crapo of Marshall; siblings: Ronald and Shirley Geiger of Cass City, Kenneth Geiger of Nashville, MI, Janette Hoepner of Valrico, FL, Ross and Nancy Geiger of DeLand, FL, Beverly and Richard McCarty of Anthem, AZ, Keith and Janet Geiger of Warrenton, VA, and Paul and Carole Geiger of Spring Arbor, MI; 21 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, friends and business associates.
Besides her husband John, she was preceded in death by a sister, Shirley Greenleaf, brother-in-law Pete Hoepner, sisters-in-law Dorothy Geiger and Connie Geiger; and sister- and brother-in-law Mae (Eichler) and Jack Paton.
A gathering to celebrate the joyfulness of Pauline's life will be conducted at 11:00 am on Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at Salem United Methodist Church, Pigeon, Rev. David Stewart officiating. Interment will be at the Grand Lawn Cemetery, Pigeon. Casket bearers will be her grandchildren: William Eichler, Jason Eichler, Hans Eichler, Nathan Pawlak, Matthew Crapo; and great grandchild, Aeryn Eichler.
Visitation will be from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Tuesday, October 1 at Meyersieck-Bussema Funeral Home, Pigeon, and at the church from 10 am until the time of the celebration of life.
Memorials may be offered to Pigeon Area Meals on Wheels, Pigeon District Library, Salem United Methodist Church, or charity of donor's choice.
Memories may be shared online at meyersieckbussemafuneralhome.com
Meyersieck-Bussema Funeral Home
7436 Paul Street
Pigeon, MI 48755
Published in The Times Herald on Oct. 1, 2013