William E. Geisreiter
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William E Geisreiter, 77, died on Tuesday, April 6, 2010, from complications after suffering a stroke in March.

Bill was born on August 25, 1932, in Sacramento, California, to Elsa and Bert Geisreiter and graduated from CK McClatchy High School in 1951. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 1955, where he was a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity. After his graduation, he remained a lifelong fan of Cal football.

After college, Bill enlisted in the United States Army and served in Korea. Upon receiving his honorable discharge, he met and married Andrea Purdy in 1961. In 1967, Bill received his Masters degree in Education from Sacramento State University. He completed his education with a Doctorate from Nova University in 1975. Bill had a distinguished, 30 year career with the Sacramento Unified School District where he worked as an elementary school principal until his retirement in 1990.

Bill was very proud of his two sons, Reed Tricia of Soquel Ca, and Mark Sally of Moraga, Ca. Bill was also close to his step-children, Nancy Wahl-Scheurich Christoph of Santa Cruz, and Tom Wahl who preceded him in death in 2007. He was also very proud of his grandchildren: Katy, Megan, Ryan, Jasmine and Mikela.

Bill married Jewell Wahl in 1985. Bill and Jewell spent 22 years enjoying their retirement until Jewell passed away in 2007. Bill's brother, Richard Bette Geisreiter of Victoria, Canada, and Bill's nephews and niece, Eric, Kurt, Tascha, and David were always close to Bill's heart.

Bill loved his home in Santa Cruz, which had been built by his grandmother in 1932. He also had great memories of vacations spent at the family's Lake Tahoe cabin, as well as endless days of enjoyment at Park Terrace Swim and Tennis Club in Sacramento. Bill was elected to the Santa Cruz Port Commission in 1994 and remained on the Commission until 2009; he was one of the longest tenured Commissioners on record. He was especially pleased that his son Reed now holds his position on the Port Commission. Bill had a strong sense of his civic duty, having followed in his father's footsteps; his father Bert was Mayor of Sacramento in the 1950's.

Bill loved playing his ukulele. Through his love of "ukes," in 2004, he founded "Sons of The Beach," a ukulele group that now proudly consists of over 100 members and routinely plays at the Santa Cruz Harbor on Saturday mornings.

There will be a celebration of Bill's life on Saturday, April 24, at 1:00 pm. If you would like to attend please bring your instrument if you have one, and be prepared to sing! For location and more information about Bill's party, call 831-239-1425, or email billspartyinsc@gmail.com

In lieu of flowers or other gifts, the family is requesting that donations be made to O'Neill Sea Odyssey, 2222 East Cliff Drive, Suite 222, Santa Cruz, CA 95062, or The Museum of Art & History, 705 Front Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060.

Arrangements by Santa Cruz Memorial-Mission Chapel.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Apr. 9, 2010.
Memories & Condolences
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13 entries
April 15, 2010
To Mark, Reed, et al: Condolences and hoping good memories and good lessons from Bill never fade.

The Lundgrens
April 14, 2010
Jessica Perri
April 12, 2010
I vividly remember being a student of Mr. Geisreiter -- he'll always Mr. to me -- at Mark Twain Elementary back in the mid 60's. He struck me even then as a true role model via his intelligence, humor, and his interest and compassion for his students. My condolences go out to his family and loved ones.
Stephen Saucedo
April 11, 2010
A sweet loving and talented man. We'll miss you Bill.
Linzy Norton
April 10, 2010
Having Bill as one of my principals was a joy. He will be missed. My condolences to his family.
Linda Brown
April 10, 2010
It was always a pleasure working with Bill during his time on the Port Commission. He was positive and supportive. He had a true love for the harbor and appreciated it as a public asset.
He remained a true friend, often calling to chat and inviting me to stop by anytime (which I did!).
My condolences to his family and many friends,
Kimbra Bardwell Eldridge, Santa Cruz, CA
April 10, 2010
I had Mr. Geisreiter for fifth grade at Mark Twain elem. in 1965.I will never forget him for he took extra time helping me with my math,which I am pretty good at now.My condolences to his family.
Larry Callahan
April 10, 2010
Bill was many things: educator, environmentalist, Port Commissioner, ukulele player, inquirer, conversationalist, loving partner to Jewell, and a booster of friends and others his keen mind and loving heart saw as having a good idea.

Bill loved his family and once told me of his sons: "I'm a teacher, and yet I learn something from them every day."

Above all, Bill felt that individuals made up a community, which is was where life was lived. To him, the harbor was not just an interface of land and sea, it was where the community could gather.

And, thanks to him, it did. You see it, every Saturday morning. His ukulele strummed a beautiful note.

Last Sunday, I took the ukulele that his family had left next to his bed and gave it to him to strum, and he did. With a smile.
Dan Haifley
April 10, 2010
I am sorry to hear about Dr. Geisreiter. He was one of the principals I worked with at A.M. Winn Elementary.

Cynthia Schafer
A.M. Winn Elementary
Cynthia Schafer
April 9, 2010

Bill - A loyal friend for over fifty years. We shared many interests and many laughs.
Lou Millin
April 9, 2010
The last time we talked, Bill urged Lou & me to come visit. How I wish we could have jumped on a plane. Still, wonderful memories of a long-time friend, his sharing of his beautiful home, and long long walks on the beach.
Peggy Millin
April 9, 2010
Good-bye to Bill who is now joined with his bride Jewel in the big blue beyond. Blessings and condolences to family and close friends, he was a gem.
April 9, 2010
Jack McDermott
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