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Kevin Patrick Geisel

1958 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Kevin Patrick Geisel Obituary
Kevin Patrick Geisel

Nov. 6, 1958 - July 7, 2018

MISHAWAKA - Kevin Patrick Geisel, 59, aka “Uncle Kevin” and “Papa Bear”, has lifted his last beer on this earth. This self-admitted “About Average” guy was truly something else.

He was born November 6, 1958 in Mishawaka to the late Joseph and Maxine (Henning) Geisel. He survived being the youngest of six children as he grew up across the street from Battel Park. He attended St. Monica's Church and School and graduated from Mishawaka High School (1977). Siblings include Dennis of Mishawaka, Michael (Sherry) of Mishawaka, Gregory (deceased), and Irene Gosset of South Carolina. Kevin's brother, Larry (Debbie) has always been his very best friend, and eventual business partner. The “boys” shared the old red van, successful companies, long business lunches, Miller Lite pitchers, secret recipes, Saturday mornings, and a unique sense of humor.

For nearly 40 years, Kevin's other best friend was his wife, Kathy (Harshman). In high school, friends set Kevin and Kathy up on a blind date. Three years later, on April 21, 1979, they were married at East United Methodist Church, Mishawaka. From that arranged meeting grew his treasured family: daughter, Kathryn Geisel Widmeyer and grandsons, Anthony and Vincent of Osceola; daughter, Kelly (Curt) Geisel McDowell and grandsons, Philo and Colin of Goshen; and his son, Kameron and grandsons, Connor, Logan, and Levi. The greatest heartbreak of his life was the death of Kameron in 2014 at the age of 25. Today they are back together.

Kevin played for the 1974 State Champion Mishawaka High School Football Team. In 1976, he was Leading Scorer in the NIC Conference. Not bad for a 5'6, 160 lb. fullback. His senior year, he was awarded the MHS Football “Mental Attitude Award”, or as he called it, the “Miss Congeniality Award.” This straight A student also became a member of the National Honor Society. He didn't tell his brothers about this award because he was afraid they might beat him up for embarrassing them.

Kevin's father Joe was a Tool Maker, so he had little choice but to become a Tool Maker too. At 18, he started serving his apprenticeship, at 21 he married, at 23 he began his family and built his 1st house. At 25, he worked nights with two of his brothers to launch his first business (Triplex Industries) and at 29 they started a second business (Genesis Molding). He never went to college, but successfully kept both those businesses alive in both good and difficult times. In 1989, he and his brother Larry won the Michiana Chamber of Commerce's Entrepreneurial Spirit Award. Still, Kevin stated that his biggest reward was being able to work and employ so many of his family, friends, and community.

Kevin was an unmatched father. No dad could make a grocery run more entertaining. No father could out cheer him at a soccer or hockey game. Candy bar runs and pet store exploits were a weekly occurrence. There were always roses for birthdays and live bands for graduation parties. He endured multiple vocal recitals, orchestra concerts, and dance performances because he so adored his girls. He coached little league games and drove to countless hockey practices to champion his son.

When home, Kevin employed his talents making a lot of 50 gallon carboys of astonishing local fruit wines, smoking fresh caught Michigan salmon, and barbequing meat until it “almost” fell off the bone. He also made a great Belgium dry sausage, the very best grilled steak, and fantastic bread and butter pickles. To him, a good Saturday was cooking all day. A good Sunday was giving it all away.

Kevin would openly admit that he got very tired of “trying to be good.” He was not ashamed to say that his “filter” had never really worked and that he didn't know where the “line” was. He also didn't know how to pass on picking up the check for a stranger's meal, or how not to buy every Girl Scout cookie or fund raiser that came to the door. He gave more than one kid a place to sleep for “awhile” or a friend a job. From Japan to the Caribbean, he would talk to every single person he met, anywhere, anytime.

He paid his doctor with homemade wine. Home repair servicemen always left his house with steaks or smoked pork chops or bottles of wine. And more than a few “Public Servants” enjoyed his DC Meat deliveries.

In his lifetime, Kevin flew planes, rode Harleys, played football, softball, and hockey. He raced go-carts, rode snowmobiles in the U.P. and Sea Doos on the St. Joe River. He golfed and bowled and Belgium bolled. He caught champion size marlin in the Caribbean, salmon in Alaska, and prized blue gill from St. Joe with his grandboys. Kevin enjoyed long lunches with friends, the gang at the BK Club, winning Norte Dame and NASCAR bets, relaxing to Fox News or the Cooking Channel, and living on the river. Boating always meant family, friends, and a good time. Kevin only worked so that he could live. And live he did.

Visitation will be on Wednesday, July 11 from 3 to 8 p.m. in Hahn Funeral Home, 505 W. 8th Street, Mishawaka. Funeral Services will be on Thursday, July 12 at 10a.m. at St. Monica Catholic Church, Mishawaka. In true Kevin fashion, a party will be held in his honor, at the BK Club, 721 S. West Street, Mishawaka, IN following the funeral. Casual dress is encouraged. Taxis will be provided.

In lieu of flowers, Kevin requests that “Between the Buns” decorate a table in his honor. Everyone else should remember to buy a friend a drink, pick up the check for an unsuspecting family's meal, and leave a great tip for a well deserving server. A donation to the Mishawaka Food Pantry would also be appropriate.

If you would like to share your memories with the family, an online condolence is available at www.hahnfuneralhomes.com.
Published in South Bend Tribune from July 10 to July 11, 2018
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