Thomas Geerin, PhD

Obituary of Thomas Wittman Geerin, PhD

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Thomas Wittman Geerin, 89, of Santa Cruz, California, passed away on March 7, 2022, with complications from Parkinson’s Disease. Tom was born on August 4, 1932, in Niagara Falls, New York. After graduating from Bishop Duffy High School in 1950, he served in the US Navy during the Korean War on the Aircraft Carrier, The Midway. In 1958 he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education from Buffalo State University in Buffalo, New York and in 1968 he received his Master’s Degree in Literature from Hofstra University in Long Island, New York. In 1977 he received his PhD in Comparative Arts from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Tom taught Art Education and Special Education Art for the Board of Cooperative Educational Services II on Long Island for decades. He met Kathleen Leifels, who became his wife, there in 1975. Tom was a passionate art educator, architectural photographer, business owner and traveler. His greatest entertainment was the lively, informative discussions about the arts and current events he had with friends and family. Tom’s legacy will be the appreciation and support of the arts he instilled in people throughout his life. One of his greatest prides was watching his grandchildren become beautiful young adults. Tom is survived by Kathleen Leifels Geerin, his wife of 37 years; his children, Michele Alvarez, Lenore Chen (husband Frank) and Curt Geerin; his grandchildren, Colette Chen, Christian Chen and Curti Geerin. He is also survived by his nephews, Daniel Perkins (wife Nancy) and Robert Perkins (wife Laura); and great nieces Sara and Jennifer. Tom was predeceased by his son, Christian Geerin; sister, Jean Perkins; brother, Jack Geerin; and son-in-law, Jesus Alvarez. Tom’s Memorial Service and Celebration of Life were held last August; however, if you would like to honor Tom's legacy supporting the arts, a donation to your museum of choice or art education would be most appreciated.
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Thomas Geerin, PhD

In Loving Memory

Thomas Geerin, PhD

1932 - 2022

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