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Obituary: Geary, John Keith Malcolm

Age 80

GEARY, John Keith Malcolm (Age 80) Passed away peacefully on Sunday evening, August 24th, 2014 after being diagnosed with stomach cancer just two weeks earlier. John was born on July 2nd, 1934 in Potters Bar, Middlesex, England to Henry and Winifred Geary. At the age of 10, he attended the Durham Cathedral Choir School and then later, the Mill Hill School in London. He served in the Royal Air Force and worked at the Bank of England prior to emigrating to the United States in 1963 to pursue higher education at Brigham Young University where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English. He went on to study at the University of Oregon where he earned his Doctorate Degree in English. He was a professor of English Literature and Humanities at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington for 25 years. After his retirement, John became a prolific poet publishing three books Eclectic Reflections, Treasure Each Day and Toward the Light. John was also a frequent performer on KPBX radio where he recorded many broadcasts that included his own poetry as well as the works of other well-known poets. He started a poetry group to encourage aspiring poets and give them a chance to share their work. John was also a great musician. He began singing as a choirboy in the Durham Cathedral in northern England. Music was always a part of John’s life both as a singer and as a choir director. He directed many choirs over his lifetime and was an active member of the choir at Westminster Congregational UCC. John will be remembered most for his gregarious personality, his upbeat and positive approach to life, and his care and concern for those around him. He influenced the lives of hundreds of students throughout his career as a professor and has continued to influence the lives of those who knew and loved him. John is survived by his three children, Paul Geary of Sammamish, Washington, Nigel Geary of Spokane Valley, Washington, and Alyson Geary of Lexington, Massachusetts. He also leaves behind his sister Marjorie Pryor and his nephew John Pryor of Norfolk, England and his niece Jane Wheeler of Cambridge, England. John is a grandfather to Andrea, Michael, Lisa, Johnathan and Jacob and a great-grandfather to Amiya, Emily, Kyson, and Quinnton. Donations in John’s honor can be made to Hospice of Spokane or the Spokane Food Bank. A funeral service to honor John will be held at the Westminster Congregational UCC Vhurch at 411 S. Washington Street in Spokane on Saturday, August 30th at 2:00 p.m. All are welcome.