James Raymond Geist
James Raymond Geist

August 9, 1938 - September 24, 2017
Born in Fort Dodge, Iowa
Resided in Lakewood, Colorado
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James Raymond Geist
USAF Lt. Col. (Ret)

Jim passed away on September 24, 2017, in the care of The Denver Hospice Inpatient Center at Lowry. He was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, on August 9, 1938, to Donald B. and Phyllis E. Geist . Jim grew up in upstate New York in and around Buffalo.

The Family moved to Denver in 1955, where Jim finished high school at South High and went on to the University of Arizona on a football scholarship. Jim was QB and Co-Captain of the 1959 Wildcats and was selected to play in The Copper Bowl (forerunner of the Fiesta Bowl) following his senior year. Jim also pitched for the Wildcats in the College World Series.

After college, Jim entered the USAF, where he spent 20 years primarily in the tactical fighter business. He flew 187 combat missions in the Vietnam War, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal and Meritorious Service Medal, among other awards. His first wife, Dee, and their children, Jennifer and Christopher, lived in many locations during that time, including Colorado Springs where Jim served four years as Assistant Football Coach at the U.S. Air Force Academy under then coach Ben Martin.

Upon retiring from the Air Force in 1981, the family settled in Pinecliff, Colorado, and Jim joined his father in the real estate business. He and Dee divorced soon thereafter. Serendipitously, Jim came back into the life of his cousin Sandra Geist Riggs, and she reclaimed her maiden name when they married in 1987 in the company of Jennifer and Christopher and Sandy’s daughter, Stephanie Riggs Silver.

During the next 30 years, Jim and Sandy traveled extensively to 35 different resorts and vacation spots in the U.S., Mexico and Canada, and enjoyed many good times with great family members and friends. Jim also took up playing golf and cherished both the play and sharing his sense of humor with his regular golf buddies. He is remembered as a proud, proud man, a wonderful host when welcoming family and friends into their home, always quick to see if he could refill your glass of whatever you were sipping and never rushing to have anyone leave before they were ready.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Denver Hospice, 501 S. Cherry Street, #700, Denver, CO 80246

Cheers, dear Jimmy. You will be hugely missed.




Fort Logan National Cemetery - Area C
4400 W Kenyon Ave
Denver, 80236
Friday, September 29, 2017
9:15 AM - 9:30 AM