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OBITUARY - CARROLL PORTER "LEFTY" GEIST

Carroll Porter GEIST better known as Lefty was born in Ellston, Iowa to Elmer and Sophia (SCHULTZ) GEIST on November 28, 1919 and left us on March 23, 2001.

At the age of 17, he signed a major league contract to play baseball with the Cleveland Indians and later for the Saint Louis Browns. His love of baseball shaped his life. From being honored as the Outstanding Amateur Iowa Athlete of Iowa to pitching a baseball game so hard that it broke his arm. When he moved to Mount Ayr, Iowa he played first base with the Mount Ayr Vets team. His constant chatter of "Hey, hey, Baby" made that position his own. He managed the team before "sackin' the bats."

World War II called Lefty to service. Most of the time was spent in the South Pacific Theater reclaiming the Philippines and surrounding islands. Freeing the prisoners from Santa Tomas prison camp to being with the First Calvary as they were the first to march the streets of Tokyo were two of the things he would talk about, but little else would ever be told. He was a humble man believing the heroes were the ones who didn't come home.

His life, after marrying Cleola BURCHETT on August 26, 1948, settled them in Van Wert, Iowa. Cullen was born June 1, 1949. It gave him great joy to have a "red headed" boy. Crae was born to complete the family on May 27, 1957, yet another joy.

In 1951, he and his family moved back to Mount Ayr purchasing interest in the "Sandwich Shop." In the year of '53 he became part owner of the "Club Tavern" later becoming sole owner of "Lefty's Club Tavern." After giving up the restaurant business he purchased the "Q Club."

"The Attic" was established in 1968 and ran as an addition to Lefty's Club Tavern. Lefty continued in business until 1988 when it was sold to his son Crae and he became an employee. He worked there until Thursday night, March 22, 2001.

He was a member of the American Legion, VFW, Mount Ayr Methodist Church and Mount Ayr Golf and Country Club.

He was preceded in death by his father, mother, two brothers, Loring GEIST and an infant son of Sophie and Elmer GEIST.

Lefty is survived by his wife Cleola; son Cullen and fiancée Donna HARRINGTON, grandchildren Blaine and Adriene and their mother Leslie; son Crae and wife Jodie, granddaughters Sarah and Kelsey; nephew Larry GEIST and family; sisters-in-law Betty GEIST and Betty POWERS; brother-in-law Keith BURCHETT; nieces, nephews, relatives and many friends of all ages.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, March 27, 2001 at the United Methodist Church, Mount Ayr, with Reverend Michael DRUHL officiating. Musicians were Mrs. Debbie CANNON and Dr. Collus LAWHEAD. Casket bearers were Kelly MAIN, Steve FETTY, Mac CROSS, Ted SMITH, Steve MITCHELL, Scott GILES, Max McGEHEE and Bill BLUNCK. Honorary pallbearers are all of those who have shared a baseball experience with Lefty.

Military rites were given by Ringgold Post #172 American Legion.

Wilson-Watson & Armstrong Funeral Home of Mount Ayr was in charge of the arrangements.

SOURCE: genealogybuff.com

Transciption by Sharon R. Becker, June of 2010

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