Roger Geddes

Obituary of Roger Charles Geddes

Roger Charles Geddes of Park Rapids, MN, age 92, died on April 26, 2024, after a long well-lived life. He was born on June 8, 1931, in St. Paul, MN, to Charles and Helen (Lovejoy) Geddes and grew up in Roseau and Park Rapids. He attended college at Bemidji State and later received a master’s degree in speech pathology from University of Wyoming. On June 10, 1956, he married Mary Ann Kumpula and they settled in International Falls in 1959.

Roger began his career as an educator in a one-room rural schoolhouse near Perham followed by time as a primary school instructor in northern Minnesota. Most of his professional life was spent as a speech pathologist in International Falls. Retired in 1987, he and Mary eventually settled back in Park Rapids where he found great satisfaction in continuing speech clinician work at Pine Point School in Ponsford and rehabilitation with people recovering from strokes.

Although a quiet personality, Roger lit up talking to people. Conversations might range from science to politics to history to whatever else he had been reading. He would certainly be asking for book recommendations. Besides reading, he loved nature, music, and classic cars. In Park Rapids he was active in Hubbard County DFL, Classic Chorale, and Riverside United Methodist Church. He and Mary enjoyed travel, fishing, and berry picking. Roger was a font of knowledge about the history of downtown buildings and businesses (from his years as a Park Rapids paper boy). He shared this knowledge freely including with his favorite coffee gang at Bella Cafe. He challenged others to think about their values and was always open to  listening to both sides of an issue. He inspired many to appreciate nature and love the outdoors as he did.  

He is survived by two children: David (Lori) Geddes of Plymouth and Jennefer (Robert) Hill of Pine River; grandchildren Aaron (Linnea) and Lauren (Josiah) Kaniarz; two great-grandchildren (Josiah Roy & Maja) and five nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by wife Mary, brother Ralph, one niece, and two nephews.

His living independently to almost age 93 was due to a loving and caring community. The family is so very grateful for the Riverside UMC faith community as well as the greater Park Rapids community for making his over 30 years of retirement here a very enriching time. Visitation  (10 am)  and memorial service (11:30) will be Friday, May 31 at Riverside United Methodist Church in Park Rapids, with lunch to follow.  Roger supported many causes, so in lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to environmental or social justice organizations, the Park Rapids Area Library, or a charity of the donor’s choice. 

A Memorial Tree was planted for Roger
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cremation Society Of Minnesota | Duluth
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