MOREHEAD CITY Lt. Colonel Ulrich "Rick" Aloysius Geller, 91, passed away Wednesday October 24, 2012 in Morehead City, NC after a 5-year struggle with Alzheimer's disease.
Rick was born in Washington D.C. on August 23, 1921 to the late Ferdinand & Clare Geller.
Rick was preceded in death by his wife of 41 years, Ruth Raymond Geller; his son Ulrich Raymond Geller; his wife of seven years, Delphin Fulford Geller and brothers Ross and Roman Geller.
He is survived by his wife of 15 years, Marjorie Offerman Geller; daughters; Elizabeth Kappel and husband Donald; Kathy G. Gillikin and husband Rocky; sons: Robert "Bob" Geller and wife Nancy; Christopher Geller and wife Lee; and Joseph "Ross" Geller and wife Melanie: and step-children. Rick's grandchildren are: Carrie Sheehan and husband Harvey Eubanks; Rebecca "Becky" Davis and husband Corbett Davis, III; Angela Stang and husband Mark; Philip Arthur and wife Venus; Joshua Gillikin and Miranda Piner; Matthew Gillikin; Adam Geller; Ruth Geller; Emma Geller; Shannon Geller; and James Geller: and several step-children.
Ricks great-grandchildren are Audreanne and Sarah Sheehan; Corbett and Geller Davis; Olya and Kalyn Stang; Aaron, Faith, Brooke and Logan Arthur; and Holden Gillikin. His two great- great grandchildren are Cameron and Conner Arthur: and step-great grandchildren. Rick also had several nieces and nephews.
In 1942 Rick was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army. He transferred to the Air Corp and became an Air Force Pilot in 1947. During his career he flew nine different aircraft models but he loved his tour as an F-86 Squadron Commander the most. He also served in several non-flying roles and served his country during WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Rick was often at the top of his classes throughout his military training. He was stationed with his family overseas in Germany and Turkey as well as many bases in the United States. He retired from Pope Air Force Base in 1970 and settled his family in Smyrna, NC where he built & remodeled his own home.
Rick was a devoted son and brother, a loving husband and father, an imaginative grandfather, a lasting friend to many and a life-long faithful member of the Roman Catholic Church. He was a gymnast, and member of the collegiate All American Rifle Team, a hunter, archer, life-long gin rummy and poker player, wonderful storyteller and gifted vocalist. He sang in churches nearly everywhere he was stationed as well as in the choir at St. Egbert's. In the 1940's he even had his own radio show in Winston Salem. Rick supported many charities throughout the world, had been involved in meals-on-wheels in Carteret County and was active in several capacities at St. Egbert's in Morehead City. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and caregivers at Carolina House.
A visitation will be held from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Sunday, October 28, 2012 at St. Egbert's Catholic Church with a Christian Wake at 6:30 p.m., the Funeral service will be at St. Egbert's at 11 a.m. on Monday, October 29. Internment will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, October 30, at New Bern National Cemetery.
Flowers are appreciated, or memorial contributions may be made to the
at 3800 Shamrock Drive Charlotte, NC 28215 or on-line at alz.org.