Barbara Joan Geyer

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Barbara Joan Geyer

July 09, 1929 - March 25, 2018

Barbara Joan Geyer (nee Lavigueur), 88, a resident of Milledgeville, passed away Sunday, March 25, 2018, at Abbey Hospice in Social Circle. She was born on July 9, 1929 in Mount Vernon, N.Y.
Beloved wife of the late William Joseph Geyer, loving mother of the late Thomas Geyer of Charleston, S.C., Jeanne Chaput de Saintonge of Missoula, Mont., Mark Geyer of Atlanta, Susan Wezel of Glendale, N.Y., Paul Geyer of Eatonton, Joyce Fielding of Fayetteville, and Matthew Geyer of Dacula; grandmother of Colin Geyer of Jacksonville, Fla., Matthew Geyer of Jacksonville, Fla., Alan Geyer of Lamy, New Mexico, Mychal Pivetz of Glendale, N.Y., Anna Geyer of Kula, Hawaii, Forest Chaput de Saintonge of Missoula, Mont., Scott Geyer of Jacksonville, Fla., Sam Fielding of Atlanta, Aidan Fielding of Atlanta, Lily Fielding of Fayetteville, Benjamin Fielding of Fayetteville and Jaye Geyer of Dacula; great grandmother of Lily, Haven, Cameron and Bradley Geyer, all of Jacksonville, Fla., and Veda Watson of Kula, Hawaii; adored mother-in-law, aunt, great aunt, and friend of many.
Barbara was known by her middle name, Joan. Growing up in the Bronx, N.Y., she spent many hours sketching in the Bronx Zoo and at the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. Following high school, Joan worked in a hatmaker's shop and was employed by Collier's magazine. She later attended illustration courses at Pratt-New York Phoenix School of Design. She married her husband, William ("Bill"), in 1949 and had seven children with him. When Bill passed in 1971, Joan raised the children on her own. She lived in Orange Park, Fla., and later in Rogers, Ark., before moving to Milledgeville with her youngest son, Matt, in 1988.
Joan had a long career as an artist, primarily in fine art watercolors and oils. She was a master at charcoal portraits, able to depict her human subjects as they sat for her without the aid of photographs. Her artwork was exhibited nationally and internationally, most notably at the MOMA in New York City, the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation at Carnegie Mellon University, the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, United Kingdown, and the Salmagundi Club in New York City. Joan was a long-time member of the American Society of Botanical Artists. As a botanical artist, Joan received two Silver Medal Awards at the Royal Horticultural Society in London in 2000 and her work was included in the "Losing Paradise?" exhibit at the Smithsonian Institute of Natural History in Washington, D.C. in 2011.
Joan's fun-loving and child-like energy was contagious. She was a hilarious storyteller with boundless intellectual curiosity and strong social and political views. A voracious reader and life-long student of natural history, her mind was sharp and clear until the end of her life. Joan was an extraordinarily independent and resourceful woman who never faced a challenge she couldn't meet. She set an example for her children and their families by living a life on her own terms.
A true exemplar of her generation, that of "make-do," fix what's broken and build what's needed, Joan spent her life working with her ineffably beautiful hands whether painting, quilting, crocheting, rugmaking, woodworking or gardening. Her deep connection to the natural world was her life-blood and passion. Her soul was fed by the unexpected beauty she found on her own acre of land and she celebrated everything that grew every leaf, every wildflower. Barbara Joan Geyer left this world a better place and will forever live on in the hearts of her loved ones.
A private memorial service is planned.
Published on April 24, 2018
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