We are deeply sad to note that Matthew Geiger, key leader in our Schools Working Group, has died. We reprint here his obituary, and welcome members who have specific memories they want to share sending them to us — we will have a formal memorial at our November annual meeting.
Matthew William Geiger died on March 9, 2016, in his home in Alexandria, Virginia, surrounded by his parents and loving wife Emily. He had battled cancer for the last two years. Matthew was the son of William Ebling Geiger, Jr. and Edwina Pordum Geiger. He was born on November 8, 1972 in Carbondale, Il, and moved with his family to Vermont in 1974. He graduated from Rice Memorial High School in South Burlington after receiving his primary education in Essex Junction schools. After one year at SUNY Oswego, Matthew transferred to UVM, where he completed majors in both History and Religion, as well as a minor in Philosophy, in 1997. He lived with Benedictine monks in Chicago while doing graduate studies at the University of Chicago, from which he received a Master of Divinity in 2004. Following several adjunct instructor positions at local colleges, he began his high school teaching career at St. Mark’s School in Southborough, MA. He moved in 2007 to St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School (SSSAS) in Alexandria, where he taught in the Religion department up until his death. He continued his studies while doingaward-winning teaching at SSSAS and earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Virginia Theological Seminary in 2013.
Matthew’s commitment to the service of others was evident from a young age. While at Rice, he was involved in missionary trips to Selma and to Caracas, Venezuela. He later traveled with teams to Guatemala and El Salvador. These experiences reinforced his growing commitment to service of those in need and inclusion of all in the human family.
Matthew found a confluence of his interests in scholarship and service in high school teaching. In his brief academic career, he made substantive contributions to the teaching practices of high school religion and ethics. He published papers and essays having their origin or foundation in his doctoral work (“Religious Education Person to Person: the Reflective and Relational Practice of ‘Notebooking’ in an Academic Setting”) in major journals, one reviewer characterizing the work as ‘groundbreaking’. Matthew’s manuscripts recently accepted by Religious Education and by British Journal of Religious Education will be published posthumously. Matthew also gave a number of invited lectures and organized workshops at national meetings of the Association of Religious Education. The substance of his teaching was one-on-one interactions with his students, and he was deeply committed to each of them. After his illness became known, he received countless cards, texts, and visits responses from former students who recalled specific conversations that they had with Matthew which were important in their paths to personal development. Matthew and his family were heartened and encouraged by these outpourings and offer their deep thanks and gratitude to all who reached out.
He enjoyed reading, classical music, and going anywhere with Emily. As a young man, Matthew loved playing sports, and was a Little League all-star pitcher and infielder. He was a four-year varsity basketball player at Rice, where he became an accomplished point guard and set a school record for assists. He continued to enjoy playing and watching these sports as an adult, and was a regular attendee at Washington Nationals games. He eventually forgave his father for raising him as a Buffalo Bills fan.
Matthew’s greatest good fortune was meeting the math and economics teacher Emily Catherine Repp at SSSAS. Matthew and Emily were married in Alexandria, VA on July 18, 2009 and built a deep relationship based on mutual unconditional love. Emily remained Matthew’s greatest strength and source of meaning during his illness. Matthew is survived by Emily, by his loving sister Karen Marie Geiger, and by his mother Edwina and father William. A viewing will be held at Fairfax Memorial Funeral Service on Sunday, March 13, 5-7 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on March 14, 11 AM, at Our Lady of Queen of Peace in Arlington, VA, and a memorial service will be held on March 16, 9 AM, for SSSAS students and faculty at the Virginia Theological Seminary. Matthew has requested that donations in his name be made to Monastery of the Holy Cross, 3111 S. Aberdeen St., Chicago, IL 60608 or on-line at http://chicagomonk.org/get-involved/. – See more at: http://www.fairfaxmemorialfuneralhome.com/obituary/Matthew-William-Geiger/Alexandria-VA/1597462#sthash.VoH0eSng.dpuf