Their meeting each other seems to defy all odds. Richard and Carolyn met on Galveston Island. Carolyn, on summer break from Texas Women's University (then TSCW), thought the day with her 4 girlfriends meeting Richard with his 4 Army buddies was just a one-day fling. So she refused to give her phone number to Richard. But Richard's friend Jack Boorsma got Carolyn's number from her friend Margaret Foley. Then, Richard shipped out for the war in Europe. He wrote Carolyn every day. He returned from the WWII with a Purple Heart and Bronze Star to marry his sweetheart in 1946 in Rock Island, IL.
Carolyn is the daughter of Carrie Cage, a nurse in New Orleans, and Heber Darton, with the Corps of Engineers doing extensive work in Arkansas and along the Mississippi River. Carolyn was born in New Orleans, but also lived in Rock Island, IL, Heber Springs, AR, and Houston, TX, where her father was transferred to work on Corps projects. She completed 3 years of college before marrying Richard. She is a gifted gardener, creative problem-solver, compassionate listener, and loyal friend.
Richard is the son of Melita Fonger and Cecil Geer, an independent accountant, of Grand Rapids, MI. Richard was a basketball star at Central High School. When a junior, statistics major, at Michigan State University, Richard and his buddies enlisted in the Army to join in WWII. Returned from the war, he completed his bachelor's degree in business. He went on to pursue a master's degree while serving as Director of Married Housing at Michigan State. But with a growing family, a mortgage on a new house, and a night job at an automaker's factory, he opted to take a position in the MoPar Parts Division of Chrysler Corporation. He worked his way up to the Executive Fleet Sales Division before retiring. Every promotion meant a move about every 2 years-Michigan, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas. After retiring from Chrysler, Richard served as Director of Housing at the University of North Texas, started and sold a successful dry-cleaning business in Denton, TX, and then worked a decade with Wendt-Sonis Corporation (a subsidiary of TRW) in Rogers, AR, before retiring again.
In 1996, Richard and Carolyn bought an RV and served 5 years with Mobile Missionary Assistance Project (MMAP) out of California, which ministers through building projects to Christian schools, camps, and churches.
Richard and Carolyn have 6 children, 3 girls in Arkansas-Caroline, Barbara (Jim Caldwell), and Andrea (Gary Yandell)-and 3 boys in Texas-R. Allison (Trish), Kerry (Dawn), and Scott (Noreen). They have 27 grandchildren (7 in Arkansas) and 13 great-grandchildren. They enjoy their family, their church friends, playing bridge and Mexican train, and going out for coffee.