John C. “Chet” Geller
A funeral service for John C. “Chet” Geller, age 86, of Heath, was held March 23, 2011, at the Heath Chapel of Henderson-Van Atta-Stickle Funeral & Cremation Service with Rev. Kristin Santiago officiating. Burial followed in Cedar Hill Cemetery where military honors were observed by the Licking County Veterans Alliance.
Mr. Geller passed away Saturday, March 19, 2011, at his residence. He was born July 31, 1924, in Crestline, Ohio to the late Carl William and Mary Celeste (Stuart) Geller.
Chet served as the Mayor of Heath from 1973 to 1997 and as a Heath Council member for 12 years prior to becoming mayor. Working at the City of Heath, he was instrumental in the building of the Heath City Municipal Building and Heath Pool. In addition, he was instrumental in the development of the Indian Mound Mall, moving the Davis-Shai House, and the construction of the two new Heath Fire Stations with a full time staff. Chet was a member of the Village of Heath Planning Commission from January 11, 1962 through March 10, 1965, and President of the Heath Planning Commission from January 1, 1974 through December 31, 1997. He was awarded as a Honorary Heath Fireman, and the Heath Sertoma Service to Mankind Award. Chet was an active supporter of the Babe Ruth Baseball World Series in 1984. In his honor, a park in his neighborhood was named Geller Park. These were just a few of his numerous contributions to the City of Heath during his tenure.
Chet played sports and graduated from the Tiffin Columbia Schools. He served in the US Navy on the USS Kretchmer during WWII (1943-1946) in the Atlantic and Pacific. He worked as a pipefitter at Pure Oil for 23 years and as a pipefitter at Kaiser for 16 years. He was a Charter Member of Heath United Methodist Church and Charter Member of Heath Lodge # 771 F & AM. He held the 32nd Degree and was a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Columbus. He was a member of the Newark Maennerchor. Chet was very hard working with a Big Heart. When he was able, Chet enjoyed spending many hours working on his farm in Heath. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Chet will long be remembered in the Heath Community, and sadly missed by his family.
Surviving are his son, John L. (Kimberly) Geller; daughter, Tia Renee Geller; grandson, John Grant (Sandy) Geller; granddaughter, Kayla Nicole Geller; great-granddaughter, Callie Mae Geller all of Heath; brother, Hurlburt “Herb” (Diane) Geller of Newark; brother-in-law, Dan L. Rine of Newark; sister-inlaw Sandra K. (Brent) Myers of Chillicothe; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents; he was preceded in death by wife, Bonnie Mae (Rine) Geller, whom he married in January of 1948 and passed away in August of 2004; three sisters, Dorothy Voltz, Ruth Shealy and Mary Ellen Goff; brother, Carl Geller; and sister-in-law Phyllis Callif.
Memorial contributions may be made to LICCO, 600 Industrial Pkwy, Heath, OH 43056 or Center for Disability Services, 175 S. Williams St., Newark, OH 43055.
Please visit www.hendersonvanatta.com to view a memorial and to leave a message of condolence for the Geller family.