Alma Jean Campbell Geia, Class of 1955

Jean Campbell GeiaJean passed into eternal life, at home, on April 30, 2020. She was assisted at the end by Avalon Hospice

Jean’s Family called her “Alma Jean” but she detested Alma, so always used “Jean Campbell” before marriage.

She attended Athens High School before moving to Sweetwater, and Graduated from Sweetwater HS where she was in the band and was Drum Majorette.

Jean received nurses training at Knoxville General Hospital, with many classes at University of Tennessee. She graduated in 1955 and passed State Board as Registered Nurse.

Jean married Albert (Al) Geia in October, 1955.

She worked as an RN at Knoxville General Hospital until moving to Dallas, TX, in August 1956.  Jean contracted Polio during move to Dallas, but was able to fly on to Dallas after a few weeks.  Shortly after arriving in Dallas, she came down with (a new strain of) Polio, which did devastating damage.

In spite of this; Jean persevered, and managed to have a very meaningful career and a good life.  Jean recovered sufficiently to work on crutches In St. Paul Hospital’s outpatient clinic for the next five years.

Jean and Al had a Son, Barry, in December, 1960. In early 1961, they were transferred to a 2-1/2 year’s assignment on Kwajalein, in the Marshall Islands.  After returning to Dallas, Jean worked in three hospitals in the Dallas area, ultimately becoming Head Nurse on the Women’s Surgery floor of Parkland Hospital.

While in Dallas, they were able to move into a nice home in University Park, but gave that up in 1967 because Barry had severe allergies to the molds, pollens, etc. which were present in Texas; moving to the Philadelphia, PA Main Line.

Due to the residual effects of Polio and a serious fall while preparing for the move to PA, Jean developed debilitating back problems.  She had successful back surgery in 1969, which eventually allowed her to go without crutches for many years, finally working requiring one crutch.

During this time. Her adventurous spirit showed.  Jean took up cross-country skiing, hiking and mountain climbing.  Her major accomplishments including climbing almost half of the 40+ of the over 4000 ft. White Mountains in New Hampshire, including Mt. Washington, at 6288 ft., twice.  Some interests including Early American decorating (e. g., painted trays & stenciling) and quilting.

Jean resisted having a job while Barry was in school because she felt that his having a Mom at home was more important, but she did volunteer work as a Red Cross Bloodmobile Nurse for the last nine years of his school. She then completed her nursing career as a Red Cross Bloodmobile Nurse and Nurse Manager – retiring in 1995.

Another adventure was the chance to live in the San Francisco Bay Area for 2+ years, where she became politically active.Jean Geia

When Al retired at the end of 1999, they moved to Fairfield Glade, TN.  There, Jean was active in Christ Lutheran Church, including being a Stephen Minister.

Jean was preceded in death by her Father, Roddy Campbell, who died when she was two-years old; Mother, Verdie Kyker; and Brother, Ben Campbell.  She is survived by Husband, Al; Son, Barry; Brother, Wayne; and Sister-in-law, Rubye Alice Day. 
Her Brother Ben’s ashes are interred in her Mother’s grave, and hers are to be in the adjacent grave of her Father.

Burial services are to be in Foster Cemetery, which is on land donated by her Grandmother Campbell.  The service is expected to be held on May 8th at 2:00 PM EDT.  Pastor Joe Nilsen will be officiating.  Memorial services are expected to be held in the future at Christ Lutheran Church in Fairfield Glade, TN.  Foster’s is on County RD 279, Niota, McMinn County, Tennessee, GPS Coordinates: 35.5833015, -84.5999985.  Rockview Church is adjacent to the cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a Hospice or charity of your choice. Kyker Funeral Homes, Sweetwater, in charge of arrangements.

**** Due to inclement weather the service has been moved to Saturday, May 9th at 2:00 PM EDT.******


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