Frederick A. Geib

Professor Emeritus of Sociology Dies at 79

Frederick A. Geib, professor emeritus of sociology at Colby College, died February 3 in Exeter, New Hampshire, at age 79. Professor Geib had moved to The Ridge at RiverWoods in Exeter in October 2004 after nearly 50 years in Waterville. He joined the Colby faculty in 1955 and retired in 1991.

Fred Geib was born in Flushing, New York, on September 20, 1925. Upon graduation from high school in 1943, he joined the U.S. Navy V12 program for officer training, studying at Cornell University, Dartmouth College, and Northwestern University. While at Northwestern, he met his wife, Jane Willey. He was discharged from the Navy in 1946 with the rank of ensign, and the couple married the following year. Mrs. Geib died in 1997, shortly after she and Professor Geib celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

A talented athlete and Eagle Scout, Professor Geib developed a love of camping while in high school. Following World War II, he convinced his parents and brother to start a boys’ summer camp. In 1946, the Geib family purchased unimproved land in Pittsfield, New Hampshire, spent three years building, and opened Camp Graylag in 1949. In the early 1950s, Bob Cousy, then a rookie with the Boston Celtics, joined the Geibs at Graylag, and the camp specialized in basketball from then on, with visits from many Celtics greats. The partners ran Graylag for more than 20 years.

Professor Geib graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1953 with a degree in sociology. He earned a master’s degree in sociology from Brown University in 1955 and began teaching at Colby that fall. On his first sabbatical, during the 1961-1962 academic year, he completed all course work for a Ph.D. in sociology at Syracuse University and received his doctorate a few years later.

During his academic career, Professor Geib was active at Colby, in professional organizations, and in the community. He served as chair of the sociology department, presented telecourses, lectured to civic groups, and worked with the Boys’ Club. Until his knees would no longer permit, he played handball avidly at the YMCA and also enjoyed golf. Until the end of his life, he was a devoted sports fan, movie buff, and crossword puzzle enthusiast.

Professor Geib leaves three daughters and their families: Barbara Geib, of San Francisco, California, her husband, Stuart Rosenthal, and daughter, Isabella; Melissa Geib LeBlanc, of Newton, Massachusetts, her husband, Roger, and daughters Andrea and Rachelle; and Susan Geib, of Boston, Massachusetts. He is also survived by his brother, Robert Geib, of Hampton Falls, New Hampshire. His daughters and brother helped him move to Exeter and were all with him during his final days.

The family will hold a private memorial service on the former Camp Graylag property in July. Anyone who wishes to honor Professor Geib’s life may make a contribution to the Memorial Scholarship Fund, Office of Donor Relations, Colby College, 4345 Mayflower Hill, Waterville, ME 04901.