Funeral services for retired Sonoma Valley High School teacher Donald Bruce Geddes will be held Saturday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Sonoma.
Geddes died on Napa Road on Monday, after he pulled his car out in front of an oncoming SUV at the intersection with Burndale Road, according to the Highway Patrol. He was age 82.
"He was just at a bad intersection and pulled out when he shouldn't have," his daughter Margaret Parducci of Sonoma told Patch. She said there was no known medical condition that would have contributed to his accident.
The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints , 16280 La Grama St. Duggan's Mission Chapel will handle arrangements.
Geddes is survived by his wife, Sandra, and a large extended family, many of whom are coming to Sonoma for the funeral. There are seven adult children, 25 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. The children are Donna Quinn, Margaret Parducci of Sonoma, Patrick Geddes, Daniel Geddes, Lynn Butler, Barbara Austin and Sharon Summers. Geddes is also survived by his sister Marlene Geddes and sister-in-law Barbara Aio, Parducci said. Family are arriving from Utah, Idaho, Washington State, South Carolina and Michigan.
Geddes and his wife have lived in Sonoma for 51 years. He taught for 29 years at Sonoma Valley High School. He graduated with a M.A. in art education from San Jose State University.
"He went back to school as an adult with four children to get his bachelors and one was born while he was getting it," Parducci said.
Geddes and wife went to China through a Brigham Young University program and taught English for a year. He also went to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, where he got his masters degree in 1973/74.
Asked about her father's hobbies, Parducci said Geddes completely renovated the family's Victorian home in El Verrano and he had an artist's studio in the back, where he did his sculptures, painting and woodwork.
"He also helped people with their plumbing a lot," she said. "He was very busy all those retirement years."
Harry Parducci, her husband, told Patch, "Don was a very special and good man who touched many lives and we will miss him dearly."
Geddes served in the U. S. Marines in the Korean War. A few years ago, he contributed to an online list of Letters to the Lost from Korea, operated by the Korean War Project. Geddes uploaded a letter to a friend who had been in the military with him:
Since I last saw you in Udam-ni North Korea I have accomplished many of the things you could not since they put your body to rest in Hagaru.
After discharge I met and married a beautiful young lady and we had seven wonderful children, who to date have given us 22 Grandchildren and 7 Great Grandchildren. A great and wonderful posterity. When I look at them, I sometimes think of you being denied these blessings.
Soon after discharge I entered the civilian work force, and not having completed high school began cleaning toilets for a large oil company. The dream of every Marine. To be "head man". I began night school under the G.I. Bill and eventually graduated with a B.A. in art education. Finding a position in a hight school I anchored myself there for 29 years before retiring.
I and my wife and family have had many wonderful experience.
Living in Mexico for one year while working on a Masters Degree, and later after the children left the nest to China for one year (that's right, CHINA) to teach English. I met one Korean veteran there who could have been the one that shot us both.
I have since come to the realization that in spite of the wars and inhumanity men and nations inflict on each other, there is a God who grieves over what we do to each other. But He rarely intervenes because He has given us all "free choice" and all will be accountable for there actions.All who are, or have been responsible for the carnage and lost lives will get their reward. I will, as we all must, join you on the other side of that veil called death in a different and glorious eternal relationship. Save a place for me.