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Robley Christa Geddes Greilick obit

--Nov. 12, 1931 – April 17, 2012--

May 1, 2012
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Robley Christa Geddes was born in Fort Myers on Nov. 12, 1931, to Clifton Dudley Geddes and Mary (Newton) Geddes, following sister, Mina Jane, 18 months older. Clifton Dudley owned a printing business on Main Street and was a well-known figure around town in his signature beret.

Robley's grandparents - Robley "Doc" Newton and Jane (Todd) Newton - had followed her Uncle Jim Newton to Fort Myers from Philadelphia in the early 1920's, where Jim went into real estate. Doc, a respected physician, became a partner in Jim's real estate company, and later one of Fort Myers' early doctors. It was when Jim had begun building Edison Park in the early 1920's that the Newtons became friends with both the Thomas Edisons and the Henry Fords.

When her grandparents moved to Fort Myers Beach and bought the Beach Hotel in 1936, Dudley and Mary sold their house and built a two-storey beach house, naming it The Shack. Robley started first grade and Mina was in second in the small, one-room Beach School, where the teacher doubled as the bus driver before and after school. Growing up at the beach was glorious, and her family spent happy times together fishing, boating and hosting weekend beach parties for Legionnaire friends.

In January 1946, when Robley was 14, her father died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. Four months later, Robley's mother took the girls to a conference on Mackinac Island in Michigan that would change her life. Robley gave her life to God from that time forward. Over the next 15 years, she helped staff conference centers for Moral Re-Armament, serving in many volunteer roles.

In the early 1960's, inspired by renowned aviator (and family friend) Charles Lindbergh, Robley determined she would learn to fly. She was an eager and gifted student, then an instructor, receiving awards from the Cessna and Piper Aircraft Companies. In 1975, she was named Instructor of the Year for the Federal Aviation Administration District, which included all of South Florida.

On June 30, 1979, Robley Geddes married fellow pilot Donald Greilick, from Colorado. Besides flying as instructors, they flew seaplanes in Louisiana and when they left flying professionally, they bought their own plane for pleasure. In April 1985, in their Cessna 172, they took Jim Newton and Anne Lindbergh (author, aviator and wife of Charles Lindbergh) on a flight retracing two sailing trips in the 1940's.

When Robley and Donald gave up their plane, they bought a ten-acre ranch in Buckingham. When Donald retired from heavy machinery repair, he and Robley began to spend their free time doing errands for their older friends, neighbors and family. Robley also volunteered as a tutor in an English as a second language literacy program.

In the last few years of her life, Robley's role changed from caregiver, to recipient of care from Donald and others who loved her as her body wore out. Her sprit never wore out, however.

Robley Geddes is survived by her husband, Donald; sister, Mina Jane Geddes Creech; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

In accordance with Robley's wishes, there has been no funeral or memorial service.



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