James Henry Geers - "Jim" - passed away peacefully on Dec 12, 2020 at age 85 as a result of Alzheimer's Disease combined with complications from COVID-19. He graced the lives of family and friends with his enduring spirit. He was positive, playful, charismatic, inspiring and extremely generous. The sparkle in his eyes lit up any room he entered.
Jim was born on July 5, 1935, in the small farming town of Monmouth, Illinois. As a teenager, Jim played tenor saxophone in a small band performing at local clubs. At age 16 he moved with his family to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where he joined the Flying L Marching Band. Upon his high school graduation in 1953, he was offered a full music scholarship to attend the University of Miami and join the marching band. While on a band trip to New York City, he met fellow student and band majorette, Charlene Heritage, and they married in February, 1956. Jim also joined the Naval Officers Candidate School program and participated in the regular trainings and summer camps to become an Ensign upon graduation. Jim graduated in 1957 with a BS degree in Industrial Engineering.
Not long after graduating, Jim and Charlene greeted their first child, Jim Jr., in September, 1957. Just a few months later, the new family moved to Falls Church, Virginia where Jim served two years as a Naval Officer in the Washington DC area. Jim and Charlene's second child, Julie, was born in August, 1959.
After his Navy service, Jim moved the family to West Caldwell, New Jersey to begin work as a salesman for Leeds & Northrup. There he discovered the growing opportunities of computer technology, so in 1962 he decided to move the family to Mt. View, California. In September, 1963 his third child, Sunny, was born.
Jim was a true Silicon Valley pioneer. He enjoyed a diverse and expansive career, always involved in and later leading sales and marketing for small start-up companies. He began his career with companies that made computer based control systems and then progressed to companies that made data storage systems, commercial computer systems and integrated circuits. He later became a computer technology consultant and finally, he started a software company that made computer performance measurement tools.
Jim was a self made man. When he left a company it was usually on his terms and without another job waiting. He always took his job changes in stride and to motivate himself, he would buy a new suit to make him feel like "a million dollars" when he interviewed. Jim often said "the only certain way to fail is not to try", which became the family's mantra.
Following a 37-year career, Jim sold his last company, Aim Technology, in 1996. After that, he continued technology consulting and also turned his creative talents to help guide fund development programs for the Day Worker Center of Mt View and Los Altos Community Foundation.
Jim loved to sing. He was ready with a song in any situation. He supported many charities and other individuals in need. He enjoyed traveling, fishing and boating. He and Charlene kept their attachment to Florida by maintaining a vacation home in Key Largo. He cultivated life-long friendships with the many people he met over the years both personally and professionally.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Charlene, in 2015. He leaves behind 3 children, Jim Jr (Vicki), Julie (John) and Sunny (Dave) as well as 7 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren, 4 siblings, many nieces and nephews and his extended stepfamily.
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, a small, private funeral was held at Alta Mesa Cemetery in Palo Alto where his ashes are resting next to Charlene. A celebration of Jim's exceptional life will take place after the pandemic has passed.
The family wishes to thank Dr. John Boggs of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation as well as the staff of Kensington Place and Kindred Hospice for their support in Jim's days of need.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Alzheimer's Association at www.alz.org/donate.