Robert K. (Bob) Georgeson
Bob Georgeson was born October 11, 1930 in Lenora, Kansas, the son of Carl Ewing Georgeson and Etta Louise Georgeson. He graduated from Lenora Rural High School in 1948.
Bob attended Grinnell College in Iowa for two years and then transferred to Washburn University in Topeka to pursue a degree in business. He was drafted into the 7th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army to serve in the Korean Conflict in 1951. Bob entered as a private and left Korea just days before the truce as a Sergeant 1st Class. Upon his return to Kansas in 1953, he enrolled at Washburn University and graduated in 1954 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Bob gained early experience in the banking world at Merchants National Bank in Topeka where he worked while in college. He later earned a degree from the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin in 1968.
The day after his graduation from Washburn, Bob accepted a position in management at the Commerce Acceptance Company. Along with his new bride, Greta, he moved to Lawrence in 1954 to begin a career that would span almost five decades as a third generation banker. In 1961, Bob’s banking career took him to First National Bank, which later became Mercantile Bank and now operates as U.S. Bank in downtown Lawrence. Bob served in numerous roles in his thirty-two years at First National including Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer before leaving in 1993 to become President and C.E.O. of Douglas County Bank in Lawrence. Bob retired from banking in 2001.
Bob earned recognition in his banking career, serving in many roles for the Kansas Bankers Association and the American Bankers Association. He served as chair of many committees and teams while affiliated with these associations and he also testified on behalf of the A.B.A. before the Senate Banking Committee. He is the author of numerous articles in regional and national banking publications and has served as lecturer and keynote speaker at K.B.A. meetings, A.B.A. meetings and at the Stonier School of Banking at Rutgers University.
Bob believed that people need to give back to their communities…and he did. Bob was a leader in the growth of the community of Lawrence and was an example of the impact that one’s volunteer efforts can make in people’s lives. He left his fingerprint on the community through his volunteer service. Some of the boards and foundations who benefited from his service and friendship include:
• DCCCA (Douglas County Citizens Committee on Alcoholism)
• Lawrence Schools Foundation
• Douglas County Community Foundation
• O’Connell Youth Ranch
• Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association
• Cottonwood, Inc.
• KANU (Kansas Public Radio)
• Lawrence Housing Authority
• Horizons 2020
• Lawrence Chamber of Commerce
Bob was the recipient of numerous awards for his involvement in Douglas County over the years, including:
• Baker University Outstanding Leadership in Business Award
• Cottonwood Lifetime Achievement Award
• Paul Harris Fellow Award from Rotary Foundation
• Lawrence Chamber Citizen of the Years Award
• Sertoma Club Service to Mankind Award
Bob was a member of St. John’s Evangelist Church and past member of the Lawrence Jaycees, the Lawrence Cosmopolitan Club, and the Lawrence Rotary Club.
Bob was a mentor to many, a beloved storyteller, and the author of “Bobisms” that had many life applications. His interests included Kansas history, cheering on the Jayhawks, discovering the less traveled roads of Kansas and, of course, spending time with family and friends. His wisdom, wit and whistling will be sorely missed.
Bob Georgeson was preceded in death by his parents and by his wife of forty-five years, Greta, who died in 1999. Survivors include his brother, Richard Georgeson, of Aurora, CO; his brother, Carl Louis Georgeson, of Chatham, NJ; his sons, Chris Georgeson and Curt Georgeson, of Lawrence; his daughter, Karen Georgeson, of Montrose, CO; and his five grandchildren, Chelsie James and husband Keith, Jon Georgeson, Michael Georgeson, Regina Georgeson and Joey Georgeson, all of Topeka, KS and Lawrence, KS.
Bob died December 8, 2010 at Pioneer Ridge Retirement Community in Lawrence, KS.
A Memorial Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, December 18, 2010 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church with inurnment to follow at Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence.
The family will greet friends from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, December 17, 2010 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.
The family suggests memorials to the Douglas County Community Foundation or Douglas County Visiting Nurses Association, in care of the mortuary.