Daniel Geary

by Karen Grimord on July 30, 2012

Daniel J. Geary –September 2011 Shipment Honoree

 

Daniel J GearyROME, N.Y. – A Marine corporal killed in combat Friday in Afghanistan was planning to marry his fiancée when he returned from his tour in May, his father said.

Funeral services for fallen U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel J. Geary of Rome will be held in St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, said his father, Michael Geary. Other details for the services were not yet available.

Rome Mayor James Brown said the city would provide a police escort and flags will be at half-staff the day of funeral.

The 22-year-old Marine planned to bring his fiancée, Rachel Patterson, from North Carolina to Rome and surprise her by marrying immediately instead of waiting, said the elder Geary.

Being a U.S. Marine was what Daniel Geary wanted to do, and that goal helped give him the drive to go back and complete high school after dropping out for a year, his father said. He graduated from Rome Free Academy in 2006.

“He wanted to get his diploma so he could go into the military,” Michael Geary said.

It was Daniel Geary’s second tour of duty, and he was going to sign on for a third, his father said. The first tour was in Iraq. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

The middle child of seven in his family, Geary was remembered by people who knew him as very outgoing and fun-loving, but also responsible and family oriented.

“We’re very proud off him,” said John Conners, Geary’s godfather and commander of Rome’s Henry P. Smith American Legion Post. “He saw his duty and he did it, and he paid the cost.”

In 1995, when Geary was 8 years old, he saved his 4-year-old sister Elise when their house caught on fire, according to a report in the Utica, N.Y., Observer-Dispatch.

“He is a hero in everybody’s eyes,” Elise Geary told a local TV station.

Family friend Della Pray, who got to know him when she served as his Air Force Jr. ROTC instructor at Rome Free Academy, said Geary had many friends.

“Quiet wasn’t in his vocabulary,” she said. “He was a prankster. We were always playing jokes on each other.”

Geary “liked to bowl. He loved life. He enjoyed being with his friends,” commented his father. He said his son helped him buy the family’s current home in Rome, where they have lived since 2005.

Craig Vogel, owner of King Pin Lanes, said the Gearys were “a bowling family.” The bowling alley was “kind of subdued” Saturday night because of the sad news.

As a child, Daniel Geary made news when he pulled his 4-year-old sister from a burning bedroom and awakened his father when a fire began in their apartment in March 1995.


 

Fallen Marine remembered for his energy

The Associated Press
 

Della Pray, who got to know Lance Cpl. Daniel J. Geary when she served as his Air Force ROTC instructor, said he had many friends.

“Quiet wasn’t in his vocabulary,” she said. “He was a prankster. We were always playing jokes on each other.”

Geary, 22, of Rome, N.Y., died March 20 while supporting combat operations in Farah province. He was a 2006 high school graduate and was assigned to Camp Lejeune.

“Daniel was proud of his roots and proud of his family,” Rome Mayor James Brown said. “The people of Rome will never forget Daniel Geary.”

Geary was 18 when he joined the military and has been described by his father, Michael, as a “frisky, young juvenile prankster.”

He had planned to marry his fiancee once his current tour ended, and possibly take some college courses.

He was on his second tour his first was in Iraq.

Geary made news in March 1995, when the then-8-year-old was credited with helping save his 4-year-old sister Elise after she accidentally started a bedroom fire while playing with a lighter.

He also is survived by his mother, Aggie.


 

ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) – Fallen Marine Lance Corporal Daniel Geary touched many throughout the Rome community, including those at his alma mater Rome Free Academy.

Master Sergeant Della Pray is the school’s junior ROTC program instructor, and taught Geary during his senior year in 2006.

“He found a home in the program and from there he actually made some of his best friends at the program,” said Pray.

Entering school on Monday, Pray explained that her students showed resolve – which she considered important, and expected.

“(It’s) not surprising,” she said. “That’s how we are. That’s how a real military would do it and that’s how we are close nit.”

According to Pray, Geary did have trouble in school – briefly dropping out in 2005 before returning with an strong goal – becoming a Marine.

Geary was an avid bowler, Yankees fan and compassionate person according to those close with him. Pray however says there are other things she’ll remember.

“…He’s going to kill me for saying this but he actually loved gardening. He went over to help me do some landscaping. I remember telling him not to tell his Marine buddies…”

Funeral arrangements haven’t been announced yet but Geary’s remains could return to Rome as early as Thursday said Pray.

Contributed by: James Van Thach
 

 

ROME — U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel Geary, who died in combat Friday in Afghanistan, was planning to get married to his fiancée when he returned from a tour in May, his father said Saturday.

The 22-year-old Rome native planned to bring her from North Carolina to Rome and surprise her by trying to marry her immediately instead of waiting, said his father, Michael Geary.

Daniel Geary’s uncle is a pastor, and the young man had hoped he would perform the ceremony, his father said.

“Now, it’s not going to happen,” Michael Geary said.

As of Sunday morning, funeral arrangements by Barry Funeral Home in Rome were incomplete.

This was Daniel Geary’s second tour of duty, and he was going to sign on for a third, his father said. The first tour was in Iraq.

Being a U.S. Marine was what Daniel Geary wanted to do, and that goal had helped give him the drive to go back and complete high school after dropping out for a year, his father said. He graduated in 2006.

“He wanted to get his diploma so he could go into the military,” Michael Geary said.

Daniel Geary was the middle child of seven in his family, and the oldest of the four Michael Geary and his wife, Aggie, had together.

He was remembered Saturday by people who knew him as very outgoing and fun-loving, but also responsible and family oriented.

John Conners, commander of Rome’s Henry P. Smith American Legion Post in Rome, was Daniel Geary’s godfather. He struggled for composure as he spoke about him Saturday.

“We’re very proud off him,” Conners said. “He saw his duty and he did it, and he paid the cost.”

Family friend Della Pray, who got to know him when she served as his Air Force Jr. ROTC instructor at Rome Free Academy, said he had many friends.

“Quiet wasn’t in his vocabulary,” she said. “He was a prankster. We were always playing jokes on each other.”

Pray said Geary had some close friends in ROTC.

“They were like a band of brothers,” she said, adding that another one of the group currently is serving in Iraq.

Conners, Pray and Michael Geary all noted Daniel Geary’s love of bowling.

Pray said Daniel Geary had wanted to challenge her in the sport.

“He always said he could beat my butt in bowling, but we never got a chance to do it,” she said.

Craig Vogel, owner of King Pin Lanes, said the Gearys were “a bowling family.” The bowling alley was “kind of subdued” Saturday night because of the sad news.

“They are good friends and good customers, and our hearts are broken for them,” he said.

Daniel Geary made news in March 1995, when the then-8-year-old was credited with helping save his 4-year-old sister Elise after she accidentally started a bedroom fire while playing with a lighter.

He pulled her from the bedroom and awoke his father, according to an O-D story about the fire at Wright Park Manor.

Rome Mayor James Brown said the city will would provide a police escort, and flags in the city will be at half-staff the day of funeral.

Geary is the second Rome serviceman to be killed in the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Army National Guard Sgt. Michael A. Uvanni, 27, died Oct. 1, 2004.

“It’s hard” on the community, Brown said.

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