In Loving Memory of Our Dear Friend Catherine Geering

Catherine Geering and Lisa LarkinUC Health and our entire community has lost a dear friend and colleague—Catherine Geering, RN, MSN, WHNP, a beloved women’s health nurse practitioner who passed away February 17, 2015 at the age of 57. Catherine is survived by her husband, Timothy Geering, MD, her four children, Daniel, Stephen, Michael and Emily, her mother Doloris and brother Douglas Hlavaty.

Catherine was a well-known labor and delivery nurse for 30 years and in mid-life decided to go back to school and pursue a Master of Science degree in nursing from the University of Cincinnati. This led her to her most recent role as a women’s health nurse practitioner in the UC Health Women’s Center.

We all have many favorite memories of Catherine. One of my favorites is her description of what she did as a nurse practitioner. She told people she worked to “stamp out hot flashes and promote sexual activity.” We always laughed when she made that statement.

One thing that stands out the most about Catherine was her passion for life—her love of her family and friends, her passion for work and her love of gardening and being a vegetarian. We often talked about finding our “personal destiny (from the book the Alchemist)” in life, and in her life as a nurse practitioner caring for women at midlife, and women with sexual issues. She had found her calling. She was passionate in her work and loved by her patients. She was kind, caring, warm, loving and dedicated. In the 3 years we worked together I received many letters from patients about her kindness and how she changed their lives.

In the few months that I have been back to work full time and seeing our mutual patients, I hear daily how kind she was and what wonderful care she provided. She was a special clinician who was perfectly suited to her role. She positively impacted the lives of many women. As my colleague and sexual health/menopause clinical partner my loss is tremendous. Replacing her is impossible, and moving our sexual health program forward will be difficult without her.

But the loss of my friend Catherine is the greatest. When you were around her you always felt joy, and she always made others smile and laugh. She was a tremendous listener, always supportive, and kind to a fault. She taught us all to take life a little less seriously and to laugh more. During our mutual illness last summer, she always wanted to make sure I was Ok before we could talk about her. She impacted my life and the lives of countless others in ways she probably never knew. She was a wonderful friend and her death is a profound loss.

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