Obituary: James Vernon Geisendorfer
James Vernon Geisendorfer, 79, of Green Bay, died April 13, 2008, at his home.
Born April 22, 1929, in Brewster, he was the son of Victor H. and Anne (Johnson) Geisendorfer. He spent his childhood in Worthington and graduated from Worthington High School.
He married Esther Walker at Mount Sterling (Wisconsin) Lutheran Church.
James was a student at Augustana colleges in Sioux Falls and Rock Island,
and Augsburg College, Minneapolis. He attended Orthodox Lutheran Seminary, Minneapolis. He graduated from the University of Minnesota. He received an LLD from Burton.
Jim was senior creative writer for Brown and Bigelow in St. Paul. His lifelong interest in comparative religionled to his full-time work as a religious research writer, specializing in minority religious groups. He worked as a researcher with Dr. Arthur Carl Piepkorn, graduate professor of systematic theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He was aresearch consultant for the Institute for the Study of American Religion; a member of the panel of reference for Chelston Bible College, New Milton, England; author with J. Gordon Melton of A Directory of Religious Bodies in the United States; author of Religion in American and A Directory of Religious and Parareligious Bodies and Organizations in the United States. For more than 30 years his biography appeared in Marquis' Who's
Who in Religion, Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World. He was a recipient of the Amicus Poloniae medal for the Polish Ministry of Culture and Education.
His membership in numerous religion, philosophy and literary organizations included: American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Academy of Religion, Academy of Independent Scholars, Wisconsin Evangelical Synod Historical Institute, Augustana Historical
Society, Royal Anthropological Institute, Eastern Territorial Historical Society (Charter), Medieval Academy of American, Renaissance Society of America, George Eliot Fellowship, Wisconsin Academy of Sciences Arts and Letters, Aristotelian Society (life), Hegel Society of America,
Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, American Catholic Philosophical Association, North American Conference on British Studies, International Society for Comparative Study of Civilizations, Religious Research Association, International Association of Greek Philosophy, League for
Yiddish, Association of Literary Scholars and Critics, Trinitarian Bible Society, Churches of God Historical Society and Friends of the Vatican Library.
Surviving are his wife of 58 years, Esther; daughters and sons-in-law Jane and Robert Stokke, Karen and Peter Geisendorfer-Lindgren, Lois and Mike Buchnis; grandchildren Matthew and Elizabeth Geisendorfer-Lindgren,
Katherine and Allison Buchnis; and sister and brother-in-law Marion and Wesley Navara; sister-in-law Lola Geisendorfer; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Donald and Sylvia Walker; and other family members and friends.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Robert Geisendorfer.
Funeral services were held at Calvary Lutheran Church, Green Bay, on April 16, with interment in Worthington Cemetery on April 21.