We lost a good friend on Tuesday morning. Douglas Geller passed away after putting up a strong and courageous battle with cancer. Doug was not only one of my best friends, he was also involved with pretty much every positive thing that has happened in New Haven over the past 30+ years. He was involved with so many activities and programs, I thought it would be easier to just make a list of the awards and services that I know of.
- Eagle Scout with Palms and Silver Explorer
- Cub Scout and Boy Scout Leader
- T-Ball and Little League Coach
- Vice President of East Suburban Little League
- Girls Softball Coach
- Pal Football Coach
- Life Saving Award from Police Athletic League
- President of New Haven Methodist Church Men’s Club
- Board of Directors / Highland Terrace Community Association
- Board of Directors / Lakes of Scarborough – Ashford Lakes Community Association
- Joined Emergency 45 in 1985
- Served as both a Basic and Advanced EMT
- Paramedic and State Instructor
- Served as President of the Emergency 45 Volunteer Association
- Co-Chair of the Allen County Providers Association
- Joined New Haven Festival Committee in 1987 – elected VP in 1988 – then served 15 years as President
- Member of the Indiana State Festival Association
- Served and was a lead member of the “Save Jury Pool” committee
- Mayor’s Veteran’s Ride Committee
- Was the Coordinator and Facilitator of the New Haven Citizen’s Academy
- New Haven’s Volunteer Coordinator
- Elected Adams Township Trustee Board Member
- 2015 Bill Fritcha Memorial Award Winner.
I know I’ve just touched on some of the things Doug was involved with. It was just a week ago Monday night that the Mayor awarded Doug the Bill Fritcha Memorial Award. Bill Fritcha was another prized New Haven resident that passed too early. He was known for giving his all to anyone who needed help. Doug was the absolute perfect choice for this award. Unfortunately, Doug was too ill to attend the dinner. Mayor McDonald, my wife Jane and I took it to him after the ceremony. Although he was in a lot of pain, we could see he truly appreciated the consideration. I accepted the award for Doug and he received a standing ovation from the large group attending. Please watch Bob Nelson’s video to hear Mayor McDonald’s comments.
The Citizens Academy was one of Doug’s All-Star efforts. The Academy is an eight week course to teach residents about how the city runs. Each week, different departments are discussed and tours are given. I was in the first Academy as were several other people now serving our community. It’s important that we carry on and offer this again, but it will be tough without Doug.
Whether you knew Doug personally or not – if you’ve lived in New Haven – please understand that he had a big part in making New Haven a great place to live, work and play. We’ll miss Doug greatly but I’m thankful he’s not in pain anymore. His wife Marcia, and their children should be very proud of his accomplishments and that he was loved by many friends in our community.