Cover photo for Geoffrey Harrison Root's Obituary
Geoffrey Harrison Root Profile Photo

Geoffrey Harrison Root

March 13, 1936 — November 17, 2023

Geoffrey Harrison Root

Geoff Root (1936 - 2023): A Life of Service, Leadership, and Enduring Strength

It is with deep respect and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Geoffrey Harrison Root, aged 87, on November 17, 2023. Born in 1936 in Burlington, Vermont, to George Lowry and Luella Root, Geoff's journey through life was marked by unwavering dedication, immense courage, and a commitment to bettering the lives of those around him.

Geoff's early life was characterized by hard work and resilience. His father, a carpenter, house painter, and plumber, instilled in him the values of diligence and integrity. Despite financial challenges, Geoff earned a scholarship to Andover Philips Academy in Massachusetts, where he faced and overcame numerous challenges, driven by a strong sense of purpose and a desire to excel.

His time at Andover was transformative, shaping him into a lifelong learner and a leader. Geoff spoke fondly of his educators and the vital lessons he learned, both academic and life skills. He also earned a scholarship to Dartmouth University where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree. During this time, he ventured to Mary’s River Ranch in Nevada, where he worked as a ranch hand/hay stacker—an experience that further honed his leadership skills and work ethic.

Geoff's commitment to service was exemplified in his decision to join the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served with distinction. His military career was marked by bravery and excellence, earning him several accolades including a Bronze Star, and a Purple Heart in Vietnam. Geoff's leadership in the Marine Corps was not just about missions and strategies through 3 tours in Vietnam and later with deployments in Yokohama, Yokosuka, Japan and Cherry Point, North Carolina; it was about the humane and ethical treatment of his team and those under his command.

He retired with distinction as a Lieutenant Colonel commanding the combat engineer battalion WES-27. After his military service, he moved with his family to Underhill, Vermont, where Geoff pursued a career in education and later in public service, managing personal services contracts for the Vermont Health Department. He became a vocal union activist, advocating for better leadership in bureaucracy. Throughout his life, Geoff remained dedicated to his family, acknowledging the sacrifices they made and the support they provided.

In his later years, Geoff, alongside his beloved wife Carolyn, embarked on a new journey in Oklahoma.  He accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior.  He began planning of his dream of cultivating wine grapes and pecans and immersing himself in family history and ancestral diary transcription. His dream reflected his lifelong commitment to learning, growing, and exploring new horizons.

Geoff's legacy is not only in the remarkable achievements of his career but in the lives he touched, the people he led, and the family he cherished. His reflections on faith, life, leadership, and the importance of taking risks and speaking out against injustice will continue to inspire those who knew him.

We extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife Carolyn, their children Timothy, Nathan, Zachary and Amanda, and the many lives Geoff touched. A memorial service will be held Friday, November 24 at 2:00 p.m. at Walker Funeral Chapel, where we will celebrate the extraordinary life of Geoff Root, a true leader, a dedicated serviceman, and a loving husband and father. Geoff's life reminds us all of the power of resilience, the importance of service, and the enduring strength of the human spirit.

Rest in peace, Geoff Root. Your legacy will live on.

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Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, November 24, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Walker Funeral & Cremation Service

201 E 45th St, Shawnee, OK 74804

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