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WILLIAMSBURG – Alan James Geel, 92, passed away peacefully on Oct. 1, 2016 in Williamsburg, Va. He was born on October 9, 1923 in Chicago.
His parents were Albert James and Anne Metzger Geel. His Mother died when he was 9 years old and his stepmother, Dorothy, helped raise he and his sister, Patti.
He attended Charles Churz High School in Chicago. After graduation he joined the Navy in March 1943 and became a Naval Aviator. Later he qualified as a specialty Night Fighter Pilot performing hazardous missions from aircraft carriers especially at night and during poor weather conditions. His first assignment after flight school was to the Pacific Theater near the end of World War II.
In 1958 Alan was assigned as a Navy Test Pilot to the McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company in St. Louis. He remained in the Navy for 27 years where one of his favorite assignments was aboard the USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier based in Los Angeles. While in the Navy, Alan became an avid tennis player and was on the All Navy Tennis team and continued to play in local tennis tournaments and the Senior Olympics well into his 80s. His last duty station was with the Naval Air Station in Norfolk where he retired in 1968 as a Lieutenant Commander and he and his wife, Ruth, lived in the Virginia Beach area for 45 years. During some of that time he was the top salesman for Polynesian Pools where he sold as many as five pools in a day! His attention to detail made for constant referrals resulting in many pools in the Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake and even Williamsburg areas.
In January of 1945 Alan married his high school sweetheart, Ruth Ellen Alexander, who preceded him in death. Alan and Ruth had three children, Barbara Ann (Robert), Jon Alexander (Patricia), and Terence Alan (Patsy). He is also survived by his adoring sister Patricia Ann, and his grandchildren, Kristin, Robert, Jr. (Carmen), Zachary, Maxwell, Carly (Alex) and Rebecca (Molt), his great grandsons Tyler and Alex and his special friend Gary Allen.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be mailed to the USS Yorktown Foundation, 40 Patriots Point Rd, Mt Pleasant, South Carolina 29464.