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Obituary for Joan Marian Nirenberg Geiger
Joan Marian Nirenberg Geiger died on December 9, 2020 at 95 years. Joan was born in New York, NY on December 4, 1925 to Harry and Minerva Nirenberg. The family relocated to Orlando, FL when Joan was 12 years old. She attended the University of Alabama before marrying Sydney Geiger in 1948. The couple settled in Jackson, MS, where Joan and Syd raised their family and were active members of the community. Joan finished her degree at Millsaps College, and then worked at St. Dominic’s Hospital in the social work department. She was an active member of Beth Israel Congregation. Joan was deeply committed to racial justice and became involved in many organizations promoting civil rights and access to education for all citizens. She co-founded Jackson’s Panel of American Women, was on the steering committee of the Jackson Interfaith Fellowship and was a co-founder of Mississippians for Public Education. In 1980, Joan relocated to Dallas, TX and found lasting love with her partner Wally Cohen. She worked as a social worker at Golden Acres Home for the Jewish Aged. She became active at Temple Emanu-El and became a Bat Mitzvah in 1997. Joan was an avid mahjong player, had many friends, and loved attending opera, the symphony, dance concerts, plays, and movies. She traveled the world, reveling in new adventures. She was beloved by her children and her grandchildren. Joan is pre-deceased by her brother Marshall Nirenberg. She is survived by her children Beverly Geiger Bonnheim (Malcolm), Susan Geiger Murray (Kevin), Steven Geiger (Emma) and Mindy Geiger Humphrey (Clay); her ten grandchildren, Ana Bonnheim (Asher Knight), Julia Bonnheim (Marc Bridge), Noah Bonnheim (Hannah Wagner), Eric Murray (Emily Chuk), Mike Murray, Shanna Geiger Applebaum (Matt), Josh Geiger, Hannah Humphrey, Sam Humphrey, and Nina Humphrey; and great- grandchildren Micah and Jonas Knight and Asa and Zoe Bridge. A private burial was held in Jackson, MS and a memorial service was held over Zoom. To honor her memory, the family suggests donations to Beth Israel Congregation (Jackson), Temple Emanu-El (Dallas), or The Southern Poverty Law Center.