Joseph P. Geipe Sr., a World War II veteran and career mover who was the founder of Easy Movers Inc. of Glyndon, died April 7 in his sleep at a son’s Reisterstown home. He was 95.
Joseph Patrick Geipe Sr. was born in Baltimore and raised in Hunting Ridge. He was the son of J. Norman Geipe, founder of J. Norman Geipe Van Lines Inc., and his wife, Nancy Croghan Geipe, who worked alongside her husband in the business.
He attended Polytechnic Institute, then worked on the family farm in Howard County until being drafted into the Army during World War II.
Mr. Geipe, an infantryman, served with the 63rd Infantry Division in Europe and was decorated with the Bronze Star.
“He really didn’t talk about the war all that much, and we don’t know what he got the Bronze Star for,” said a son, Gerard N. “Jerry” Geipe of Reisterstown. “He was not a pretentious man in any stretch of the imagination.”
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After being discharged from the Army in 1946 with the rank of private, he joined his father’s moving company, which was established in 1916.
In 1950, he married the former Jane F. Sturm and the couple settled in Catonsville. In 1957, he moved to Wilmington, Del., where he oversaw company operations, which was the in-house mover for E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.
A year later, he returned to Towson and joined the company’s York Road office. He earned his real estate license and after leaving the company in 1967, sold real estate for Schuster Realty, a Reisterstown firm.
In 1969, he and his wife purchased the Stag Bar in Reisterstown.
“He always thought it would be great owning a bar. He had a lot of shift workers from the Black & Decker plant in Hampstead, and when it was breakfast time for everyone else, it was happy hour for them,” his son said.
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“He realized that he had to be there all the time or things went missing. He then quickly realized it was no picnic owning a bar,” his son said. “He was often quoted as saying, ‘Selling that bar was the happiest day of my life.’ ”
After selling the bar in 1973, he returned to the family business, which was then being run by his brother Jack Geipe.
“He did estimating and supervised jobs,” his son said.
In 1977, with his brother’s blessing, he established Easy Movers Inc. in Glyndon, which is still family-owned and -operated.
“When he started Easy Movers, I was in college and he called me and said, ‘Come home. I’ve bought a truck and I think there is a need for a good local mover in Baltimore,’ ” said Joseph P. Geipe Jr., of Glyndon, who is president of the Glyndon-based firm.
“I guess he figured he had three sons and that qualified as a crew,” Gerard N. Geipe said with a laugh. “When you run a four-truck business like Easy Movers, you’re working 60-hour weeks, and wear many hats.”
Said Joseph P. Geipe Jr: “I think the most important thing he instilled in me and my brothers was that a man was only as good as his word. He did business on a handshake, and we still do. “He was about honor and integrity, and he passed that on to his children. That’s what created his success.”
He said an old friend described his father as “being as comfortable as an old worn pair of slippers.”
“He was easy to get along with and people always felt comfortable being with him. It’s what made him successful,” the son said.
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In addition to two sons, he is survived by a daughter, Dr. Kathleen M. Geipe of Salisbury; a brother, Larry Geipe of Cockeysville; a sister, Peggy Brinker of Catonsville; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Another son, Christopher F. Geipe died in 1996.