By Grace Forrest
As the spring semester comes to a close, retirement grows closer for Kathy Geosits, beloved cashier in the cafeteria. In a campus-wide email, students and staff learned of her intention to retire at the end of this academic year.
Geosits, affectionately known as Miss Kathy, has worked for Malone for 22 years and undoubtedly has become a staple in the cafeteria and as a floor mom for the girls of Blossom Hall’s third floor.
Prior to joining the Malone staff, Geosits worked at a flower shop, a job she went back to after taking time off to raise her children. But when the schedule of the flower shop became more demanding than what she hoped it would be, she began looking elsewhere for employment.
“My friend works in the office here,” Geosits said. “I went to her because I wasn’t enjoying my job. She told me the cashier here had walked out and that I could probably get the job if I wanted it. So I started working two weeks, every other day here, and two weeks, every other day, at the flower shop. That’s how it all started. I’ve been here ever since.”
Geosits recently announced her retirement on Twitter. The result has been overwhelmingly nostalgic.
“Twenty-two years — that’s a lot of memories,” Geosits said. “People are congratulating me on Twitter and I’m remembering them. Things like someone who always wore shorts, every single day. I just remember these things.”
“I just saw an [alumnus] basketball player this year at one of the games,” Geosits said. “He’d been gone for over 10 years, but I just knew it was him. I caught up to him and found out his wife went [to Malone] as well. He used to stand in the hallway every day with a sign that said ‘I need a guest pass.’ There’s been a million [memories] over the years.”
“Miss Kathy makes me happy every time I come into the caf,” Tracy Sumner, senior exercise science major, said. “She always asks me about my day.”
“She’s a super nice lady,” Natasha McNiel, freshman psychology major and AVI student worker, said. “She brightens my day.”
“It’s good to see a smiling face in the morning,” Xerxes Smith, junior music production major, said. “You can tell her what is going on in your day. She asks me about my run in the mornings because that’s how she is, she knows a little bit about your life. She’s involved with every student.”
Geosits has been intentional about being present in students’ lives. She is generous in sharing her kindness with all who cross her path.
“You’re all my kids,” Geosits said. “I just think, when my kids were in college, I would hope somebody there made them feel like they were at home. I just want to make your day. You all are away from your moms and I want you to feel like someone is there.”
“Miss Kathy makes your bad days good ones,” Nikki Weber, junior early childhood education major, said.
However, Geosits’ love went beyond the cafeteria.
“I have had students spend part of their summer with [my family], and at Thanksgiving, I’ve had extra people over because I don’t want anybody to have nowhere to go,” Geosits said. “You can’t be by yourself on Thanksgiving. It’s been fun.”
“Miss Kathy took the time to learn everyone’s names and details about their lives,” Myla Kline, sophomore middle childhood education major, said. “She always asks how things are going and genuinely cares about the student population here.”
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of being with you guys and I will miss it terribly,” Geosits said. “But it’s time. My husband said, ‘You’re going to be there on a walker, you’re never going to leave.’ So it’s time.”
“She is a crucial part of Malone, greeting everyone with a smile,” Robin Campbell, senior business and sports management double major, said. “She is so positive and encouraging, I love hearing about her grandkids. And she loved hearing about what was going on in my life. We will really miss Miss Kathy.”
Geosits was quick to also speak of her grandkids when looking towards retirement.
“My granddaughter is going to preschool [now], and I’m off on Thursday, but that’s one of her school days,” Geosits said. “I try to spend one day with her and one day with her brother. I’m looking forward to spending more time with them.”
Like most Ohioans who are able to travel, Geosits also looks forward to going South during the winter. She hopes to escape the cold and travel to South Carolina with her husband.
“My husband has been bugging me for probably six years now to retire, but I said that I can’t,” Geosits said. “I hate leaving. I like meeting people. But there is never going to be a good time.”
Students will certainly be happy to see Geosits in the future as she has become a consistent part of their lives.
“I’m going to be around; you’ll still see me,” Geosits said. “I’ll come back to see people and go to some of the games. I can’t just go cold turkey.”
“Her constant support of the basketball program, and myself, means so much,” Eli Ramsey, senior integrated language arts major and basketball player, said. “She has encouraged me to keep going with practice. After every game, we come into the caf and she’ll ask about the game or tell us we played great. She provides constant support.”
Of course, walking away will not be easy for Geosits.
“I will probably feel really awful next August,” Geosits said. “Do you think I’ll pull a Tom Brady and come back? [Geosits laughed] I’m going to miss this. And hopefully, those two little people are going to make up for it. Life is short. I don’t want to miss anything, but I am going to miss this.”
Her legacy in the cafeteria will not be easily replaced, nor will she soon be forgotten by the Malone students who she has so dearly touched with her compassion.
“I’ve never met somebody that wasn’t my friend,” said Geosits.
This sentiment is clear in every interaction she has with students. From a smiling face to in-depth conversation, Geosits is steadfast in her care.
“Thank you to all the students because that’s what made me stay here,” Geosits said. “They’ve been a huge part of my life. So thank you.”
The feeling is mutual, “Miss Kathy.” Thank you for all of your heartwarming service, and good luck in retirement!