Raymond GeigerEdited 'Farmers' Amanac'Raymond Geiger, who...

April 03, 1994

Raymond Geiger

Edited 'Farmers' Amanac'

Raymond Geiger, who edited the "Farmers' Almanac" for six decades and staged his own funeral three years ago so that he wouldn't miss it, died Friday in Lewiston, Maine. He was 83.

He died in a nursing home, where he had lived for a month, said his son and successor as editor, Peter Geiger. Mr. Geiger, who retired last fall, had Parkinson's disease.

Under him, the almanac's circulation grew from 86,000 in the 1930s to its current 4 million. He became editor of the almanac -- which contains weather forecasts, planting and gardening advice, recipes and jokes -- immediately after leaving college.

Mr. Geiger once estimated that he traveled 5 million miles, delivered 3,500 speeches and gave 18,000 interviews to pitch the almanac.

The almanac's New Hampshire-based rival, the "Old Farmer's Almanac," was founded in 1792 and is sold in stores. The "Farmers' Almanac" came a quarter-century later and is sold to banks, insurance companies and others who imprint their names on it and give it away.

"We admit they're older and we're a Johnny-come-lately," Mr. Geiger once said. "But a Studebaker is older than a Cadillac, and who would buy a Studebaker?"

Mr. Geiger's funeral, on Wednesday, won't be his first. In 1990, he invited family and friends to a funeral to unveil his tombstone. He recited a poem about reaching the "plateau" of his life.

Beneath his name was carved the epitaph: "May It Rain Just Enough."

The poem, in part, said:

"Friends, I am delighted and really quite excited

That you came to this unusual grave event.

For I'd rather have you gather as I write it

Than have you come to see me when I'm dead."

Haynes T. Treadway, who started pest control businesses in Baltimore and in Glen Rock, Pa., died Thursday at a hospital in York, Pa., after a heart attack. He was 66.

Chuck Treadway, as he was known to his friends and associates, moved to Baltimore in 1955 and started H. T. Treadway & Son, which is now owned by his son.

In 1977, he moved to Glen Rock and started H. T. Treadway Inc., which he operated there.

A native of Sylva, N.C., he served in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War.

He was a member of the Edgemere Lodge of the Moose, and Maryland and Pennsylvania pest control associations.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the William J. Werkinger Funeral Home in York.

He is survived by his wife, the former Mary Mabel Homan; his son, John H. Treadway of Spring Grove, Pa.; a sister, Jessie Burleson of White Marsh; three grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

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