Westmont Magazine Couple Made a Lasting Imprint on Westmont
Peter and Chris Geddes gave faithfully to Westmont during their lives and remembered the college in their estate, continuing their legacy. Photo courtesy of the Westmont Archives
During 69 years of marriage, Peter and Chris Geddes shared passions for missions, Christian education and travel. They worked together, kept close to their family, and left an impressive legacy at Westmont, where Peter served as a college trustee for 35 years.
He got to know Westmont through the business he founded, Geddes Press in Pasadena, Calif. When college officials were buying the property in Santa Barbara, Peter delivered materials there he’d printed, becoming one of the first outsiders to see it.
Peter joined the board in 1960, and the couple became great fans of Warrior athletics. Learning that students needed a place for exercise and games, they funded the Geddes Recreation Area next to Clark Halls. In later years, they inspired the creation of the Warrior Hall of Fame. They contributed faithfully to scholarships, especially for students from missionary families. A longtime chair of the development committee, Peter worked closely with significant donors who helped build the library and two residence halls.
Active in his community, Peter supported 20 organizations, many of them mission agencies, and served on the boards of nine. He and Chris traveled around the world, often visiting missionaries. Helping establish Pasadena Christian School in 1946 with J. Vernon McGee and Charles Fuller, Peter served as the first chairman of the board. “My parents thought Christian education was the most important thing you could do for your children,” says Kay Geddes Schmook ’61. “They believed Westmont was grounded, wouldn’t be swayed from its mission, and filled an important niche. They were always interested in young people.”
Chris worked at Geddes Press in the bindery and as a bookkeeper until she was 85. When Fuller Seminary opened, she became treasurer of the Women’s Auxiliary, a position she held for 40 years. With Peter, she sponsored a Christian Endeavor group at Lincoln Avenue Presbyterian, their church home for many years.
Peter died in 2006, and Chris passed away Sept. 8, 2011. Their family includes daughter Kay, her husband, James Schmook ’59, son Craig Geddes ’63, granddaughter Kristy SchmookDouglas ’86, six grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, including Rachel Douglas ’12, and one great-great-grandchild.