Joseph (Joe) R. Geraud
Sep 14, 1925 - Jun 6, 2023
Joseph (Joe) R. Geraud passed away on June 6, 2023 in Meridian, Idaho from coronary artery disease. He is survived by two of his sons and their wives, John (Linda) and Jim (Cynthia); daughter-in-law, Lea Geraud. Along with numerous grand-children and great grand-children.
Joe was born on September 14, 1925 in Riverton, Wyoming and graduated Riverton High School in l943 as class valedictorian. His family owned the Fremont Sheep Company which resulted in his youthful participation in the conduct of a large open range sheep operation. His father emigrated from France and his mother emigrated from Spain. They met and were married in Riverton where they reared three sons and a daughter. Joe was the sole survivor.
World War II caused his eventual assignment by the U. S. Navy to a Naval officer training program at Oregon State College. There, in January of 1946, he met Bette Kovar, a co-ed from Fullerton California whom he wed on August 25, 1946, after his release from active duty and continuation in the Navy’s active reserve. The newlyweds then traveled to Laramie, Wyoming where Joe attended requisite classes at the University of Wyoming and graduated in 1950 from the College of Law at the top of his class. He was awarded a fellowship by the University of Michigan for post-graduate study, but such studies were terminated on April 1, 1951 by return to active duty in the Navy as Lieutenant Junior Grade, and designation as a law specialist. Upon his release on August 30, 1955 from active duty, he was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Law in the College of Law, University of Wyoming and eventually retired on February 1,1992 as a professor emeritus.
During this span of thirty-seven years, he performed a variety of university duties in addition to his classroom teaching, which was interrupted for a ten-year period during which he served as Vice-President for Student Affairs and University legal counsel. As a faculty member, he was heavily involved in the evolution of the governance structure of the University, commencing in l966 when he moved the University Faculty to create a Faculty Senate to replace the “town hall” meetings of the University faculty. He subsequently served for ten years as the College of Law senator. As a Vice-president and legal counsel, he presided over significant changes to the policies and rules governing student attendance, housing assignments and other matters which had been based upon colleges exercising the prerogatives of parents with regard to student discipline and maintenance of separate dormitories for men and women. He was also the designated Wyoming representative to the national ACT Corporation and was elected by the corporation to serve a term on its Board of Trustees.
In addition to the foregoing, he was appointed in 1968 as the University Faculty Athletic Representative to the National Collegiate Athletic Association and Wyoming’s athletic conference for intercollegiate athletics and worked with a succession of five Directors of Intercollegiate Athletics (until his retirement) to assure on-campus compliance with the rules of governing athletic associations, as well as certifying the eligibility of student-athletes for competition. The Association elected him to serve a term on its sixteen-member Council to oversee its operations.
Joe acted as the College of Law representative to the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation where he served on the executive committee.
He was appointed by the Southwestern Legal Foundation to the board of editors for the Oil and Gas Law reporter, to which he was a frequent contributor. In 1999 he was awarded the Foundations prestigious John Rogers Award.
In 1973 he was designated as the Wyoming representative to the American College Testing corporation, which administers a national collegiate entrance examination utilized by many colleges and universities. He was subsequently elected in 1978 to its Board of Trustees, positions he held until 1984.
In 2006, the College of Law, University of Wyoming, honored him with its Distinguished Alumni Award.
After retiring from the University, he returned to Riverton, where Joe was invited in 1993 to serve as a director of the Central Wyoming College Foundation. He retired from the Foundation in 2012 after serving as President of the Foundation during the last ten years of his tenure on the Board. The Wyoming Association of Community College Trustees recognized him with the Foundation Volunteer of the Year Award for 2011-12. In 2002 the Riverton Chamber of Commerce honored him with its Citizen of Year Award for his commitment to community citizenship.
In September of 2015 Joe and Bette moved to Meridian, Idaho where their son John and part of his family live.
After 74 years of marriage Bette passed away June 15, 2020. Joe is preceded in death by his parents, 2 brothers and a sister, John’s first wife, Mary Lou (2018) and son Gary (2021).
Inurnment of Joe and Bette Geraud will be 10:00 a.m., Saturday, July 22, 2023 at the family plot at Mountain View Cemetery. Military Honors for Joe will be accorded.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Davis Funeral Home.