Patriarch of Geathers’ famous football family dies

ablondin@thesunnews.comNovember 17, 2012 

The patriarch of the first family of Georgetown area football has died.

James Geathers, who had two sons play in the National Football League and two grandsons who are currently in the NFL, died Thursday night at the age of 75.

Geathers, who worked for many years for the Georgetown Parks and Recreation department, had been battling illnesses for a few years.

His son Robert Geathers Sr. was a 1981 third-round draft choice of the Buffalo Bills and spent three years with the team, and son Jumpy Geathers spent 13 years in the NFL with New Orleans, Washington, Atlanta and Denver and won two Super Bowls.

Grandson Robert Geathers Jr. plays for the Cincinnati Bengals and grandson Clifton Geathers plays for the Indianapolis Colts.

All four players are defensive linemen. They share James Geathers’ height but added a lot of girth. Geathers’ nickname was “Slim.”

“He was just a real nice, very humorous guy,” said Ervin “Blue Print” Parker of Georgetown, who grew up with Robert Sr. and Jumpy, also played in the NFL and has remained a family friend. “If you met him you’d always remember him, he was that kind of guy. He was a lot of fun, and he loved some football.”

The NFL lineage of the Geathers family in the NFL may soon expand. James Geathers’ grandson Kwame Geathers is a nose tackle at the University of Georgia and grandson Clayton Geathers is a defensive back at the University of Central Florida.

“They’re good family people; a close-knit family,” said Carvers Bay football coach Nate Thompson, who coached Robert Jr., Clifton, Kwame and Clayton and has won a pair of Class A state titles in the past decade. “Carvers Bay football would be entirely different if that family didn’t exist. They contributed a lot to that program and helped Carvers Bay football develop.”

Robert Jr. returned to the area this summer and brought several other NFL players with him for a free NFL Day for children in area recreation football programs. “They are pillars of the community,” Thompson said. “People respect them and admire them.”

Geathers’ funeral service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday at Mount Siani Baptist Church on Highway 51 in the Choppee area.

Surviving members of the Geathers family include James Geathers’ widow, Mrs. Martha Lee Geathers, and eight sons: Robert “Dab” Geathers Sr., James “Jumpy” Geathers, Clayton Geathers Sr., Jerry Geathers, Bryant Geathers of Georgetown, Ervin Geathers of Virginia, and Carl Geathers and Thurman Geathers of Atlanta, Ga.

Contact ALAN BLONDIN at 626-0284.

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