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House OKs bill to honor Geist

HARRISBURG — Legislation to honor former state Rep. Richard A. Geist was approved by the House, said state Rep. Lou Schmitt, R-Blair, the author of the bill.

“Rick” Geist was an Altoona native and a former Republican member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 79th District who was first elected in 1978. He represented Altoona in the state House of Representatives from 1979 to 2012.

Geist died of a heart attack on Aug. 29, 2019, while vacationing in Russia.

Schmitt’s House Bill 2191 would dedicate the 17th Street bridge over Interstate 99 in Logan Township as the Honorable Richard A. Geist Memorial Bridge.

“Rick Geist, who passed away last year, served the citizens of Altoona and Blair County with devotion and distinction over his 34 years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He was born and raised in Altoona and had great dedication to and affection for its people. He was a tireless advocate for the 79th District,” Schmitt said.

“Given his longstanding chairmanship of the House Transportation Committee, I think it is especially fitting that motorists traveling on I-99 who take the 17th Street exit will approach his beloved Altoona by way of crossing over the Honorable Richard A. Geist Memorial Bridge,” Schmitt said.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

According to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives’ website, Geist was born on Nov. 21, 1944, and graduated from Altoona Area High School in 1962.

Geist graduated from Penn State University in 1965.

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