Outlook Magazine - Fall 2019

They brought Geissler’s No. 2 basketball jersey with them, a symbol of their beloved friend joining them on the trip. Geissler, a Thorp native, was a point guard for the Blue Devils and played in 112 games from 2003 to 2007. The two-time team captain earned an applied science degree. “Amanda was super energetic,” said Erin Konsela, 2001 alumna and a current admissions counselor at UW-Stout. “Her energy filled a room. She was one of those people everyone wanted to be around. There was no judgment ever. She was eager to learn and to be the best person she could be.” Geissler led UW-Stout to three WIAC conference titles, completed the Great Wall of China Marathon and Ironman Wisconsin. She loved to travel and reveled in her dream job working for Backroads, a travel company that specialized in unique, outdoor activities for families. On the California trip, her friends hiked at Big Sur, camped on beaches by the ocean, saw elephant seals, laughed and cried as they remembered Geissler. “Throughout the trip it was like Amanda was with us,” Konsela added. “It was a very happy time. We had a moment of silence for her. We took her jersey to the ocean and watched the sunset. There is not a day that goes by I don’t think of Amanda.” Geissler kept a journal and would tell her friends to write down their dreams and then make them happen, Konsela said. Steffanie Nemitz, a 2006 dietetics alumna, recalled Geissler as someone people enjoyed being around. The trip was truly special, added Nemitz, a chiropractor from Cuba City.

“Amanda literally touched the lives of people across the world,” Nemitz said. “Her smile was contagious, and she made you feel like you were the only person that mattered. Our trip reflected a quote by Amanda in her journal: ‘I would challenge anyone that their best memories were part of some type of adventure. Whether they intended to adventure or not.’” Lindsey Olsen, a 2005 alumna, said losing Geissler changed her and her friends’ lives. “The silver lining is Amanda lives in our broken hearts and gives us the strength and inspiration in our everyday lives,” Olsen said. Olsen said she will remain friends for life with her teammates. “We were teammates but most importantly friends, and friends we remain,” Olsen said. “Stout gave us our degrees, but it also gave us the vehicle to create friendships and memories for a lifetime.” Also, on Amanda’s bucket list was to raise money to start a charity. Her family has started a fundraiser in her name at the Pencils of Promise website to build a school in Ghana, Africa, where Amanda traveled on a company mission trip when she was employed by Eli Lilly and Company. Passionate about children and education, the goal is to keep Amanda’s light shining by building a school in her memory.

To donate go to: fundraise.pencilsofpromise.org/fundraiser/1698162

Former basketball teammates of Amanda Geissler toast (left) their friend, who died in a plane crash in December 2017, during a trip to California. The teammates pose with Geissler’s No. 2 basketball jersey (right) as a symbol of their beloved friend joining them on the trip in July 2018.


FA L L 2 0 1 9

Made with FlippingBook - Online Brochure Maker