Locals remember Chuck Geiss's legacy

Locals remember Chuck Geiss's legacy

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Chuck Geiss (R) in a family photo. Chuck Geiss (R) in a family photo.
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Chuck Geiss was one of Birmingham's biggest supporters and best known for publishing the Black and White weekly paper. Thursday, his family confirmed that he has passed away, leaving many reflecting on his contributions to the community.

In May of 1992, Chuck Geiss and a team of four editors launched the Black and White newspaper.

"Just the source that you went to for everything that was going on in the city of Birmingham," said longtime Birmingham resident and friend of Geiss Guy McCullough.

One of the founding editors of Black and White, Kerry Echols, says it was Geiss's idea to bring an alternative news source Birmingham. For many locals, over the last two decades, it was just that.

It started off as a monthly magazine and quickly turned into a bi-weekly publication.

"It was a staple in Birmingham for many, many years. So it was huge for us," said Kevin Burke, also a friend of Geiss and with the Do Dah Day Festival.

Echols says over the last few years, new forms of online media it made the Black and White paper a tough sell. Black and White's last publication went to print in January of this year. When Geiss wasn't busy getting the latest scoop for Black And White, many say he was making his mark in the community.

Burke attributes the success of Do Dah Day, an annual event that raises thousands of dollars every year for local animal organizations, to Geiss's dedication.

"It started out as a neighborhood party and then Chuck and his friends got involved and made it more of a festival," added Burke.

Chuck also had a hand in another major Birmingham event. McCullough worked with City Stages and says for years it was a three day annual music festival with headliners like Kenya West and Kid Rock.

"Two thousand five hundred volunteers for City Stages and Chuck was one of the very best and hardest working among them," said McCullough.  

Those who knew Geiss best say to call him a social butterfly is an understatement.

"One of those people who would walk in and know everybody," said Burke.

Family and friends say he is a man the people of Birmingham will never forget, especially for his ability to make everyone smile.

"My memories of Chuck involve long hard laughter," said McCullough.

"I think Birmingham lost a great friend," added Burke.

According to family members Geiss passed away at his Gulf Shores home. A visitation will be held for him Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home and Gardens in Trussville from 5 to 7 p.m. The funeral service will be Sunday, Sept. 15 at 2 p.m.

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