For the month of March (also known as Irish American Heritage Month) IrishCentral is tapping into the heartbeat of the Irish American community. The Unsung Heroes series features inspiring individuals from across the US who do extraordinary work in their communities and respective fields. From advocates to artists, from local legends to dedicated educators, from a high school baseball team to dynamo nuns in their 80s, these people are making a difference and to them we tip our hats in thanks.
Kitty Geissler was born in Hospital, County Limerick in 1912 and raised in Knocklong. She came to America in 1930 and settled in Westchester County after some years living in Manhattan, where she worked as a nanny. She travelled here with her younger brother, who subsequently returned to live in Ireland.
She joined the Ladies Auxiliary of the AOH in Portchester in 1937.
Kitty Geissler has now been a member of the AOH for 77 years. She is one of the most active members of LAOH Division 11 in Tarrytown, where she has lived since 1945 where she has raised her children.
She and her husband George moved to Tarrytown when he got a job there as a mechanic. After five years, they bought the house where Kitty still lives with her daughter Alice, on Grove Street.
For her 100th birthday in 2012, over 100 friends and relatives gathered from all around the world, including the Consul General of Ireland, Noel Kilkenny and the Kitty Kelly band played. Kitty Geissler has been inducted to the Senior Hall of Fame in Tarrytown.
According to her friend Dan Dennehey, “Kitty is 101 years old, a force of nature much like her pal, the late Joe Cunningham. She never misses a dance and attends all the Irish functions you can throw at her. Her vitality and cheerfulness are contagious and she is truly a leader and inspiration."