Jeffery Michael Giese, age 54, of Greenfield, passed away Wednesday, April 1, 2020, at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a private family service took place virtually Wednesday, April 8. A Celebration of Life will occur at a later date. Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers.
Jeffrey was born March 15, 1966, in Aitkin, MN, to James and Margaret (Kiesner) Giese. He attended grade school in Aitkin, and then moved to Brownton, where he graduated from Brownton High School in 1984.
He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Mankato State University in 1988, and then a graduate degree, also from Mankato, in 1996.
Jeff’s entire career was spent working for Hennepin County, beginning at the County Home School and then transitioning to children’s mental health and social service work, where he worked with teenagers and young adults, guiding them through the troubles of life. He had an incredible impact with every youth that he worked with, and has been described as having one of the biggest hearts around.
Jeff married the love of his life, Julie Harbarth, Sept. 15, 1990, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Brownton.
Jeff and Julie lived in Champlin for 10 years, and then Greenfield, for another 20 years. Their life was blessed with three children, Makenna, Andrew and Kaylee. Jeff and Julie shared almost 30 years of marriage.
An avid sports fan, Jeff was a competitor at heart. In his youth, he played football, basketball and baseball. He continued his love of sports by coaching his own children and always being their biggest fan when watching their games. He also enjoyed following many college and professional teams.
Jeff helped mentor players and developed their love of sports, but he didn’t stop there. He loved to also work with coaches, guiding them to develop skills to be kind and compassionate coaches.
Another one of Jeff’s hobbies was enjoying sports cars, and his car collection varied from his Mustangs to his special edition Camaro. Additionally, he loved boating, and spent many hours on Lake Minnetonka and the St. Croix River with friends, coworkers, and family.
At their Greenfield home, Jeff and Julie own a few acres of land. With all this space, Jeff enjoyed playing with and watching the dogs in the yard. He loved to maintain this yard, from seeding the first lawn to completing many landscaping projects.
Even though Jeff loved his projects, he loved his friendships more, and when he would see a neighbor, Jeff would always take a break from the work he was doing and chat with them. While enjoying all of his hobbies, Jeff loved to jam to his music.
He always had a way with words, he knew how to make you laugh, and most of the time it was while making fun of you, in a loving way. He loved when you could fire back the sarcasm without missing a beat, and if you caught him in the right moment, he would let out a laugh that would fill an entire room.
Beyond his hobbies and his jokes, Jeff was a very humble, quiet, and caring person, but he never looked for recognition. He just wanted to give to others and help in any way possible. He truly valued the time spent with his friends and family, but what he treasured the most was vacationing with his wife and kids. He always loved getting to see palm trees, the ocean, and enjoying the sunset over the water.
Jeff was preceded in death by his father, James Giese; and his grandparents.
He is lovingly remembered by his wife, Julie; and children Makenna (23), Andrew (18) and Kaylee (16); his mom, Margaret (Peg) Sipe; his siblings, Chuck (Teresa) Giese, Jon Giese, Julie (Randy) Schlecht, Rick Giese, and Jody Giese; nieces and nephews: Tara, Trista, Jaime (Curtis), Koley, Jimmy, Brandon (Amanda), Tyler (Cat), Sara, and Nicol; his parents-in-law, Gerald and Diane Harbarth; brother-in-law Tim Harbarth; sister-in-law Lenae (Levi) Osmondson; nieces Caitlynn and Mackenzie; and nephew Parker.
The family of Jeff Giese would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers, and kindness in this time of sorrow.
Our wish is that you take the love, joy and happiness you received from Jeff and spread it to those who touch your life.