PHYLLIS BILEAU GEISSER
2002 INDUCTION TO THE RHODE ISLAND AQUATIC HALL OF FAME
Phyllis Bileau started swimming at the age of 10 in Lebanon, New Hampshire. A year later, her family moved to Providence and she eventually came under the tutelage of Bud Latham at the Fox Point Boys Club. In the 50’s, Phyllis won state championships in the 40, 50, 100 and 200 yard freestyle and 200 yard breaststroke, 100, 200 yard butterfly and the 200 yard individual medley.
Phyllis also captured several New England AAU Junior titles in 1956 and 1957 in the 200 yard breaststroke, 100 yard freestyle, and 200 yard backstroke. She was also New England AAU Senior Champion in the 100 yard butterfly and 100 meter butterfly during that period and also had numerous second and third place finishes at the New England Championships.
In 1957 and 1958, Phyllis was named Rhode Island’s Outstanding Girl Swimmer. In 1959, she graduated from Hope High School and continued her swimming career at the University of Connecticut. Phyllis married Jack Geisser in 1960.
She has served as a Water Safety Instructor for the American Red Cross and attended the National Red Cross Aquatic School in 1959. In 1960, Phyllis was the only female lifeguard in South County. While working at Sand Hill Cove, she not only worked as a lifeguard but also taught swimming classes. Her supervisor, Capt. Roger W. Wheeler, described Phyllis as “a winner with the kids”.
Phyllis’ father was Edgar Bileau, a long-time swimming official. Phyllis has four grown children and three grandchildren. She presently resides in New Hampshire.