LTC Jerry L. Guthrie (USA-ret.), born on June 8, 1940, to Jeremiah and Frances Butler Guthrie in Little Rock, Ark., passed away on June 29, 2013, after a long battle with dementia.
He was a loving husband, father and grandfather and friend to all. He was part of history as a rising senior on Sept. 4, 1957, the first day of school at Little Rock Central High School when the Arkansas governor deployed the Arkansas National Guard to prevent African American students from entering. Police escorts entered the African American students in, weeks later President Eisenhower ordered troops from the 101st Airborne Division to protect the students the remainder of the school year. Jerry was in homeroom and graduated in June of 1958 with Ernest Green, the first African American to graduate from Little Rock Central. Jerry continued his education at Henderson State Teachers College in Arkadelphia, Ark., receiving a B.S. in Mathematics and was commissioned a 2LT in the U.S. Army.
Jerry married Marilyn Welsh and raised a family of three boys while making a career in the Army. His travels included: Fort Rucker, Ala.; Fort Walters, Texas; Fort Knox, Ky.; Fort Polk, La.; two tours in Vietnam; Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; HQ TRADOC, Fort Monroe, Va.; and OTEA, Falls Church, Va. While at HQ TRADOC, Fort Monroe, Va., and Fort Rucker, Ala., he was proud to have worked on the development of the Apache Helicopter and being able to assist in its fielding. Jerry served his country for over 20 years and retired as a Master Aviator in September 1985.
Jerry married Dawn Lyon Pope in November 1985, and they lived in Hampton, Va., where he began a new career at Allen Corporation. After numerous company buyouts he retired from Lockheed Martin in 2002 and they moved to Gloucester, Va., where he fished to his heart’s content on his property on Cow Creek Mill Pond and enjoyed his beloved dogs, Ginger and B.J. His last job was with Bill Fary Ford as a part-time salesman where he truly enjoyed pleasing people with Ford automobiles.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Donald James (Donnie) Guthrie, and his stepmother, Jean Berg Guthrie.
He is survived by his loving family, wife Dawn; three sons, Jerry Donald Guthrie (Betsy) of Richmond, Va., Richard Jackson Guthrie (Tina) of Hampton, Va., and LTC David James Guthrie (Jennifer) of Fort Carson, Colo.; his stepbrothers, Larry Koehler (Melody) and Chuck Koehler (Janie), and stepsister, Gina A. Benezue, all of Little Rock, Ark. He is also survived by his seven wonderful grandchildren, Elizabeth, Laura, Cathryn, Kelly, Sarah, William and Matthew Guthrie; several nieces and nephews, and his puppy girl, Brandy.
A Celebration of Life, conducted by Pastor John Gibson of the Church in Restoration, Hanover, Va., will be held 7 p.m. Friday, July 5, 2013, at Hogg Funeral Home, 3098 George Washington Memorial Highway, Hayes, Va. The family will receive friends prior to the service on Friday from 6-7 p.m. at the funeral home. Interment for LTC (ret.) Jerry Guthrie will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.
In our loved one’s memory contributions may be made to Alzheimer’s Association, 4600 Cox Rd., Suite 130, Glen Allen, Va. 23060.