Douglas Guthrie

Edwardsville |

Douglas Lee Guthrie, 68, unexpectedly passed away Friday, March 8th at his home in San Angelo, Texas. He was born on October 21st, 1955 to the delight of his parents Ronald Lee Guthrie and Carrie Lee (Lippincott) Guthrie, who had waited patiently for 10 long years for his arrival.  Thus, Doug was often referred to by his parents as their “miracle” baby.

Doug spent his early years growing up in Edwardsville, Illinois.  His family quickly grew to include sisters, Susan and Becky, and brother, Craig.  Not to be outdone by his younger sister, Susan, Doug joined her in taking piano lessons.  His love of playing the piano and later the organ developed into a lifelong passion, one that he exceled in.  By the time he was a teenager his family moved to Wabash, Indiana.  There he got his first job as a paperboy.  One cold snowy day, he suffered frost bite on his hands which caused him discomfort when exposed to the cold for the rest of his life.  While living in Wabash, he was also influenced by the nearby presence of what was then called Grissom Air Force Base (AFB).  A few years later, Doug’s family returned to Illinois, settling in the city of Alton.

Though living in neighboring towns and attending different high schools, Doug met his future wife, Donna Sue (Wieneke) Guthrie through meetings at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Godfrey, Illinois.  They were married there on September 28th, 1973 and had their first child in the spring of 1974, son Damin.  Doug worked both as a custodian at his church and as a steel mill worker at Duncan Foundry in Alton, Illinois until he and his wife watched a WWII military movie on television.  Doug commented during the movie that he thought being in the military might be what he wanted to do with his life.  When his wife responded favorably Doug visited the local Air Force recruiting office the very next day.  He soon raised his right hand and enlisted in the United States Air Force (USAF).

After basic at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas and training at Goodfellow AFB, San Angelo, Texas, his first assignment was to Misawa Air Base, Japan to work in signals intelligence.  During that first tour he became a father to 3 daughters Denine, Danica, and Dara.  His next assignment was Scott AFB, Illinois where he worked in personnel.  Once again, he became a father; this time to daughter, Devon, and later son, Derek.  He was soon sent back to Misawa AB to work in signals intelligence followed by Carswell AFB, Fort Worth, Texas to work in personnel and one final tour at Misawa AB to work in signals intelligence.  Collectively, he served 13 years at Misawa AB where he grew to love and appreciate Japan.  His final assignment was at Goodfellow AFB in personnel from which he retired in 1995 after serving 21 years.  Doug’s next and final employment adventure was working 22 years for the United States Postal Service (USPS) where he spent 7 years sorting mail followed by 15 years as a window clerk.  During those years at the post office, Doug also went back to school to earn an associate degree in computer-aided drafting.

Not a stranger to hard work, over the course of his 21 year military career and subsequent 22 years in the postal service, Doug often held down a part-time job.  While on active duty, he began as a projectionist at the Scott AFB movie theater for the Army Air Force Exchange Service.  He continued in that role at Misawa AB, Carswell AFB, Misawa AB, and finally Goodfellow AFB.  He truly loved showing movies and often brought one of his children to watch a movie from the projectionist’s booth to share in the magic.  And later, while working for the postal service, Doug once again picked up a paper route.  This time delivering 400 newspapers daily from his vehicle for the San Angelo Standard Times with no risk of exposure to the cold.

After years of cardiac issues, Doug underwent a triple bypass at the age of 59 and later retired from the USPS at the age of 62.  Two years later, at the height of the pandemic, his youngest and 20th grandchild was born.  In his later years, Doug was blessed to have been given the opportunity to provide child care for his grandson, Fox, on a daily basis.  Doug’s life had finally slowed down to where he enjoyed holding and feeding an infant, watching that infant learn to crawl and walk, become an inquisitive toddler, and grow into a bright preschooler.  He was grateful to have had that opportunity.

Though not a demonstrative man, Doug showed his love for each and every member of his family on a daily basis through the hard work he performed.  And, if ever his family needed him, he was there to lend a hand.  He will be remembered by his loved ones for his devotion and for the example he set of a life well lived.

Doug is survived by his wife of 50 years, Donna; son Damin; daughter Denine and husband Michael Calvin; daughter Danica and husband Maurice Holdsworth; daughter Dara; daughter Devon and fiancé Chris Thomas; and son Derek and wife Arin (AJ).  He is also survived by his grandchildren Savannah, Saege, and Sawyer Guthrie; Shae Shepherd; Regan Shockley; Merit and Shane Rogge; Leah Calvin; Devin Wilson; Karrie (Anthony) Taylor-Doxey; Cassadie and Kloie Holdsworth; Clay, Darci and Drew Eisenbach; Jasmine Gutierrez; Dezirae and John Norton; and Fox Guthrie.  His sister Susan Holman and brother Craig (Jaime) Guthrie also survive.  In addition to Doug’s parents, he was preceded in death by his sister Becky (Andy) Mihalko, and grandson Steven Olin Gutierrez, Jr.

Viewing will be held from 12 to 1 p.m. with services at 1 p.m. on Friday, March 15th at Paynic Funeral Home, 618 E. Airline Drive, East Alton, Illinois.  Burial will follow at Rose Lawn Memory Gardens, 10 Erwin Plegge Blvd., Bethalto, Illinois.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the American Heart Association or Autism Speaks.

Obit Provided By:
Paynic Home for Funerals

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