Charles John Guthrie

Oct. 7, 1923 - Jan. 14, 2009

Charles John Guthrie, 85, of Mount Prospect, Ill., died at home Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009, after a courageous battle against Parkinsonís disease.

He leaves behind his beloved wife, Mary Elizabeth (nee Britton), after 60 years of marriage. Besides his wife, he leaves his son-in-law, the Rev. Charles Hoffacker, and beloved granddaughter, Sophia Elena Hoffacker of Washington, D.C. Charles was a proud and loving father of his daughter, Cynthia Ann, who recently died in December, and an infant son, Charles John Guthrie Jr., deceased in 1953.

Charles was preceded in death by his parents, Horace and Jennie Guthrie, and his brother, Robert Guthrie.

He was the fond brother of Jean Guthrie Linton and Doris Ann (Jack) Jayne and the adored uncle of many nieces and nephews. He is further survived by many cousins, a goddaughter and many friends.

Charles was born in Mukwonago on Oct. 7, 1923. He attended Guthrie School on Guthrie Road and Waukesha High School. He had a masterís degree in mechanical engineering and hydraulic control design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Charles was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant in World War II, during which he served on a mine sweeper. After military service, Charles moved to Rochester, N.Y., where he began his career and met his wife. He then lived in Waukesha for more than 20 years. He worked at HUSCO for 10 years and was president of the Waukesha Common Council and an alderman. While living in Waukesha, he was a deacon at the First Presbyterian Church and president of Toastmasters. He was instrumental in starting the Waukesha Theater. Charles first joined the YMCA in Waukesha and continued his membership for more than 30 years after moving to Illinois.

After moving to Illinois, Charles was employed as a mechanical engineer at United Technologies Inc. and retired from there in 1993. After retirement, he continued his career and became a consultant for KOCSIS Technologies Inc. in Alsip, Ill. He was past president of the Chicago White Water Association and he was on the executive board of the Chicago Figure Skating Club. A chess champion and Civil War buff, Charles enjoyed reading, canoeing, figure skating, kayaking, swimming, biking, hiking, running, cross country skiing, photography, fishing and sailing on Lake Michigan.

Visitation will be held from 2 p.m. until the 7 p.m. service Thursday, Jan. 22, at Friedrichs Funeral Home, 320 W. Central Road at Highway 14, Mount Prospect, Ill. Home visitation will follow. A second service and interment in Brookfield will be scheduled at a later date.

The family wishes to thank the family, friends and neighbors of the Guthries, as well as the medical staff who have cared for and supported Charles through his battle.

Donations may be made to American Parkinson Disease Association inc., 135 Parkinson Ave., Staten Island, NY, 10305, or e-mail, or can be made to North Shore University Hospice, 4901 Searle Parkway, Skokie, IL 60076.

For more information, call Friedrichs Funeral Home at (847) 255-7800 or go to