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Charles J. "Charlie" Guenther

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Charles "Charlie" J. Guenther Grayling Formerly of Okemos Charlie was born in Crites, West Virginia on August 10, 1925. He was a child when his family moved to Unionville in Michigan's Thumb. Charlie married Betty Irene Duphorne and they had 3 children. He enrolled at Michigan State University, where he played center field on the JV baseball team. He dropped out in his junior year to join the U.S. Army during WorldWar II. After the war he returned to MSU, earning a degree in forest management and joined the DNR. Charlie served for more than 30 years with the DNR where he was well-liked and respected by colleagues and superiors. He started as a conservation officer and became head of both the Law and Wildlife divisions before retiring in 1986. A lifetime hunter, Guenther owned nearly 300 acres in Hersey, MI managing it intensively for deer and timber. He would sometimes spend days or weeks at his camp, often by himself. Asked how he kept himself occupied, he once answered, "I read and I think, and I watch the woods. I never get bored here." On Nov, 15, the 88-year-old conservationist and environmentalist was fatally injured when he rolled his all terrain vehicle at his deer camp. He died on Nov. 20th at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids surrounded by his family. Intensely interested in science and politics, he kept up with the gadget revolution, adapting happily to computers and cell phones, although he insisted on saying that the messages to his grandchildren were "T-X-ing". He loved golf, having shot his age twice just this summer. Charlie is preceded in death by his first wife, Betty. Guenther is survived by his daughter, Sharon Kae, of Chinle, Ariz., sons Edward of Plattsburg, N.Y., and Timothy of Lansing, step-daughter Marsha Oviatt of Traverse City; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Charlie's life will be celebrated with a memorial service, Jan. 4th, 2014 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. Another celebration will be held in Grayling in May.

Published in Lansing State Journal on Dec. 8, 2013
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