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Arthur Alchesay Guenther

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Arthur Alchesay Guenther Obituary
Guenther, Arthur Alchesay
was called home to heaven on April 30, 2012. Arthur was 88 years old and was born on September 28, 1923 in Whiteriver, Arizona on the Ft. Apache Indian Reservation to Minnie and E. Edgar Guenther who served as a Lutheran Missionaries. Arthur's Godfather was Chief Alchesay of the White Mountain Apaches and he was later honored with adoption to the White Mountain Apache Tribe. After attending grade school in Whiteriver, Arthur decided to follow in his father's footsteps as a Lutheran minister and traveled to New Ulm Minnesota for his High School education at Dr. Martin Luther College. Arthur entered Concordia Theological Seminary in Springfield, Illinois and during that time he met his wife of 64 years, Gloria Lee O'Brien. After graduation from the seminary, Arthur accepted a call back to his beloved Arizona where he served congregations in the Safford- Morenci area, from 1948 to 1950. Upon receiving a call, Arthur returned to Whiteriver where he shared the word of his Savior, Jesus Christ for the next 50 years. During this time, Arthur also served congregations in Maverick, Ft. Apache, McNary, Springerville and Show Low. Finally, in 1997 Arthur reluctantly decided that it was time to retire and he and Gloria moved to Pinetop where they attended Immanuel Lutheran Church, but still remained close to the Church of the Open Bible in Whiteriver and the people of the White Mountain Apache Tribe. While serving as a Lutheran Missionary was Arthur's calling, he had many interests in life. He served as a volunteer Fireman for 60 years, fought forest fires in Idaho with an Apache crew, and loved to fish the lakes and streams in the White Mountains. Best of all were the stories that Arthur would share of early Arizona and Reservation life, including many Native American Apache stories of their beliefs before the arrival of the Pioneer Settlers and early Missionaries. He was invited to speak to schools, church groups, civic organizations and hospitals about the customs and way of life of the early Apaches. Due to the many years of service to various organizations on the reservation, especially those closest to his heart, the children, Arthur was honored in 1997 by Channel 12, "12 Who Care" in Phoenix as a Hon Kachina recipient. Additionally Arthur served on the board of the Pinetop-Lakeside Historical Society, volunteered with Gloria at Summit Hospital and was recognized by the Northern Arizona Council of Governments, NACOG, for Community Services. Until finally slowed by illness Arthur remained active in the church in Pinetop singing in the choir, occasionally filling in as guest Pastor and leading the congregation in singing Happy Birthday. Arthur loved people, whether strangers or friends, it was always an opportunity to share a story or God's Word. Arthur is survived by his wife, Gloria; brother, Jonathon; sisters, Ruth Kessel and Myrna Hillyard; son, Mark (Sylvia); daughter, Cynthia (Wes); grandchildren, Richard, Michelle, Greg and Bryan; great-grandchildren, Alyssa, Hunter, Jayden, Ava, Joseph, Jett, Juliet, and soon to be Jameson Arthur; along with many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by brothers, Edgar and Roland and sisters, Winonah, Winnifred and Dorthea. A public visitation will be from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M., Friday, May 4, 2012 at Owens Livingston Mortuary-White Mountain Chapel 320 N. 9th Street in Show Low, Arizona. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 9:00 A.M. Saturday, May 5, 2012 in Whiteriver at the Lutheran Church followed by a Graveside service at Lakeside Cemetery, Donations to honor Arthur may be made to East Fork Lutheran Mission School. Owens Livingston Mortuary-White Mountain Chapel of Show Low handled the arrangements. For those who have special memories and would like to send private condolences or sign our online guest book, we invite you to visit our website at www.owenslivingstonmortuary.com

Published in The Arizona Republic on May 3, 2012
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