Jake Guth, 88, of Bozeman died peacefully surrounded by his friends at the Gallatin County Rest Home. Cremation has taken place and a celebration of his life will be announced at a later date.
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Jake was born June 18, 1921, and was the youngest of nine children born to Arthur Delbert Guth and Mary Ollie Burchum of Lepanto, Ark.
In the early 1930s he moved with his mother to Chicago, where he lived before entering the Army.
During World War II he served with distinction and was a decorated radio operator serving in the Philippines.
In 1945 he returned to Chicago to marry his sweetheart, Anna Marie Gruenthaler.
He then went to work for Argonne National Lab and loved to tell stories about meeting physicist Enrico Fermi, who worked there at that time. With the help of the GI Bill, he enrolled in accounting and business courses and soon opened his own insurance agency in South Shore, Ill. At one point he was the largest Kemper insurance agent in Chicago.
In 1959, Jake joined the Lions Club, and this would become his lifelong passion, for which he willingly gave his time and energy. He was elected district governor in 1-A Illinois in 1961and awarded the 100 percent district governor award in 1962. In 1990 to 1991 he served as district governor in Hot Springs, Ark. He was one of the founding members that helped raise funds to establish and maintain the Illinois Camp for the Blind.
He was editor of the Illinois Lions Magazine. During his lifetime Jake received numerous awards from the Lions Club International, including the District Governors Appreciation award, the Melvin Jones Award (founder of the Lions Club) and a life membership.
In 2000, Jake and Marie moved to Bozeman, where he made many good friends. He was a loving caretaker to his wife, Marie, until her death in 2005 and enthusiastically raised funds for the Memory Garden at the Gallatin Valley Rest Home. If it wasn't snowing he could be found on the golf course.
Jake was preceded in death by Marie, his wife of nearly 60 years, and all of his siblings.
He is survived by his daughters, Patsy Emery, Kathleen DeHeer, Nancy (George) Dunbar of Bozeman; and his son Kenneth Guth of Los Angeles. He also is survived by his grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He delighted in being the patriarch of the family and will also be missed by many nieces and nephews.
Memorials in his name may be directed to the Gallatin Rest Home Auxiliary, 1221 W. Durston Road, Bozeman, MT 59715; to The Lions Club Foundation, 300 W. 22nd St., Oak Brook, IL 60523-8842; or to Bozeman Deaconess Hospice, 915 Highland Blvd., Bozeman, MT 59715.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from June 6 to June 9, 2010