GUTHRIE, Richard H
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1916 - 2012
On Sunday, 29th of April 2012, Richard (Dick) Hamilton Guthrie died peacefully in his 96th year at the Ste. Anne's Veteran Hospital in Ste. Anne, Quebec. He is survived by his wife Isobelle Ruth Guthrie (nee Carlyle) of 70 years, his 5 children Barbara, Richard, Susan, Carolyn and Joann, 12 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Dick was raised with his brother Jack in London, Ontario, then Montreal. With his artistic bent he was an accomplished model builder. At the age of 15 he took second place honours in a North American Coach Building Competition sponsored by "Bodies by Fisher". The next year he took first place with his second coach, thereby assuring his full university scholarship, starting in Architecture at McGill University in 1935. He subsequently transfered to M.I.T., where he majored in the new discipline of aeronautical engineering graduating in 1939. After M.I.T. he worked at the N.R.C. in Ottawa working on wind tunnels and in 1942 was commissioned in the RCAF in the rank of F/L as an engineering officer and posted to the repair depot in Calgary, Alberta to work on aircraft wing de-icing. There he met and married F/O Isobelle Carlyle. At the war's end both retired from the air force and moved back East. Dick worked first with Turbo Research, then moved to Dehavilland where he worked on the Chipmunk and the Beaver. In 1951 he joined the fledgling company Canadian Pratt and Whitney as Engineering Manager. Among his achievements at Pratt (later renamed to United Aircraft of Canada) was the development and production of the legendary PT6 gas turbine engine. As this engine gained acceptance and popularity, Dick rose in the ranks of the company to become in turn VP marine and industrial applications putting gas turbine propulsion systems into the 4 Huron class Canadian Destroyers in 1965, then continuing as president and CEO of Scan marine, a united aircraft subsidiary, to prepare a bid to build a complete Canadian destroyer with a gas turbine propulsion system. Dick retired in 1968, several years past the usual retirement age and took courses in investing and financial management. He spent the rest of his life as his own financial manger. Proud, intense, opinionated, honest and responsible, Dick left an indelible impression on all those he met. He constantly challenged his children and those whose lives he impacted to grow, to perform and to better themselves. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent in Dick's name to Nova West Island (formerly the VON) at 514-695-8335.
Published in The Gazette on May 5, 2012