William W. Guthrie

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  • "We send our condolences to the family. We visited Uncle Bob..."
    - Tony and Barbara Hale
  • "Bob and family, we are so sad for your loss. But you have..."
    - Karen Ruthberg
  • "The sorrow you feel now will only enhance into joy and..."
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    - Michele DeCant
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    - Christine Owens
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January 27, 2013

William W. Guthrie, aged 94, of Buellton, CA passed away of natural causes early Sunday afternoon, January 27, 2013 at the Samarkand Retirement Community in Santa Barbara. His children and caretakers were at his bedside.

William lived a full and adventuresome life. Born July 2, 1918, in the tiny coal mining town of Waterside, in Ayrshire, Scotland, he was the youngest of four siblings. He had the good fortune to attend college and completed studies in civil engineering at the University of Glasgow. He then received a commission with the Royal Corps of Engineers and was attached to the 25th Indian Division of the Army and assigned to the 93rd Field Company of the Bombay Sappers and Miners which saw action in Burma and Malaysia during WWII.

After the war, he worked in Iraq and Kuwait before heading to Australia to work on the Snowy River water project. It was on the seaward part of this journey that he met his life partner, Joan W. Hughes from Penarth, Wales. They married and had two of their four children in Sydney, Australia. American friends on the project encouraged them to go to America which they did in 1955 and the family grew by two.

The family grew up in Southern California; Burbank, Glendale, and Santa Ana. During this time he finished post graduate studies at USC and was an avid Trojan. The young family had one final amazing adventure which occurred when William took a contract with the US Air Force from 1965-1966 during the Vietnam conflict. At the end of his contract, William planed and organized an overland trip that took the family from Thailand through Asia to Europe and finally across the US back to Tustin in Southern Cal, the later part of the trip in a '66 VW bug. While trying at times, this 6 month journey had a profound impact on the children and their subsequent interest in travel. A great lover of the outdoors, our father was very proud of the fact that he managed to get the 3 oldest children and himself (at age 50) to the top of Mt. Whitney in 1968. Our parents lived in Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley almost 30 years.

With a quick wit and childlike curiosity for things, our father always found things of interest. Foreign languages, current events, history, crosswords, and golf where his passions late in life. He was fortunate to find a regular set of golf buddies who regularly helped him to keep up his game at the Zaca Creek Golf Course. He especially enjoyed the closeness of his immediate and extended family. He lovingly and graciously cared for our mother in her later years until her death in 2006. He is survived by his sons Robert and Scott and two daughters; Kirsten and Julie all of whom live in CA. There are four granddaughters that have been added to the clan. For now there is a void with his absence but it is being filled with loving and cherished memories of a life purposely lived and shared.

There will be a small memorial get together on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 2PM to celebrate his wonderful life will take place in Buellton at the family residence. 720-838-4197

Published in The Santa Barbara News-Press Online Edition from Feb. 2 to Feb. 6, 2013