Christian Charles Henri Guitton|
Christian Charles Henri Guitton was born in Paris, France, February 2, 1950, the son of Michel and Josette Guitton. He passed away May 8, 2014, in Edmonds, Washington. His life was rich in achievement, adventure, family, and friends.
After his childhood in Paris, he studied at one of France's prestigious "Grandes Ecoles," the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Mechanique et d'Aerotechnique, where he earned his professional engineer's degree. At the same time, he studied at the University of Poitiers, earning a mechanical engineering license. After graduating, Chris was a research assistant and scientist for the French Air Force; later he worked for a nuclear engineering firm near Paris. Offered the opportunity to travel and work in San Jose, California, he continued in nuclear engineering at General Electric. There he quickly became a program manager and senior engineer, also gaining recognition for his inventions and patents.
It was in San Jose in 1975 that he met his wife-to-be, Judy Kester, and her two daughters, Lisa and Kate. It was love at first sight. They married in 1976, and they truly lived happily ever after.
Chris was next drafted by the Nuclear Exchange Corporation in California. He soon became regional marketing manager for Asia in 1984 and moved to Tokyo to manage the Japan office as well as partnerships in Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, and China. Returning to America in 1990, Chris formed his own consulting firm, Ledonix International, specializing in information and services for the electrical power industry worldwide.
In 1993 Chris and his wife moved to Edmonds, where he soon became active in the community. Among the groups he served were the Sister City Commission, the Rotary Club, Edmonds in Bloom, Citizens for Public Safety PAC, Career Day Programs, and the Chamber of Commerce Board. Later, he became Chairman of the Board at NetRiver Corporation, and Chief Financial Officer and Operations Manager of QRC, Inc. He is best remembered for his enterprising and rewarding work in the community as Executive Director of the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce 2002-2006.
Aside from work and love of family, Chris had an active life of adventure and travel. As a young man, he travelled through Europe, played rugby, and biked, hiked, and skied. He loved sailing and sailed often in the waters off the coast of Brittany, and also competed in sailing races in San Francisco Bay for several years. Later, Chris also enjoyed trout fishing with friends in the Methow Valley, and was a founding member of the Edmonds Petanque Club.
He and Judy traveled frequently, often taking along their daughters, grand-children, and numerous friends. The most favored and frequent destination, to everyone's delight, was France. Chris loved returning to France often, especially to the Jura Mountains to visit beloved family and friends. He spent sunny childhood summers there with his sister Veronique and cousins, and he loved camping, hiking, and exploring hidden lakes, forests, and old chateaux. In the Jura, he was at home.
Chris was a man known for his keen intelligence, high standards, high spirits -- and great generosity and kindness. His passing is a great loss to his wife, Judy; his daughters Lisa LoFranco (Tony) and Kate Kester (Charles Brady); four grand-children, John, Christina, and Michael LoFranco, and Sam Brady; and one great-grandson, Dominic LoFranco; also, his sister Veronique Wan Swygenhoven (Michel) and her family, as well as dozens of cousins, scores of colleagues, and countless friends across three continents. As a friend recently wrote to him, "It would be very difficult to overstate how respected and loved you are by so many people." Christian Guitton was a man well-loved, and his was a life well-lived.
Published in The Seattle Times on May 18, 2014