GUTHERY Madge Lily Cooper Guthery, 99, passed away peacefully on November 14, 2009. The daughter of Fred Guy Cooper and Selina Lily (Howarth) Cooper, she was born on July 30, 1910 in Fairbury, Illinois. In 1918, Madge's family moved to a farm near LaRue, Ohio. Madge graduated from The Ohio State University with degrees in biology and English. After teaching for seven years, Madge discovered her true calling when she joined WMRN radio in 1941. Madge worked on the air for a total of fifty-two years, becoming one of Marion's most well-known and beloved on-air personalities. During her time at the station, Madge served as director of women's activities, Continuity writer, and was the station's first female program director. Over the years, Madge received countless awards for her trail-blazing work in radio. Most recently, she was inducted into the Radio Television Broadcaster Hall of Fame of Ohio at the age of 97. Mayor of Marion Jack L. Kellogg proclaimed November 18, 2005 as "Madge Cooper Guthery Day." Madge served as national secretary treasurer and was on the national board of American Women in Radio and Television. She was a longtime member of Altrusa International and also served on The Palace Theater board of trustees, the board of the Marion County Historical Society, and the Marion Towers Board. She served as President of the Marion County Federation of Women's Clubs and was a long-time member of The Ohio State University Alumni Association. Madge was a generous philanthropist throughout her life. The Guthery Community Room at The Ohio State University is named in recognition of Madge's generous support of The Ohio State University and its Marion campus. The Marion County Historical Society operates The Guthery General Store, named in honor of Madge's support of the Society's mission to preserve Marion's history, a cause that was perhaps dearest to her heart. She was a supporter of and to the Marion Palace Theater. While this obituary relates some of the events of Madge's life, it fails to give a sense of her spirit, which her family and friends treasured about her and will remember most. She was an avid reader and, as a former teacher, felt that one was never too old to learn. She began taking piano lessons in her 80's. She took classes at England's Oxford University in her 90's. Traveling was a great passion: she rode on the Orient Express, walked on the Great Wall of China, cruised the Orinoco River, and so on. Madge valued education above all else, and to that end, provided financial assistance to several of her great-nieces and nephews as they attended college. She made an immeasurable impact on her family and community and will be sorely missed. She was preceded in death by her mother and father, as well as three siblings Ivan Eugene Cooper of LaRue, and Miriam and Keith, who both died in infancy. Preceding her in death were her husband Howard Guthery, step-son Daniel Guthery of Florida, husband Sanford Marshall, nephews Gene Cooper of Grand Rapids, Michigan and Jon Cooper of Marsyville and great-niece Michal Weber of Caledonia. She is survived by nephews, Keith Cooper of Hamilton, Mike (Rowena) Cooper of Galion; numerous great-nieces and nephews, great-great-nieces and nephews, and one great-great-great-niece. Madge was blessed with long-time friend, Ruth Peters and her son, Joseph Jr. of Marion and dear friend, Scott Spears, WMRN, Marion. A special thanks to Marion Manor for the one and one half years of loving care and friendship she received while residing there, Marion General Hospital, Dr. Tarlok Purewal for her compassionate care. A special thanks to the other friends and associates that were always there throughout her years. Friends may call at the BOYD-BORN FUNERAL HOME, Marion, on Wednesday, November 18 from 4-7 p.m. The funeral service will be held on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. in the Richland Road Church of Christ with burial to follow in the Marion Cemetery. Rev. Russell Howard will officiate. Contributions in Madge's name may be made to the Palace Theatre, The Marion County Historical Society, or The Quality of Life Hospice Program at Marion General Hospital.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Nov. 17, 2009.