Madge Lily Guthery
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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.

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Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Nov. 17, 2009.
Memories & Condolences
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5 entries
November 22, 2009
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
November 18, 2009
I had the great opportunity to interview Madge for the NPR StoryCorps project about four years ago. She talked about her long career in radio in Marion, a profession she dearly loved. She also told me the biggest thrill she felt in the first days she arrived on the campus of Ohio State (a country girl from LaRue, Ohio) was when she was able to have a coca cola. It was her first taste and she loved it ever since.
Madge did so much for Marion and the OSU campus there. What a treasure.
Tom Rieland, WOSU
Tom Rieland
November 17, 2009
Madge came to my aid when my Dad died May 26,2005. My Father was Bill Guthery. I remember the big "Guthery" reunion that her and Howard held at their big yellow home. I was about 10 at the time. The home was grand and full of family. I met my cousins from Chile there. That is what Madge stood for to me was family. I will miss her.
Kim Travis
November 17, 2009
Madge was a woman of incredible integrity. Bright and engaging, she had a way of making you feel special. I remember when she hired me at WMRN for my first on-air job while I was still in high school (in the late Fifties) she invited me to appear on her daily morning show. After she introduced me, Madge looked me in eye and said, "You man, do you know else who sat in that chair you're in and who also worked here?" I admitted I did not. She raised her eyebrows, smiled and said, "Rod Serling!" who, indeed served an internship at the station. Made was one of a kind and a true pioneer in broadcasting.
Tom Rizzo
November 17, 2009
What a marvelous lady Madge was. I can remember visiting Madge with my father, Bill Guthery. He had the highest regard for this woman. It was always such a special day when we were in her company. I always left having learned something new. I will forever be indebted to her for the honor she gave to the Guthery name.
Kristin Mahoney
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