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Azza Showket Guertin, 84, passed away peacefully on Oc-tober 15, 2019. Dr. Guertin was born and raised in Baghdad. She came to the United States after marrying her husband of 63 years, Dr. Wilson Guertin. She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Baghdad, a Master of Science from Clark University and her PhD from the University of Florida. Her area of educational focus was biology.
Dr. Guertin was preceded in death by her parents Ibrahim and Subhiya Showket and sister Malika Awni. She is survived by her husband Wilson; her brother Khalil Showket (Dorothy); her four children Leah Oehmig (Edward), Lila Guertin, Barry Guertin and Nadia Locke (Bruce); step-daughter Lila Levinson; her grandchildren Wesley Oehmig (Karen), Elena Suarez (Eric), Renee Guertin, Henry Guertin (Julia), Maya Locke and Lily Locke; her niece Lina Awni (Haitham); and her nephews Ziyad Showket, Zaid Awni (Jane) and Abdullah Awni. She was also survived by many step-grandchildren and step-great grandchildren.
Besides the joy of raising her four children, Dr. Guertin found great pride in her 30+ year teaching career at Santa Fe College where she taught biology. She was adored by students and fellow faculty alike. She was often stopped on the streets of Gainesville by members of her "fan club" (students) who volunteered to share the positive and the often substantial impact she had on their lives and careers. She was very proud of her children and her students.
Dr. Guertin was an environmental steward, teaching the next generation about conservation and through her financial support of environmental organizations such as the Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund.
Dr. Guertin was a kind, gentle woman of great wit and an even greater wardrobe. She spent her spare time traveling the world, reading and seeking knowledge. She even taught herself calculus in her elder years and attended Cambridge University summer classes for several years.
Burial will be private for family only. If you wish to be invited to her celebration of life, please email [email protected]
In lieu of flowers, please consider honoring Dr. Guertin in one of the following ways: Planting a native tree, Supporting the Santa Fe College Zoo, Supporting the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Donating to the Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum, Donating to the Friends of the Library Serving Alachua County. Please visit her memorial page at
Published in Gainesville Sun from Oct. 17 to Oct. 18, 2019
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