In Memoriam
Bennett  Marion  Guthrie
Sequoyah  High School ~ Employee

Memorial services for  Bennett Marion Guthrie ,  83, of Nacogdoches, Texas will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, September 23, 2006, at Perritte United Methodist Church with the Reverend David Brasher officiating.

       Mr. Guthrie died September 16, 2006, in Nacogdoches, Texas. Born January 4, 1923, in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, he was the son of Robert Elisha Guthrie and Myrtle Kelley Guthrie. He received his bachelor of science degree from Northeastern State College and his master of science degree from the University of Arkansas after being on the Oklahoma Highway Patrol for three years.

      He became a science teacher at Sequoyah High School in Tahlequah, where he retired. (Mr. Guthrie taught Science in the 1950s, 60s & 70s.)

      He was preceded in death by his first wife and mother of his children, Virginia Bennett Guthrie; his parents; and his brothers, Fred, Kenneth and Kelly.

      Survivors include his wife, Lois DeWitt Guthrie of Nacogdoches; son, Bennett Guthrie Jr. of Tahlequah, Okla.; his daughter, Patricia Rountree of Tulsa, OK; sister, Dorothy Nell Jetton of Tulsa, Okla.; brother, Robert E. Guthrie of California; granddaughters, Rebecca and Tom Prag, Krystle Guthrie and Jaime Rountree; great-grandchildren, Connor Prag, Cassidy Prag and Evan Rountree. Also, the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Lois Guthrie.

      Bennett served with the 503rd Parachute Regimental Combat Team in the South Pacific during World War II, yielding him numerous rewards and commendations; among them, a Presidential Unit Citation, a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. He participated in the parachuting onto the island fortress of Corregidor, sealing the fate of the Japanese and fulfilling General Douglas McArthur's promise to the Philippine people, "I Shall Return."

 A memorial service for Mr. Guthrie will be held Friday October 6th, at 2pm at the Fort Gibson National Cemetery in Ft. Gibson, Oklahoma.

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Bennett  Marion  Guthrie  Sr.

Tahlequah, Ok.   ~  Services for  Bennett Marion Guthrie Sr.  , age 83, will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, at Fort Gibson National Cemetery, with Rev. Virgil Holcomb officiating. Interment will follow under the direction of Hart Funeral Home.

     Bennett M. Guthrie, of Nacogdoches, Texas, passed away Sept. 16, 2006. As his son Bennett Guthrie Jr. put it, “He made his final jump as an old paratrooper, but did not pull his reserve parachute. He met with the supreme jumpmaster and reported in for further assignments.”

     Born Jan. 4, 1923, in Tahlequah, he was the son of Robert and Myrtle Guthrie. Growing up in Tahlequah, he attended Bagley and Sequoyah Grade Schools and graduated from Central High School in 1940. After graduation, at the height of the depression, he joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard.

     He was called to active duty on Sept. 16, 1940, exactly 66 years before he made his last jump to his final destination. Bennett served in the famed 503rd Parachute Infantry, making both beach and airborne assaults in the South Pacific.

     The 503rd is best known for their airborne invasion on the Corregidor Island fortress in Manila Harbor. The capture of Corregidor subsequently sealed the fate of the Japanese in the Philippines. Because of this, General Douglas MacArthur was able to return to the islands, fulfilling his 1942 vow, “I shall return.” Bennett received numerous awards and decorations for his actions, including a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

     After the war, he returned to Tahlequah, where he joined the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. He often spoke fondly of his three years with the patrol.

     He attended Northeastern State College and earned a bachelor of science degree in biology. Bennett taught a few years at Fort Gibson High School, then attended the University of Arkansas, where he earned a master’s of science degree in entomology.

     He worked for the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs as one of the first public health educators in the Indian Health Service in Oklahoma, at W. W. Hastings Hospital In Tahlequah. He later accepted a position at  Sequoyah High School , teaching science and biology until his retirement in 1980.

     For many years, Bennett was active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3707, American Legion Post 135, (where he was a charter member), and Masonic Lodge Cherokee No.10. He was also a member of the Scottish Rite and a 32 degree Mason.

     He established an Explorer Scout Post at  Sequoyah High School , where he enjoyed many memorable hours working with the young men, and was rewarded by receiving the coveted Silver Beaver Award.

     Mr. Guthrie wrote the historical account of his 503rd Regimental Combat Team’s saga during WWII, in the South Pacific called “Three Winds of Death.” He reprinted a second edition to include the Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients through Vietnam.

     Bennett was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Fred, Kenneth, and Kelly; and his wife of 51 years, Virginia. He is survived by his wife, Lois, of the home; a son, Bennett Jr. of Tahlequah; a daughter, Patricia Rountree of Tulsa; one sister, Dorothy Nell Jetton of Tulsa; one brother, Bob Guthrie of Pittsburg, Calif.; three granddaughters, Becky Prag, Krystle Guthrie, and Jaime Rountree; three great-grandchildren, Connor, Cassidy, and Evan; six stepchildren; 19 stepgrandchildren; numerous stepgreat-grandchildren; and a very large family at the Perritte Methodist Church in Nacogdoches, Texas.

He will be missed by all who knew him.