Nature 10

Dorothea Guynup

November 12, 1923 ~ July 19, 2020 (age 96)


Dorothea B. Guynup
November 12,1923-July 19,2020

Dorothea Guynup peacefully passed away on her home ranch at the age of 96. As the family matriarch she enjoyed overseeing four children, 13 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. For several years, four generations lived on the ranch and she reveled in that circumstance.

A native of Portland, Oregon, she was the daughter of John and Rosella Thomas and the sister of Mildred and Mel. From her earliest memory, her father was bedridden and later died of Black Lung Disease. Her mother had no employable skills and the family was destitute. Somehow, she recognized education as a path out of poverty. Dorothea worked and borrowed money to earn a degree from the University of Oregon. She remained a lifelong Ducks fan, favoring football. Valuing education, she strongly encouraged a higher education for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and helped to support their endeavors.

Following college, she worked for Meier & Frank but her love was the theatre. Until she married and followed a logger to California, she performed in Portland theatre productions.

For the next 70 years, in addition to raising her children, she worked in the family businesses, Guynup Logging, Eureka Forest Products and Guynup Enterprises. She was an active bookkeeper until 95 years of age. Robert Sutter, the family’s accountant recalled an IRS auditor reviewing a return, when asked if he needed more verification, the auditor said if Dorothea Guynup kept the books he didn’t need to review anything else.

She was a great conversationalist, always avoiding politics; she loved to dance and was eagerly on the spot at the birth of each grandchild to teach her children how to care for their babies. Her passion was world travel. She traveled to every continent, often with her sister or daughter. If no one was available, she would not hesitate to go on herown. She easily made a hundred international trips.

Equally of interest to her was literature. She kept charts of books that she read. While raising children and working she “only” read about 190 books per year. After her workload lightened, she was able to finish a book a day. For a break, she regularly played Canasta, the family game of choice, with her son Joel, both with a beer in hand.

She will be dearly missed by her children, John (spouse Mary), Joel (spouse Heidi), Laurence (spouse Jennifer) and Gayle (spouse Doug); grandchildren Nellie, Luke, Jake, Emy, Cara, Taya, Joele, Cassandra, John, Katie, Kierlyn, Lauren and Haylen; and great-grandchildren Ivyah, Freddie, Lydia, Tyrus, Tessa, Henry and Katherine. The family gathered on the home ranch August 2 to recognize and commemorate her life.


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