COSHOCTON — The Rev. Willard A. Guy of Coshocton passed away July 20, 2010, at his home following a brief illness.
He was born July 8, 1916, in Columbus, Ohio, to the late Willard A. Guy Sr. and Elsie (Ruffner) Guy. On Aug. 27, 1939, he married his childhood sweetheart, Helen Williams, daughter of George Jackson “Jack” Williams and Zelma (Elder) Williams of Coshocton County.
Willard graduated from Hughes High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. Following his graduation from Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky., he received his Master of Divinity degree from the College of the Bible, now Lexington Theological Seminary. During his student days, he served as the Sunday Supply preacher for several small churches in the Lexington area, including Waddy, Ky. Following his ordination, his first full-time pastorate was in Middletown, Ky.
He enlisted in 1944 as a Chaplain in the U.S. Army, serving in the 84th Infantry, Blackhawk Division. He was initially stationed in Germany where he was field-promoted to the rank of Captain receiving a Bronze Star and ETO Ribbon with one battle star. He also received the American Theater Ribbon. In August 1945, he was sent to the Phillipines as part of the occupational forces following VJ Day.
Following his discharge in 1946, he returned to civilian life and a pastorate in Medina. After serving a congregation in Wilkensburg, Pa., he served the First Christian Church (formerly the Vine Street Church of Christ) in Mount Vernon, Ohio, twice; the first time from 1951 to 1962 and then from 1970 to 1974. Between the Mount Vernon years, he was the Senior Minister at Hampton Park Christian Church in Toledo, Ohio. His last position as a full-time pastor was Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Coshocton from 1974 to 1981, returning to the church where his father had once served. His early retirement years included serving as Interim Minister for 15 congregations including Wadsworth, Zanesville and Newark. He served the Newark church for 13 years, first as interim, then as part-time Minister of Evangelism.
Willard was a past president of the Exchange Club in Mount Vernon. For the Disciples of Christ denomination, he served on several committees at the state and regional level including Director at Camp Christian in Magnetic Springs, Ohio, and as Moderator at a State Convention in Zanesville, Ohio.
Along with his wife of over 70 years, Willard is survived by their youngest daughter, Julie (Thomas) Heil of Coshocton; three grandchildren, William G. Palestrant of North Charleston, S.C., Sarah (Aaron) Clark of Granville and Kimberly Veatch of Reynoldsburg; four great-grandchildren, Spencer Palestrant, Bailey, Jackson and Ella Clark; a sister, Helen Masters of North Canton; four brothers-in-law, Max Williams of Coshocton, Charles (Dot) Williams of Newark, Robert (Shirley) Williams of Athens, Fred (Barb) Williams of Coshocton; a sister-in-law, Louel Williams of Coshocton; 14 nephews and 11 nieces.
He was preceded in death by two daughters, Zelma Lee Palestrant and Mary Beth Guy; three sisters, his twin, Winifred Geyler, Isabel Guy and Lucy DeCamp; four brothers-in-law, Robert Masters, Art Geyler, Gordon DeCamp II and William Williams.
Services will be Monday, July 26, at 10:30 a.m. at Given-Dawson Funeral Home, with the Rev. Philip Hunt officiating. Burial will be in Tiverton Cemetery at Tiverton Center, Ohio. Visitation is Sunday, July 25, from 3 to 5 p.m. 3 at Given-Dawson Funeral Home and on Monday one hour prior to the service.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Coshocton County, P.O. Box 1284 Coshocton, OH 43812; or Central Christian Church Memorial Fund, 731 Main St., Coshocton, OH 43812. An online memorial can be viewed at www.given-dawsonfuneralhome.com.