Obituary of Val John Guthery
Val John Guthery III passed away on January 13, 2022. He is survived by his beloved wife Ruth; daughter Katie Thurman (Russell); sister Sory Bowers (Henry); Ruth’s children, John Ford (Jacqueline Clement), Sandra Mendler (Charles), Russell Ford (Christine), Deborah Peters, Douglas Ford (Karolina); eight grandchildren, Bridgit Cleverly (Griffin), Nick Mendler, Haley Peters, Justin Peters, Austin Peters, Christopher Ford, James Ford, Maya Ford; and great-grandchild, Levi Cleverly.
Born July 27, 1939, in Charlotte, North Carolina, John graduated from Myers Park High School in 1957, served in the Army, and graduated from North Carolina State’s School of Textiles in 1962.
After a twenty-year career in the chemical industry, John conceived and co-founded Seagate Associates, a human resource consulting firm in the New Jersey/New York area, and co-founded Outplacement International, a worldwide outplacement consortium. He was a modest, quiet man and strategic thinker. John changed many lives helping people transition their careers and was ahead of his time empowering women in leadership roles.
John felt closest to God in nature. He and Ruth enjoyed travel worldwide, especially watching wildlife on African safaris and sail fishing in the Florida Keys. John and Ruth were also avid bridge players.
John and Ruth met in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and have been married for twenty-seven years. They moved to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina in 2014, where they have enjoyed the natural beauty and companionship of the Cypress Community.
Ruth’s son Russell describes John as someone who exemplified how to love, care, listen and understand, for getting deep without intruding, for offering advice without dictating, for having a sense of values without being judgmental, and for showing how a strong man can revere strong women.
A celebration of life service will be held on February 6, 2022, at 2 p.m. at the Hilton Head Plantation House, 235 Seabrook Drive. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Tumaini Fund USA, which provides water to villages in Tanzania.
Arrangements by the Island Funeral Home and Crematory.