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An earth angel was called home on February 10, 2024, at the age of 94. Mary Christine Gephart was born September 26, 1929, to Gertrude and Paul Gephart of South Williamsport, PA. Mary was the last living member of her seven siblings. It is certain that she had a joyous heavenly reunion with her husband, Irvin Guthrie, family members, and friends who have passed on.
As a child, Mary’s dad called her “Chookie” because she helped take care of the family chickens. Growing up she worked for a local dairy farm, helped her brother Dick check animal traps in the foothills, mischievously exchanged outfits with her cousin before school, and went to baseball games in the summer with her dad.
Mary met Irvin Guthrie at the Armory skating rink when she was 14. Their friendship bloomed, they got engaged at 16, dated for a few years and then eloped to Winchester, Virginia and got married on October 28, 1947. Irvin enrolled in the Navy and Mary served in the Civil Air Patrol as a Private First Class. Their love created four children - Edward, Gail, Dennis, and Denise, ten grandchildren, and eleven great grandchildren. Mary was the best mom, grandmother, great grandmother, friend, and faithful servant of God. She celebrated and shared family news and photos with everyone. Family always knew that they were loved unconditionally. Her love of family and unwavering faith sustained her throughout her life. Mary and Irvin were married for 64 plus years.
Family enjoyed early times at the Loyalsock Sportsman Club to picnic, swim in the creek, and play outdoor games. The extended family would gather at the Susquehanna River lots to water ski, swim, and picnic. Mountain Beach, Pine Creek Dam, Woolrich Park, and Hillsgrove Park were other favorite picnic spots. The whole family grew to love nature and the great outdoors. Day trips to Hershey Park and Knoebel’s Amusement Park created fond family memories. She loved Little League baseball and the Phillies baseball team.
Mary always provided the family with good shoes, toys, books to read, and home-cooked family meals. She sewed clothes, doll outfits, and Halloween costumes; she accomplished so much with so little.
Mary was an active PTA member serving as a school room mother and at school carnivals, den mother for boy scouts and girl scouts, and volunteering for many church activities. As a devout Christian, Mary was a member of Messiah Lutheran Church and Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church where she sang in the choir and chaired the Lenten Fasnacht doughnut sales with her sister Robbie. At other times she transformed into “Happy the Clown” to sell doughnuts or bring cheer to residents of nursing homes, hospitals, and special needs organizations.
Mary tended grandchildren, attended dance recitals, sports and cheerleading events, and after retirement she lovingly assisted in taking care of the elderly at a local home care business. Wednesday evenings were reserved for playing cards with her sister Robbie and friends. Other weekend nights you could find Mary usually winning at Bingo.
Mary was a “stay at home mom” for a brief time. She cleaned apartments and houses to supplement the family income. Then she started work at Sylvania Company, which became Litton Electronic Devices Division. She participated at work the same way she did at home - 100% and was a valuable employee for 24½ years. Mary made lifelong friends at work, and they raised their families together. At Christmas, Mary would dress as Mrs. Claus for holiday parties and was proud to name the Litton newsletter “Our Times”. She was a member of the ABC Pennsylvania Bowling Association and the American Business Women’s Association.
In her later years she lived in her homestead with grandson Erik and his wife Kate who was like another daughter to her. Mary never stopped being busy even during her time at Presbyterian Home in Williamsport where she resided for the last 10 years. She participated in all the activities and was a Peer (Pennsylvania’s Empowered Expert Resident) helper - actively welcoming new and prospective residents and sending cards to residents, family, and friends. Everyone who met and knew Mary loved her too. The nurses and staff were her compassionate caregivers who became extended family.
A memorial service for Mary will be held at 11:00am on Saturday, June 1, 2024 at Maneval Allen Redmond Funeral Home, 500 W. Fourth St., Williamsport. Family and friends are invited to a time of visitation from 10:00am until the time of the service at the funeral home. Interment will be in Wildwood Cemetery in Williamsport. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in memory of Mary Guthrie to the Williamsport Presbyterian Home, 810 Louisa Street, Williamsport, PA.
810 Louisa Street, Williamsport PA 17701