R. James Guse, 75

Published 8:13pm Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Robert “Jim” Guse, 75

Born: Aug. 23, 1937

Died: Dec. 23, 2012

Robert James “Jim” Guse went home to be with the Lord in heaven on Dec. 23, 2012, after a recent battle with thyroid cancer.

Jim was born on Aug. 23, 1937, in Benton Harbor, to Bertha (Gnodtke) and Julius Guse. He graduated from Benton Harbor High School in 1955, being active in FFA during his high school years.

On Oct. 18, 1958, he married Barbara Lynn Ginter at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Benton Harbor.

In 1957, he purchased a farm on Napier Avenue and also began operation of Guse Garage Doors.

He and Barb bought their first farm in Cass County in 1966. They continued both businesses until 1980, when they built their home on Beeson Street and continued farming.

He enjoyed farming full time through the spring of 2012, raising beef cattle and several field crops. He was enthusiastic about working with MSU Extension to improve the business of farming.

Jim had a profound dedication to service. He served on the building committee to establish Michigan Lutheran High School in 1969.

For 15 years, he served as a Cass County Commissioner and was instrumental in the establishment of the new Law and Courts building for Cass County. He was involved with the Cass County Fair Association, serving on the Fair Board and chairing the Livestock Auction committee for several years.

He will be remembered for his outgoing personality and ability to make everyone around him smile. He played by the rules and expected others to follow. He encouraged others to fulfill their potential and would offer help if needed. He was especially rewarded by helping youth achieve their goals and promoting leaders for our future.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents Bertha and Julius, and his siblings Marie, Arthur, Edward, Lois and Ruth.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Barbara, and their 5 children — Bob (Susan) Guse, Sheryl (Ellis) Butler, Sandy (Chris) Tidey, Linda Bradley and Lori (Don) Day. In addition, he will be greatly missed by his 15 grandchildren and one great-grandson.

We will remember the joys his life brought to us all at a visitation at Yazel-Clark funeral home, 405 Center St., Dowagiac, on Thursday, Dec. 27, from 2 to 7 p.m.

His funeral service will be at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 603 McCleary St., Dowagiac, on Friday, Dec. 28, at 11 a.m., with interment immediately following at Riverside Cemetery in Dowagiac.

Memorials may be given in Jim’s honor to St. John’s Lutheran Church, the Cass County Fair Association or Michigan Lutheran High School.

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