Keith Edward Gutchess Sr., 74, departed for heaven on October 20, 2015. Keith was born on May 5, 1941 in Cortland Memorial Hospital to Irene Engst Gutchess and Clair Blanchard Gutchess.
Growing up, Keith attended school in Dryden, NY as well as Naples, FL and Memphis, TN. Keith was well known for his strong work ethic beginning at age 15 when he worked as crew member of a shrimp boat for a summer, fishing the Gulf of Mexico from Biloxi, MS to Brownsville, TX.
He worked other summers and weekends handling lumber and tending the properties at his dad’s sawmills including the Parker Mill on Route 215 in Virgil, the Jensen Mill in Moravia, the Oliver Mill on Route 222 in Cortland, and the McDougal Mill on McLean Road in Cortland. He enjoyed a 48-year career at the Gutchess Lumber Company, working with his dad for 23 years and his brother, Homer, for another 25 years. Keith graded lumber, built buildings, coordinated lumber shipments, and finished his career leading the procurement department in management of the timberlands and harvesting operations. He worked with many wonderful, hard-working people that he respected greatly.
Throughout his life, Keith loved God’s creation of trees and earth and all that was made for our sustained welfare and enjoyment. Not one to let the grass grow under his feet, upon retirement Keith spent much of his time marking trees and clearing roadways on the family tree farm in the Adirondacks. In his later years, Keith also spent his time studying and memorizing Bible scriptures; traveling to visit some of his favorite places including Old Forge, NY and Chokoloskee, FL; enjoying the homemade breads and desserts made by his beloved wife; and visiting with his family and friends.
Keith is survived by his wife of 37 years, Marylou, and their children and families Keith Gutchess Jr. and Margaret of Cortland, NY; George W. Nelson Jr. and Lynn of Tampa, FL; Juleen Rose Gutchess of Fayetteville, TN; Gary Nelson and Debbie of Marietta, NY; Adam H. Gutchess and Jodi of Virgil, NY; Nathaniel P. Gutchess and Jennifer of Taylors, SC; and Eric M. Gutchess and Jana of Cortland, NY. Keith also leaves his sisters Elsie Gutchess, Jo Randolph and Sue Carver; fifteen wonderful grandchildren Casey Nelson, Hillary Gutchess, Elyse Gutchess, Christine Gutchess, Josh Gutchess, Seth Nelson, Alex Nelson, Brooke Lee, Nicole Montgomery, Steven Nelson, Mara Gutchess, Jack Gutchess, Soleil Gutchess, Olivia Gutchess, and Ethan Gutchess; and four great grandchildren Caitlyn Nelson, Elizabeth VanCise, Sophia VanCise, and Leah Lee. He was predeceased by both parents Clair and Irene, his sister Arlene, and his brothers Homer and Neil. Services will be private per the family’s request.
Donations honoring Keith may be made to the local Rescue Mission by visiting their website at www.rmlifechanging.org. Their outreach to feed the hungry and shelter those in need is a cause Keith advocated and supported.
To offer online condolences, visit www.wright-beard.com.