Joseph W. Guth

November 19, 1939 ‒ May 06, 2015

Granger, Indiana

GRANGER, IN: Joseph W. Guth, 75, of Granger, Indiana passed away Wednesday, May 6, 2015 in The Ohio State University Medical Center.

Joe was born November 19, 1939 in Woodstock, Illinois the son of Walter and Maida (Nelsen) Guth and was graduated from Van Buren High School, Brazil Indiana.  Joe then graduated from Indiana State University earning a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Music Education.  Joe worked as a band director and later was a band instrument salesman.

He had enjoyed golfing and bird watching, but his passion now was in photography.  He was a member of the Goshen Camera Guild as well as a member of the Episcopal Church at the Cathedral of St. James in South Bend, Indiana.

He is survived by his wife Diana (Coville) Guth of Granger, Indiana; children Dr. Jay (Jill) Guth of Lexington, Julie (Rob) Guiler of Hawthorne, California, Jennifer (Mark) Kornhaus of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Joel (Jill) Guth of Dublin, Joshua (Kelly) Guth of Mansfield, and Tracy (Jim) Kelly of Brooklyn, New York; daughter-in-law Barbara Guth of Mansfield; 18 grandchildren; four great grandchildren; three sisters and one brother.

Along with his parents he was preceded in death by his son Jeff Guth and a grandson.

Joe’s family selected the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home, Mansfield, Ohio for compassionate cremation services.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: The Ohio State University Foundation.  Please reference: IMO Joseph Guth-Pulmonary Clinical Trials Fund 312458 on the check or on a separate sheet of paper.  Mail contributions to: The Ohio State Foundation, 1480 West Lane Avenue, Columbus, OH 43221.

To leave a message of sympathy or share a fond memory please

  • Joe Guth was the best teacher I ever had. Aside from the many wonderful musical experiences, from him I learned many of the lessons of life they don’t teach in public school. He taught me perseverance, the value of hard work, and how to take criticism. Among my teachers, he was my biggest role model. I am truly saddened to learn of him leaving the stage. One of the footlights has gone out, never to be replaced.

  • What a role model Mr. Guth was. I know,I know, you asked us to call you Joe now in our “later years”, but respectfully I just can’t. I learned more “life lessons” from you as our band director than from any other single teacher. We worked hard, we played hard, we marched hard. We loved our band family with great respect and compassion. So glad we were able to see you these past few years. I am truly saddened by this news but am sure that the music in heaven just got a little brighter. DeDe, so sorry for your loss. It was a privilege to meet you. God Bless!

  • Mr. Guth was a great band director! I remember him and his wife expecting nothing but our very best in practices and competitions and it paid off. We had many accomplishments for our high school, both in symphonic performances and marching competitions and school performances. He was a very creative man and a great motivator. I was extremely saddened when he moved on. May God give comfort to his family and help them know that Mr. Guth touched a lot of lives.

  • Few people have had a larger influence on my life than Joe Guth.

    I think it was at the first European Band reunion that I first reported to Mr. Guth that I was an airline pilot, he could not believe it. At the following reunions when I reported my advancements, his level of disbelief also advanced. Knowing the kid I was in high school, I understand why he was so skeptical.

    The truth is, I could not have found success without the perseverance Joe Guth taught us all.

  • Mrs. Guth and family,
    I am so very sorry to hear about the passing of Mr. Guth. He came into my life in 1964 in Crown Point, Indiana. He had a big influence in all of our lives in Crown Point as he led us to the 1st place trophy at State Fair. I was able to talk to him a couple of years ago and we laughed and remembered so many good times back then. I remember babysitting for the four oldest kids when they were just little kids. A beautiful family, a beautiful man!!! He will be missed by so many!! RIP, Mr. Guth!!!

  • Joe was one of the kindest, most warm-hearted souls I have ever met. So saddened to hear of his passing. DeDe, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Mr. Guth (Mr. “G”) was a mentor in countless ways. When I was a college student at Ball State University, two of my summers were spent working for Mr. Guth in preparation for the State Fair Track Show. He opened his home to me, let me be a surrogate uncle to his children, and there was always a place at the dinner table with my name on it. His people skills were OFF THE CHART; his students would walk off the edge of the world for Mr. Guth, and – for certain – I would have been in the parade as well. We kept in touch with one another from 1968 on…what a major GIFT he was to so many. There are many who have made a huge difference in this world, but standing at the top of the leader board is JOE GUTH. He was a teacher-of-teachers, a man who “walked his talk” and with a sense of CLASS unknown in common hours. Many lives are much better because of the influence of Mr. Guth; we ALL are the benefactors of his remarkable skills and talents. We might as well BRONZE his shoes, ’cause there is no man who can ever fill them. Blessings, dearest teacher…blessings.

    • Thanks Tim for the comments regarding my dad. Those were good times. I know my dad thought very highly of you. Best wishes.

  • The kind comments regarding my father are much appreciated. These comments bring back so many memories of the years in Marion, Indiana. I remember those bands as being outstanding and I’m pretty sure Dad wouldn’t have had it any other way. He had a passion for excellence that fortunately he passed on to those close to him. Perseverance, hard work, and enthusiasm are traits that come to my mind when I think of my dad. Whether it was teaching, coaching, golf, or photography my dad poured his heart and soul into his latest passion. I am so thankful for his influence in my life. Thank you all for your comments.

  • I was sad to hear that Joe had passed away my brother Nick and I will never forget the help and faith he showed to us with our music store in grand rapids mi he was an amazing man and always did everything he could to help our business grow I had not had the pleasure of seeing or talking to him in years but I just want his family to know how much we appreciated an amazing man and a legend in the musical instrument business rest in peace Joe guth

  • Friday, while I was at the office working, I received a text from DeDe asking me to call her. I knew immediately what she was going to tell me. I was trying to write everything down to pass along to the other former students/band members from Marion High School, but it was difficult to focus because I was so sad as I was listening to her tell me. Mr. Guth touched so many lives. He was a one-of-a-kind teacher who expected nothing but the best from us and in return we got the best from him. He had a great musical talent and we were able to have experiences and achieve successes that we never thought possible as teenagers. What he was really teaching us though was how to succeed in life — through hard work, motivation and dedication. Later in life as I, like others, reconnected with him, it was touching to see how excited he was to hear our life stories and he was genuinely proud of what each of us had accomplished. I believe that those life successes were achieved, in part, because of Mr. Guth’s lessons during our high school years. I’m so glad that we were able to spend time with him and DeDe a few years ago at our band reunion. I’m also thankful that we were able to share in his and his family’s life during their years in Marion.
    DeDe and Family: You can feel comfort in knowing that Mr. Guth had such a positive influence on so many lives. I will truly miss Mr. Guth — my teacher, mentor and friend.

  • DeDe you are in my thoughts and prayers as is your entire family during this difficult time. I was proud to call Joe my friend and I was honored to have interviewed him for the NAMM Oral History program not once but twice over the years. He will be missed and he will be remembered!

  • Joe was the best. As a very young intern at Selmer, I learned quickly that Joe was special. He simply had the best “people skills” and drive, yet always had a pleasant story to share. A few years later, he was our Gemeinhardt rep and I learned again why he was the best. We always looked forward to Joe’s visits. He always found ways to help you “grow” with some friendly advice or ideas. I guess his skills that were honed as a successful band director served him well in business too. He was truly one-of-a-kind and left a positive mark with all of us in the music industry. We will miss his warm smile.

  • Condolences to the Guth family. Joe Guth was a man of strong determination and integrity. He was an outstanding teacher and role model to many Marion, Indiana teenagers during the turbulent years of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. We had great respect for his leadership and commitment to excellence, which he taught us was the direct result of disciplined work. He taught us well both by words and deeds. I shall ever be grateful for the opportunity and privilege to have been a member of the Marion Marching Giant Band under his directorship. The life lessons he taught have been valued and implemented over the years by many of his former students. He will be missed, but not forgotten as his influence continues to live on through many of us.

  • DeDe, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Joe was such a gentleman, always treated me in work or golfing in a special way. Joe will be missed, keep those special memories in you heart. God grant you comfort and peace during this very difficult time.

  • Joe was a great friend and salesman he helped me in the good and the bad times he always was their to give me advise and direction I could not ask for a better friend to your family I have not told your anything you did not already know joe you were the best friend anybody could ask for God bles you and your family

  • I’ve really missed seeing Joe for the last several years. He always made you feel good and special when he walked into the room and made you think there was no one more important than you. DeDe, our thoughts and prayers are with you and to all the family. He added a great deal to the lives of many.
    In addition to a great salesman, Joe was probably the most fanatical golfer I have know. When he would open his trunk at the golf course, you would see every know golfing aid ever manufactured and he would use them all. They must have worked, however, because he was a very good golfer.
    The music industry and music education benefited because of Joe.

  • Joe was one of a kind. Whenever he called on us, he always had a new idea and a warm smile to share. He had such a positive impact on so many people. DeDe, my thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.

  • Joe will truly be missed. From the first time I met Joe, it was like we had been friends for years. Whenever he stopped by the store he always had a story to share and with the story usually came a life lesson. He was a true gentleman and a true salesman that looked out for his customers and friends. I knew I could always trust his advice and suggestions when placing orders. I always loved when we were able to get in a golf game. I knew there was no chance of beating Joe, but it was never about that, it was just a good time with a great friend and always a lesson about improving my game. It didn’t matter how much time went between visits, the conversation picked right back up where we left off. To DeDe and the family, you are in my thoughts and prayers for your loss. May God bless you during this time.

  • Joe had a very rare ability to make everyone he talked to feel like the most important person in the world. He was a professional of the highest caliber, a gentlemen and a friend. The world would be a better place if we had more men like Joe Guth!
    He will be missed!

    Hugs & prayers for Dede and the Guth family from Mark, Sandy & the entire Paige’s Music team.

  • Love this Man. He is the best I’ve ever known in the world of selling. With Joe it’s about the people and the friendship. If you work on that, the sales follow naturally. Once while playing golf I was chilled and lacked an additional coat so joe pulled one from his bag and let me use it for the round. Two weeks later I received two Gemeinhardt sweat shirts in the mail so I could always have a spare for my golf bag. That’s Joe always taking care of you now and thinking ahead for the future. I think of him often. DeDe you are in my thoughts. Steve.

  • Joe will always represent for me the prototype for how a great sales representative should comport themselves. He had a wonderfully sincere personality complemented by his knowledge, experience and graciousness. In my early days at Selmer and in the years after, it was my honor to be associated with him and know him. He truly will be missed by all of us who associated with him at Selmer and beyond.
    John Musselman for all of us at American Way Marketing

  • Just heard the very sad news of Joe’s passing. He was truly part of a bygone era. He was the epitome of integrity and class- an excellent competitor who forced you to be better in order to keep up. I was proud to have known him, and learned much from his example. As shown from the sentiments on this thread, he was respected and revered- he will truly be missed.

    My thoughts and prayers go to DeDe and the rest of the family.

    Jonathon Breen

  • Joe will always be one of the most influential people in our lives. Barb and I were so fortunate to have him as a mentor and friend. Joe always had time for you and willing to share any tips to help you improve whether it was your golf game, your business or life in general. How fortunate I am to have had such a wonderful friend.
    De De, you and Joe’s family will be in our thoughts and prayers.
    The world is a better place because of Mr. Joseph Guth.

  • I just heard the very sad news of Joe’s passing. I had the great pleasure and honor of working with Joe during my internship and employment at Gemeinhardt. He taught me so many lessons in life and business that I will never forget. So sorry that I lost touch with him and DeDe over the past 13 years.
    DeDe, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You and Joe were the best mentors and I will never forget your kindness. May you find strength and comfort with your family and friends during this difficult time.

  • Joe called on me as a Gemeinhardt rep for many years while I was in purchasing at Cascio/Interstate Music. Always smiling, upbeat and generous, we shared many great meals and beverages together. I will never forget his professionalism, kind advice to the next generation and that GIANT station wagon he drove! With the wood on the sides! 🙂 He said it helped him bring more samples and emergency deliveries. He was a gas, one of the greats and I have missed him since we both moved on in our careers. My deepest condolences to his family, but please know that Joe had a tremendous impact on everyone he met, and the world is a better place because he was in it.

  • I first met Joe in 2009 when he started out on his new photography endeavor. Never was it more rewarding to work with a person as it was with Joe. He and and I bonded a friendship that I cannot ever forget. We were both later in years but that never kept us from having fun, having great conversations, and still learning life’s lessons. My wife Rhonda and I truly enjoyed the company of Joe and DeDe. Only months before Joe’s passing I mentioned to him that his photography had reached a milestone of success. I hope to be able to print some of those great photographs for the family. He was totally dedicated to that success.

    Joe was special to me, and I can see he was to many others, as well. It was both his first, second, and last nature to bring each person into his life as a blessing. He lived by nurturing those around him.

    I recall when he told me on his 75th birthday that his high school band students sent him birthday wishes. That was so remarkable to me. If a high school student remembers you that long and makes an effort to say happy birthday, then I knew he was more special than I ever realized.

    I will truly miss our photography trips simply because they were always more than just photography.

    To DeDe, a great person, and Joe’s family, all my thoughts and prayers, forever.

  • I met Joe later in life, but once you met Joe you felt like you knew him forever.
    Which makes the loss even deeper. Joe and I were avid amateurs of photography.
    We went on photo shoots together, from rodeos to cathedrals. We were both former educators. We also shared a passion for golf, Neither of us played much in the latter years. Joe was a warm individual who made you feel like you, were somehow very important to his existence by making the conversation about you,
    and your thoughts.
    A lot of our discussions were about music. We both enjoyed jazz and shared one anothers cd’s. Joe was foremost a musician and band instructor, whose students
    still kept in touch with him. Not only did he make a Joyful noise unto the Lord,
    he taught others to do the same. The worlds a better place because he was here.

  • I met Joe later in life, but once you met Joe you felt like you knew him forever.
    Which makes the loss even deeper. Joe and I were avid amateurs of photography.
    We went on photo shoots together, from rodeos to cathedrals. We were both former educators. We also shared a passion for golf, Neither of us played much in the latter years. Joe was a warm individual who made you feel like you, were somehow very important to his existence by making the conversation about you,
    and your thoughts.
    A lot of our discussions were about music. We both enjoyed jazz and shared one another’s cd’s. Joe was foremost a musician and band instructor, whose students
    still kept in touch with him. Not only did he make a Joyful noise unto the Lord,
    he taught others to do the same. The world’s a better place because he was here.

  • It is a rare gift when a teacher has the ability to reach a student in such a way that it leaves a profound and everlasting impression. Life’s lessons are not always those we learn from family and friends. Joe Guth was that kind of a mentor/teacher. His drive for excellence, respect, hard work and perseverance made him so especially unique. He touched hundreds of us, of that I am certain. Little did I know, as a very young 13-year old, just how far reaching his motivation would prove to become. His passion and enthusiasm for music was infectious and rare. The day he walked into my 8th grade band class during a recruiting crusade, I was hooked immediately. Among the many things we all learned from him, I thank him most for a deep appreciation of music which always seems to keep me grounded. It was an honor to have known him and to have been one of the countless lives he influenced during his own. A brilliant and creative man … may he rest in peace. My deepest sympathies to the Guth Family.

    … Now I finally found my way
    Now I know just what to do
    Once you said goodbye to us, yeah
    Now we say goodbye to you …

  • I never met Joe in person. We met on an online photography community, and then spoke frequently by phone. Joe was an inspiration to me in a way that went beyond photography. He was always willing to listen and to encourage me in life. His faith and advice about different things going on in my life was so helpful. His sense of humor was always just right and never failed to make me laugh. I am so deeply heart broken to hear of his passing. Although we never met in person, I consider him to be a true friend, and I’ll miss him. God speed, Joe, and thanks for your friendship.

  • I never had the pleasure to meet Joe in person as I met him through an on-line photography group. There, Joe gave of himself, warmly and encouragingly, to those of us who were trying to create more beautiful images. In turn it was a pleasure to watch as his skills as a photographer grew and his images became more powerful. He had a wonderful eye for composition and understated grace. I know that he left a little piece of himself in every image. He will be missed.

  • Joe came into my life only a short time ago when I joined an online photography group in March 2014, but, in that short time, he made a profound effect on me. Joe was such a special person, always so encouraging and generous with his knowledge and expertise and I am just so fortunate, not just that he took an interest in my work, but that he became a friend. Not only did he help to set me on my path as a more confident and better informed photographer but he was always ready with just the right comment, a life lesson or two and boundless friendship. His photography was always an inspiration, as was his willingness to discuss everything about it so honestly. His work and example will continue to inspire many of us who were so fortunate to have known him.

  • In the past week, I’ve visited these posts several times, mostly because I have tried repeatedly to write my own expressions. However, it is your words, those band members, colleagues and friends who have so perfectly expressed the impact he had on his world. Some of the memories shared I was fortunate enough to witness, back in his band directors days. How much does it say about a high school band director when his students share his impact over forty years later? But, those sales visits, golf course stories, and especially those photography stories, were new to me. I guess it just gave me a chance to be with him again through those stories. One thread that kept being repeated was how Dad always made the person he was with feel important and how he turned the conversation to their life. This is so true, and on my last visit with him in the hospital, he was hooked to tubes and uncomfortable, but he tried to ask questions about me and our family. When we think of a generation of greatness, he had traits we don’t see in many men today. He believed in providing well for his family, he believed it was important to always teach and learn, he believed in challenging yourself in life to be the best at everything you do, and most importantly, he believed in God’s grace. It is with sweet sorrow that we say goodbye, but to know that his body is now perfected and he can take all his photographs from heaven are my daily comfort. Thank you all for the sweet posts and admiration. They continue to support us as we grieve for our Dad, Husband, and Grandpa!

    • Julie, I think your family should know that on our online photography group, people from around the world (literally) are remembering your Dad today with fondness. Knowing Joe, he’d probably be a little embarrassed to learn how much people loved him, including many who never met him in person. As I said above, I will truly miss him. Please express my condolences to your entire family.

      Carolyn Lawrence

      • Thank you Carolyn. Yes, he would shun the attention, but for those of us here, we appreciate the love!

    • Julie, You were a little girl when I knew your dad and mom. I babysat a few times for you when you all lived in Crown Point. I am so glad I was able to talk to him on the phone a couple years ago and he caught me up on all your lives as well as his. Plus he was able to reconnect with my brother who was a drum major when he was our director. He was a wonderful man and made such an impact on my life as well as others. You had a great father!

  • Joe had to be one of the most conscientious manufacturer’s representatives ever. He was always there for you to make sure things got done and in your best interest. I know he was quite the golfer and was always at the top of his golf game back in those days when he would be there as a sponsor for our company golf outings for our band and orchestra directors at Paige’s Music. I do not know how many times he was up there for one of those awards presentations with a winning team made up of directors and co-workers. One thing that he gave me years ago that I still have is my Gemeinhardt jacket with my name embroidered on it. I still wear it from time to time. I always think of Joe when I pull it out of the closet to wear it, and I always will. He was such a great person who always put a smile on my face!

  • I first met Joe when he called on me at the AMG store in Chicago. I remember telling the Gemeinhardt guys at the time that he was the yardstick on which all other factory reps were measured. Once I joined Selmer, I painfully discovered what it meant to compete against him. He was a salesman of the tallest order and I was blessed to have worked with him. He made me a better manager, a better salesman and he will be greatly missed.

  • Thank-you, Joe, for being a teacher that MHS students could always go to. Your philosophy, wisdom and instruction on the value of hard work stayed with us well after high school. Your creativity and organizational skills led us to 2nd place at the Indiana State Fair in 1969 and I believe the Marching Giants won it in subsequent years under your leadership! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Rest in peace for a job well done!

  • I am so sorry to hear of Joe’s passing.. It was a pleasure to care for him and meet his wonderful family . I knew that he was a wonderful man and reading others posts confirmed that I was blessed to care for him and his family. May he rest in peace and the many memories give you comfort. Hugs to all of you and prayers for strength

  • Diane, it was such a pleasure to meet you and Joe on the weekend our photo group met to shoot in Gary and Michigan City. Rad Drew and I hoped he would join a few more of our photo tours. I loved his stories, his photo images, and his kindness. Only in a weekend of time were we all together, but he made a definite impression on me. Thanks for sharing him and he sharing you with us.