Peter C. Guthery, a devoted family man and a national and local expert on tax law for non-profits, passed away March 27, 2014, in Denver. He was 76.
Rabbi Keren Gorban and Chazzan Bryan Zive officiated at the March 30 service at Temple Sinai. Interment followed at Emanuel Cemetery. Feldman Mortuary made the arrangements.
“He was such a wonderful father,” said his son Dr. Steve Guthery. “We could absolutely depend on him to be there for us.”
Mr. Guthery was born May 9, 1937, in London, England, not long after the family fled Germany. His father and mother, who was pregnant with Peter, and their daughter went to England to escape Hitler’s anti-Jewish fanaticism
When his father realized that Hitler was planning to invade England, he managed to send his family ahead to America on a refugee ship. Peter was three.
Twelve ships left port. Ten were destroyed by U-boats; only two ships made it safely to the US. The family settled in New York City.
Mr. Guthery graduated Columbia College (now Columbia University), earned an LLD from the University of Virginia Law School and later returned for his MA in tax law from NYU.
Eager to serve the country that welcomed him as a child, he served with the US Air Force as a legal officer from 1961-1965. He then became a nuclear launch officer.
In 1961, when the Berlin Wall was erected, Mr. Guthery was stationed in Berlin due to his fluency in German. He also was involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Mr. Guthery was honorably discharged from the Air Force in 1972.
He was about to accept a job with a prominent New York City law firm when a friend suggested he visit Denver and see “G-d’s country.” Mr. Guthery moved here in 1965.
For the past 31 years, Mr. Guthery practiced law with his partner Steve Rickles at Guthery & Rickles, PC. He also joined the law firms of Gorsuch & Kirgus and Berenbaum Weinshienk.
Mr. Guthery married Dr. Jean Van De Polder in 1980.
Considered a leading authority in tax law for non-profit organizations, the attorney won several awards for his expertise. He also taught a comprehensive and popular course in non-profit tax law.
He retired in 2012.
Mr. Guthery joined Temple Sinai in 1970. A member of the board on several occasions, he sang in the High Holiday Choir for 44 years. He avidly supported Israel.
A baseball fan, he loved classical music, the theater and traveling with Jean.
Mr. Guthery is survived by his wife Jean Guthery; children Karen Guthery, Debbie (Barry) Guthery Owen, Dr. Steve (Debra) Guthery and Lisa (David) Guthery Hoffman.
Contributions may be made to Temple Sinai’s Building Our Future Fund or the temple’s IST Fund.
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