Lona Vivian Guyer of Franklin Park, Illinois, passed into the next dimension of living on May 8, 2020, at the age of 99. Born on January 9, 1921, in Chicago, Illinois, to Magdalena Sottrel and George Herron, Lona was dubbed “Toodles” and eventually “Toots” early in life, a nickname her husband, family, and friends fondly called her by throughout her life. She was a graduate of Steinmetz High School (Class of 1939) and a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Commerce with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing (Class of 1943). On August 12, 1944, Lona married the love of her life, the late Dwight W. “Ike” Guyer, in a ceremony at the post chapel at Fort Knox, Kentucky, where he was stationed prior to serving in the European theatre in WWII. Lona and Ike were college sweethearts, first meeting in an accounting class. During WWII, Lona worked at a Buick plant in Melrose Park, Illinois, which had been converted to full-time war production. Using a slide rule to make her calculations, Lona tested Pratt & Whitney airplane engines being produced for the Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bomber.
With her husband, Lona was co-owner of Guyer Construction Company for many years. She also volunteered her time with the United Methodist Women (where she held offices both within the local Franklin Park church and at the district level), the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (at both the local and district levels), the District 83 Parent Teacher Association, and the Riverside Golf Club 18-Hole Women’s Group. She was also a co-founder of the Franklin Park chapter of the League of Women Voters. In 2005, Lona received a Cook County Sheriff’s Senior Medal of Honor Award acknowledging her “outstanding spirit of volunteerism and exceptional commitment to serving others.”
Lona was a gracious hostess who would never dream of placing a cooking pot or milk carton on the dining room table or even the kitchen table, and she insisted on treating even her closest family members as honored guests. Fussing over (and being concerned about) those whom she loved was how she showed her love.
Although it became more difficult to do so in later years, Lona took an inordinate amount of pride in still being able to balance her checkbook. Her “papers and bookwork” defined her to a large degree, and the ability to manage her finances and pay her own bills was a badge of honor she wore proudly until almost the very end (with help from her daughters). Fiercely independent, she drove a car until the age of 96.
Lona faced many health challenges in later life with an unwavering heart and spirit, even participating in three clinical trials at Loyola University Medical Center after the reoccurrence of a benign brain tumor, because doing so “might help someone else.”
Lona loved her family, dogs, anything Scottish (including Dewar’s White Label scotch whiskey), the Chicago Bears, the Art Institute of Chicago lions, clouds, stuffed animals, scarves, reading poetry and The Wall Street Journal, watching movies and PBS programs, attending the ballet and plays, visiting art museums, playing golf, drinking tea, receiving greeting cards and letters from family members and friends, and collecting small decorative boxes. She also held a fondness for Mark Harmon, Don Johnson, Tom Selleck, and Hugh Grant (whom she called “adorable”).
Lona was a devoted mother to the late Dwight Roger Guyer, and her loving but “bossy” daughters Denise Kay Guyer and Aimee Suzanne Guyer Huntsha. She was also the loving mother-in-law of Thomas Michael William Huntsha (her “Tommy”), whom she also called son. She was a loving grandmother to Sarah (and husband Timm) Taylor and Daniel Huntsha, and “Great Grandma Lona” to Shannen, Abi, Grace, Eden, Colin, Allie, Justin, and Adam Taylor. In addition to her beloved husband Ike, who passed too soon from this life on July 8, 1980, Lona was predeceased by her brother George “Eddy” and sister-in-law Eleanor Herron. She was a beloved sister-in-law of the late Gertrude “Trudy” and Guy “Buck” Stonecipher, the late Nina and Delbert Dix, and the late Leo “Jr.” and Leola Guyer. She is survived by her sister Elsie Perdiue (105 years old at this writing). She is further survived by nieces and nephews Edie Herron Jeager, Robin Herron, Barry and wife Karen Dix, Juanita Dix (wife of the late Craig), Dee Dee and husband Dave Hampsch, Delane and wife Elle Guyer, Yvonne and husband Doug Newlin, Joan and husband Glenn Briggs, Tony and wife Janna Guyer, Diane Joyce Klima, and George Klima, and cousins Cheryl and husband Donald Campbell, Bruce and wife Leslie Dunker, Sandy and husband Warren “Jake” Jacobs, Derrick Schrafer, Nick and wife Karen Barba, Gwynne Barba (wife of the late John), Lona Lee Prevatt, and others, all of whom called her “Aunt Toots.” Lona is also survived by her beloved friend and constant companion, an Italian greyhound named Snoopy, her “little boy.”
Lona was a friend to many and surrogate mother to a variety of very special ladies. She appreciated the many kindnesses shown by family members and friends who reached out over the years, especially in later life. You know who you are. Thank you.
Mom, you are forever in our hearts. You loved us well. We “love you more.”
A celebration of Lona’s life will be held at a later time.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to the Anti-Cruelty Society (anticruelty.org), the Loyola University Medical Center (loyolamedicine.org/giving-loyola), or the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Business (giving.illinois.edu).
A celebration of Lona’s life will be held at a later time.
For information please call Sax-Tiedemann Funeral Home (847) 678-1950 or www.sax-tiedemann.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lona V. Guyer, please visit our floral store.
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