Jerry Guy was 'Lawn King' of Holiday Acres Lake, loved sports

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 | 10:16 p.m. CDT; updated 6:33 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, March 19, 2014

COLUMBIA — Known as "Lawn King" to neighbors of his family's cabin at Holiday Acres Lake, Jerry Guy enjoyed the simple pleasures in life — like a neatly-manicured lawn.

"I've never seen a lawn more perfectly manicured than when he was in his prime," grandson Adam Guy said. "It was nicer than most golf courses in town."

The cabin at the lake served as a summer home for him and his wife.

"He would just spend time sitting in a chair on the lawn admiring his work," granddaughter Ashley Patton said. "If you wanted to bring out the life in him, that's what you would talk about."

Gerald "Jerry" Howard Guy of Columbia died Monday, March 17, 2014. He was 93.

He was born Aug. 13, 1920, in Millinocket, Maine.

Mr. Guy spent his childhood in Millinocket, where friendly competition between him and his eight siblings inspired a passion for sports that would last a lifetime, his daughter Kathy Barreto said.

When their father overheard the young boys arguing about which of them was the fastest around the dinner table, he suggested they hold an impromptu footrace down the street, which Mr. Guy won, his daughter said.

Mr. Guy made the all-region basketball team before playing semi-professional baseball throughout New England.

After graduating from Stearns High School in Millinocket, Mr. Guy enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving as a Boatswain's Mate aboard a landing ship in the Pacific Theater. Before the end of the war, he was assigned to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he met his wife, Constance "Connie" Anne Shell. The two married on Oct. 14, 1944.

Mr. Guy began working for Sears, Roebuck and Company in Brookfield, Mo. He later held the position of shipping and receiving manager at a store in Decatur, Ill., before being asked to move to Columbia to open a new store. After opening the Columbia store, Mr. Guy asked to stay in the town that he and his family had come to love.

Shortly after moving to Columbia, the couple bought their first tickets to MU's football and basketball games. For many years, the couple routinely sat on the rock "M," before eventually moving to the end zone. The two finally gave up their season tickets in 2011, when Mr. Guy and Connie were 90 years old.

He was also an avid fan of the St. Louis Cardinals.

After retiring in the 1980s, Mr. Guy and his wife spent many summers at the family's cabin at Holiday Acres Lake, near Moberly.

Mr. Guy is survived by three children, Patti Freeman and husband Gary of Columbia, Kathy Barreto, of Columbia, and Tom Guy and wife Lori, of Ozark; four grandchildren, Matthew Barreto and wife Julie of Seattle, Natascha Romero and husband Tony, of Austin, Texas, and Adam Guy and wife Caroline of Columbia, and Ashley Patton and husband Chase of Columbia; and seven great-grandchildren, Daniel and Clara Barreto, of Seattle, Marisol, Juliana and Xavier Romero of Austin, Texas, and Mason Guy and Landry Patton of Columbia.

His wife, Constance, died earlier.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 29, at First Christian Church, 101 N. Tenth St. The Rev. Jimmy Spear will officiate.

Memorial contributions can be made to First Christian Church Special Music Fund, 101 N. Tenth St., Columbia, MO 65201.

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