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John R. Guinter

January 23, 1922 ~ December 16, 2019 (age 97)


John R. Guinter, 97, passed away peacefully on December 16, 2019.

Originally from West Akron, "Jack's" family relocated to a cottage on the Portage Lakes after the Great Depression robbed them of their home. This turned out to be a young boy's dream, and many happy years were spent fishing, trapping, and skating on the lakes. Jack was a 1939 graduate of Coventry High School. After earning an associate's degree at Kent State, Jack enlisted in the Navy where he served as a pilot and also as a flight instructor to British airmen who came to the U.S. for training during WWII.

Jack married his high school sweetheart, and embarked on his life-long career as a banker. On his very first day at the bank, he recalls being handed some pencils, a folding chair and a card table. Jack's strong work ethic and honest nature served him well, and after more than 30 years at the First National Bank of Akron, he retired as its President and CEO. During the early eighties he was also President and CEO of First Bancorporation of Akron, which was instrumental in forming FirstMerit Bank.

He was well known in Akron during his banking years. Jack generously supported many institutions in Akron, served on numerous corporate boards and was President of the Akron City Club. He continued with his love of flying in his small Cessna airplane. Jack also enjoyed trout fishing, golf, and bridge, although he considered himself inept at all three. His great joy in later life was his wooded "farm" and log cabin near Millersburg, the site of many family outings.

Family meant everything to Jack, and losing loved ones took a heavy toll. He was preceded in death by his parents, John J. and Bessie Guinter; loving wife of more than 50 years, Patricia; daughter Linda Hughes; and recently son (and co-pilot) Tim Guinter.

He is survived by daughters, Beth (Greg) DeFrancesco of Holley, NY, Carol (Dan) Tomasik of Norton, OH; grandchildren, John-Todd (Tiffany),  Matthew (Kristie) Hughes, Mandy (Aaron) Bell, Allyson (Kyle) Barron, and his namesake, John M. Guinter; as well as four great-grandchildren.

His truly was The Greatest Generation; and he was certainly The Greatest Dad.

Special thank you to the staff of Saunier, Concordia at Sumner, Copley: and Ohio Living Hospice for their kindness and care.

A private graveside service will be held at Chestnut Hill Memorial Park with Kevin O’Brien officiating and with military honors. Friends may call 4-7 p.m. FRIDAY at the Billow FAIRLAWN Chapel, 85 N. Miller Rd. Akron, OH 44333. Services in care of The Billow Funeral Homes & Crematory, 85 N. Miller Road, Akron, OH 44333.  (Billow FAIRLAWN Chapel)

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John R. Guinter, please visit our floral store.


December 20, 2019

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Private Service

Private Committal

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