Cochran Funeral Home of Hiawassee announces the death of Mr. Charles Lee Guatney, age 78, of Hiawassee, who passed away early Friday morning, November 16, 2012.
Mr. Guatney was born on January 11, 1934 in Coffeyville, Kansas. During the Korean War he served as an infantryman in the 11th Airborne Division. After discharge, as a GI Bill student he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Pittsburg State University (Kansas). While working in the field of education, he completed additional undergraduate and graduate programs at Rider University( New Jersey), St. Michaels College (Vermont) and Oklahoma State University.
His career as an educator included teaching high school and community college in New Jersey, twelve years as state supervisor in Vermont and more than twenty years as a professor at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA. Prior to his retirement, the CWU student body selected him as Distinguished Professor of the Year. He treasured the friendships of the many former students who came to visit and kept in touch in many ways.
Following retirement Mr. Guatney and his wife Verna moved to Hiawassee in 1998. His retirement years were rich in both friendships and activities including extensive gardening, study of area plants and wildlife, woodcarving and editing the newspapers of both the Mountain Beekeepers and Towns County Retired Educators.
He was an active member of Christ the King Church in Hiawassee. Other memberships included: The American Legion, George Lee Post 532, Hayesville, North Carolina, Army Navy Garrison 66 in Young Harris and Towns County Retired Educators.
Mr. Guatney is survived by his wife of 56 years, Verna Gentry Guatney; daughter, Tanya Tarver of Washington and daughter and son-in-law, Ardath and Andrew Piston of Ketchikan, Alaska.
A Memorial Service will be held at a later date.
Arrangements entrusted to the care of Cochran Funeral Home of Hiawassee.