Obituaries » William Payne Guthrie
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February 4, 1930 - March 3, 2021
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William Payne Guthrie, owner of Guthrie’s Hardware in Brookneal for 64 years, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. He was the husband of the late Mildred Hickson Guthrie. Billy, as he was known, loved his small hometown. He was loved and admired by everyone that knew him, never meeting a stranger, and was a true southern gentleman. He was known as an honest businessman who was kindhearted and went about helping others in a quiet and humble way. His art of salesmanship was charming, forceful, and usually effective! Many times, customers were heard saying that he could sell a snowball to an Eskimo. This was a natural talent that he put to use until he retired at the age of 88 years old. Billy loved the Lord and had a deep faith and strong belief in the power of prayer. A lifetime member of Brookneal Baptist Church, where he served in many capacities, including Deacon, Trustee, Sunday School Teacher, and joyfully sang in the choir. In the community, during the span of his life, he was a member of the Staunton River Masonic Lodge, Brookneal Lions Club, Town Council, Brookneal Chamber of Commerce, Brookneal Volunteer Fire Department, Board of Directors of Central Fidelity Bank, Campbell County IDA and EDC. Elected to the Board of Trustees in 1962 of Patrick Henry Boys and Girls Home, he worked passionately and exercised his savvy business wisdom towards helping young people through this organization. In 1971 he was elected to the executive committee, making him the longest-serving trustee in the history of the home. He received the Virginia Association of Children’s Homes Distinguished Board Member award in 2001. Billy was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed nature, particularly the Eastern BlueBird. He was a skillful turkey hunter and charter member of the National Wild Turkey Federation and was awarded the Virginia State Chapter 2016 Hall of Fame Award. A man of many talents and interests, but the most important to him, other that his relationship with the Lord, was his family. Always referring to his beloved Millie as his bride, until her passing after 49 years of marriage. Keeping the faith after the death of his son at the age of 13 and reaching out to others who would face similar trials in life to encourage them, while always whistling as he strolled down Main Street. “There is nothing like family”, he could be heard saying during holiday, birthday, and fun family gatherings where the food was always plentiful and special sweets were served for his never-ending sweet tooth, which always brought a smile to his face. The grandchildren and the great-grandchildren were the apples of his eyes and brought him so much joy and happiness. Always trying to be in attendance for any special activity to cheer them on. He set an example for each of them to follow; be well mannered, work hard, say I love you, remember to pray, use a firm handshake, and hug! He was so very proud of each of them in their own unique way and loved them with all his heart and never failed to show it. Billy Guthrie lived a full simple life. It did not take much to make him happy. Fly high until we meet again. He is survived by one daughter, Brenda G. Short of Nathalie; three grandson, Cedric William Short (Sarah) of Rocky Mount, Thomas Edward Short (Amanda), James Earl Short all of Nathalie; five great-grandchildren, Estella Madelyn Short, Carrington Sue Short, William Edwin Short, Conway Addison Short, and John Thomas Short. He was preceded in death by a son, William James Guthrie; a son-in-law, Thomas Earl Short; a sister, Nannette G. Hunt; and a brother, John Conway Guthrie. A funeral service will be conducted at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 6, 2021 at Brookneal Baptist Church. A private interment will be held later. The family will receive friends following the service in the church fellowship hall and at the home of his daughter other times. Memorial contributions may be made to your favorite charity.