Cover photo for Harry P. Guenther's Obituary
Harry P. Guenther Profile Photo
1933 Harry 2020

Harry P. Guenther

August 14, 1933 — April 28, 2020

Harry P. Guenther of Russell County, VA died on April 28, 2020 at the age of 86. Harry was born in Hamburg, NY to George and Elizabeth Guenther. Much of Harry’s childhood was spent outdoors hiking and exploring the creeks near his home. At an early age these explorations nearly cost him his life when he fell 30 feet from a cliff, resulting in severe injuries. He was saved by his devoted dog who led him back home. He continued his explorations as a Boy Scout and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at the age of sixteen. Harry carried his Eagle Scout card in his wallet until the day he died.  

Harry earned a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in business administration from Dartmouth College. He received his doctorate in finance and economics from Indiana University in Bloomington. Harry began his full-time teaching career at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon in 1959 and was co-founder and Dean of the Beirut Management College. After leaving Beirut in 1962, Harry became visiting professor and lecturer at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. In 1964 Harry was appointed Associate Professor of Finance at Georgetown University and served as the Dean of the Georgetown Business School from 1966-1969. Following Georgetown, Harry became Executive Vice President and Economist of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and later, President of Golembe Associates, a bank research and consulting company. Harry travelled extensively in the Middle East consulting and writing about Arab financial institutions. His interest in Middle Eastern history and culture was a profound, lifelong focus. Harry rejoined Georgetown University as a faculty member in 1978 and later joined the faculty of Northern Michigan University (NMU) in 1988 where he was named Cohodas Chair of Banking and Finance. He retired from NMU in 2000.  

Harry is survived by his two children and their families. Chris Guenther and his wife Coleman and their children Sam and CoCo, and Kim Guenther and her partner Ellen Braun. 

Harry was an avid gardener and animal lover who enjoyed the companionship of many dogs throughout his lifetime.  Donations may be made in Harry’s memory to the Southwest Virginia Veterinary Services, 309 Overlook Dr., Lebanon, VA 24266 to be directed towards rescue and adoption.
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