Russ Guthery: 1940-2014

By Lindsey Anderson11 April 2014

From left to right: Tom Gross, John Parker and Russ Guthery celebrating the sale of the first self-p

From left to right: Tom Gross, John Parker and Russ Guthery celebrating the sale of the first self-propelled three-wheel 10SP in 1970 to Pete Simons of Badgerland Equipment in Milwaukee.

Russ Guthery, one of the aerial work platform industry's founders, died of a heart attack on April 8 in his home near Fresno, CA. He was 73 years old.

Guthery began working in the industry in Southern California with A-1 Machinery, which was a part of the development of Parker Lift. Parker Lift was formed when John Parker joined the company from Selma Lift, which was later Grove Manlift. Parker Lift progressed into Mark Industries.

Guthery moved from there to Weber Products in Fresno, CA, where the Placer telehandler and Bandit scissor lifts were produced. He later went to Versalift/Condor and, lastly, Calavar Scissor Lifts in Waco, TX where he retired from a few years back.

Guthery was an engineer, designer and marketer. A message sent out from one of his close colleagues read, "As far as a title or job description goes he covered a wide range, concept/engineer/R&D/marketing. His accomplishments are too numerous to list. He loved working projects from the ground up, a blank sheet of paper so to speak. Asked, 'How did you come up with that Russ?’ He would point to a little chalk drawing on the floor, ‘There’s the blueprint, and you better copy it before we sweep.'

"He truly lived one day at a time and made the most of every day. He loved to play golf at the crack of dawn before the first green was even mowed. He was well known in the industry and well-liked by all that knew him.”

A service will be held at 10 a.m. on April 16:

Wallin’s Fowler Funeral Home
302 East Merced Street
Fowler, CA 93625
(559) 834-2531

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