Joseph S. Guernsey, 98, an Orlando native, passed away on Nov. 1, 2016 at his home. He was born on October 14, 1918 to the late Joseph Welburn and Emelyn (Shedd) Guernsey. Mr. Guernsey is a member of a long-time Orlando family. His father and great grandfather came to Orlando in 1886. Joseph graduated from Orlando Senior High School in 1936. He then attended the Citadel Military College, Charleston, SC and later was a graduate of University of Florida where he was an Alpha Tau Omega. Following graduation, he was employed by his uncle, S. Kendrick Guernsey, in the real estate and insurance business. In 1941, six months before Pearl Harbor, he volunteered for duty with the United States Army Air Corps. He was in the military service for more than four years during WWII, approximately one year of which was spent in the South Pacific War Zone. During most of his time, he served as a pilot and pilot instructor. Shortly before the war ended, he was released (on points) and became a pilot for Pan American Airways. He earned the rank of Lt. Colonel in the U.S.A.F. Reserves (Ret.). Returning to Orlando, he was employed by McNutt-Heasley Real Estate Company and several years later, he and his partner formed their own real estate and insurance company. In 1949, Mr. Guernsey founded Orlando Federal Savings and Loan Association, and he served as its President for twenty-seven years. Some branches are still standing today. During this time, he organized and became a Director of Duval Savings and Loan Association in Jacksonville, Florida. Mr. Guernsey was one of the founders of Florida Technological University which later became University of Central Florida. He was Chairman of the Board of Orlando Junior College and founded Lake Highland Preparatory School where he was a founding trustee until his death. He joined First Presbyterian Church of Orlando in 1929 where he served as a ruling Elder and Deacon for many years. He taught a young men’s Sunday school class following WWII and later the Questerian Class well as the McBride Class. It was his pleasure to play the piano during communion service at Westminster Towers monthly until 2 years ago. His business and civic activities included: Director, United States Savings and Loan League; President of Florida Savings and Loan League, Rotary Club of Orlando, Downtown Orlando Council, Florida Association for Mental Health, and Alpha Tau Omega Alumni Association; Member of the Board of Trustees-Rollins College for over 50 years; Member of the Advisory Board-Salvation Army; Member of the Board of Directors of Greater Orlando Chamber of Commerce, Founders Life Assurance Company, Winter Park Land Company, Orange County Historical Society and Inmate Encounter (Prison Ministry); Commander, Sons of Confederacy-Orlando Camp; Chairman, World’s Tennis Classic; Member Board of Realtors since 1946; Past member of University Club of Orlando; Member of Country Club of Orlando. Mr. Guernsey’s passions were his faith, family, music and tennis which he played until the age of 93. He was proud to be born in “his little town of Orlando”, which he referred to as “Paradise.” He is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 47 years, Virginia Leps Guernsey; daughter, Virginia “Ginger” Elizabeth Guernsey; son, Joseph “Jody” Welburn Guernsey; brother, Edwin Welburn Guernsey and sister, Jean Guernsey Williams. Survivors include his daughters, Mary Emelyn Guernsey and Priscilla “Teeny” Jean Guernsey. Visitation will be from 5-7pm, Mon., Nov. 7 at Baldwin-Fairchild Ivanhoe. Funeral Service will be held at 11am, Tues., Nov. 8, 2016 at First Presbyterian Church of Orlando in the Sanctuary. Mr. Guernsey’s final resting place will be at Greenwood Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to The Muscular Dystrophy Association . Arrangements entrusted to Baldwin-Fairchild Ivanhoe, 301 NE Ivanhoe Blvd., Orlando, FL 32804. 407-898-8111. Condolences may be offered at www.baldwinfairchildivanhoe.com.
Posted in: Orlando Sentinel
Posted on: 2016-11-07
Link to original obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/orlandosentinel/obituary.aspx?n=joseph-guernsey&pid=182351994&fhid=4109#sthash.QqiZwFjw.dpuf