Lion Fred Gutz  1934-2014

Lion Fred Gutz (far right) was the Tail Twister for the Sheridan Sundowner Lions Club.  He was also Past President of the former Sheridan Noon Lions Club.  He was a good and gentle man, with a fine sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye.  He was the best Tail Twister ever, and we will greatly miss him.  God speed, Lion Fred.

(Read other tributes from fellow Sheridan Sundowner Lions Club members below.)

Lion Fred seldom missed a meeting, and was always willing to help at various Lions Club activities.  Here he is at the 2013 Lions Club Thanksgiving Classic Basketball Tournament, in between Lion Denice Rollins and Lion Leslea Rapp.

Fred has been a longtime friend and active member, past president, etc. of our old club.  He will be missed greatly, not only to his family and our Lions family, but so many people he touched. God be with you dear friend.  --Lion Bill Rathburn.


This past May, Lion Fred rode along with us to the Allen H. Stewart Lions Camp on Casper Mountain.  This was the first time Fred had been there and he was in awe of the facilities buildings, meeting/classrooms, kitchen, dorms and other housing available at the camp.  In his normal exuberant fashion he walked/ran (he never did anything in slow motion) all over the camp, taking it all in.  He was thrilled to be able to walk on the Braille Trail and imagine what it would be like to walk with no sight.  Since the camp was not ready for the summer classes, the guide lines were not in place on the Braille Trail, or I believe he would have walked the trail with his eyes closed.  He could not get enough of everything and talked about it all the way home and at several Lions Club meetings that followed.   His enthusiasm and kindness will be missed.  --Lions Jim and Leslea Rapp

Lions Fred Gutz (at left) and Jim Rapp at the Allen H. Stewart Lions Camp for the Blind and Visually Impaired on Casper Mountain (Wyoming), in May, 2013.  Lion Fred absolutely loved his visit to the camp.  Below is a photo of Lions Fred and Jim inspecting the Memorial Wall at the Camp.  The Sheridan Sundowner Lions Club recently voted to have a memorial brick installed on the wall, in commemoration of Lion Fred Gutz's many years of service with Lions International.

Here's a photo of Lion Fred Gutz exploring the Lee McCune Braille Trail at the Allen H. Stewart Lions Camp for the Blind on Casper Mountain, Wyoming.

And, in perhaps the most meaningful gesture a Lion could make, here's a moving letter from Fred Gutz's daughter, Sara Gutz, about her father's organ donation:

I wanted to share this story with Fred's fellow Lions and I'm hoping you will pass the word.   

Fred Gutz, my dad, passed away due to an infection while in University Hospital at University of Utah.  Since Fred was listed as an organ donor, I was contacted by an eye bank about the donation of his eyes (the whole eyes.)  Two interesting connections then transpired.

The eye bank was keenly interested in Fred's eyes for a research project studying the congenital predisposition for developing age related macular degeneration and it's relation to Triple A (Abdominal Aorta Aneurysm.)  Since Fred had Triple A surgery, but no macular degeneration, he was an anomaly and thus of special interest to the research team.

Pleased that Fred's eyes could be put to use, my mom and I agreed and at the end of the phone call the caller said thank you on behalf of the Utah Lions Eye Bank.  I paused and asked him to repeat that. 

Yes!  Utah Lions were the driving force behind the creation of the Utah Lions Eye Bank in 1972. In conjunction with the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah, the Utah Lions Eye Bank helps to locate and transfer donated eyes for research. 

I'm so proud of my dad and of his being Lion Fred.

Regards, Sarah Gutz

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