YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – WKBN is sad to announce that longtime Chief Meteorologist Don Guthrie passed away Sunday at the age of 71.
Guthrie died at his home at 11:15 p.m., surrounded by his immediate family.
The Guthrie family issued the following statement in the wake of Don’s death:
Don wanted to say how much he loved serving the community and what an honor it was to be a part of your daily lives. The family would like to express their gratitude for the outpouring of support and love they have received over the past year. It has been a great comfort to know how much he was loved.
The family announced that calling hours for Don will be Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and a prayer service will be held Friday at 10 a.m. Both will be at Saint Christine Church on Schenley Avenue in Youngstown, and both are open to the public.
Memorials Guthrie’s memory may be made to the Don Guthrie Memorial Scholarship fund at Youngstown State University at YSU Foundation, 606 Wick Ave., Youngstown, OH 44502, or the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network at pancan.org or by mail at Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 1500 Rosecrans Ave., STE. 200, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266.
Donald Guthrie was a lifelong resident of the Mahoning Valley, born in Youngstown in 1943. He began his career in broadcasting at Mohawk High School in Bessemer, Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1961.
Don worked at WKBN Radio in 1970 as a disc jockey and the FM Program Director.
In 1973, Don married his wife, Debbie. They have three children: Amanda, Kristy and David.
In 1980, he became a weatherman for WKBN’s Noon News and also assumed the role of Radio Production Director. Don then moved to forecasting the weather on WKBN 27 First News at 6:00 p.m and 11:00 p.m.
Don was an accredited member of both the National Weather Association and the American Meteorological Society.
In his free time, Don enjoyed playing golf and spending time with his wife and kids.
WKBN announced Guthrie’s diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in late May of 2014.
Since then, the outpouring of support for Guthrie has been overwhelming, with letters and notes coming in to the WKBN newsroom on a regular basis.
In September, a sea of supporters attended a spaghetti dinner benefit at the Italian Fraternal Home Club in Girard to support Guthrie.
Friends, family, colleagues and those that had watched Don forecast the weather for years attended the event.
“This is just amazing. I knew there would be quite a few people, but I didn’t know there would be this many people,” Don said.
Don said there are many other families facing similar battles and hoped they could all keep fighting with a smile.
“You gotta keep on keeping on. You just gotta do it, that’s all. Just stay positive. Anybody else that has any problem, it doesn’t matter if it is cancer or not, stay on the bright side,” Don said.