In Memory

Guy Piper VIEW PROFILE

Guy Piper

 
Clippers,
 
Guy Piper’s former wife, Karen, sent an email this afternoon (May 30, 2015) saying that Guy had passed away yesterday.
 
Rest in Peace, Guy.
 
Cy
OHHS1964



 
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06/02/15 06:59 AM #2    

Michael Daras

Rest in peace Guy. 


06/02/15 01:23 PM #3    

Janet Daugherty (Parrack)

I remember Guy as always upbeat and fun loving. I think we went back as far as elementary school... Rest in peace, Guy.


06/03/15 11:02 AM #4    

Linda Grayson (Latona)

Guy was a good person & very likable.  He & I must have been to a lot of Jr High dances together because I have pictures  of us in an old album that show us all dressed  up & ready to go.  


06/08/15 01:45 PM #5    

Frances Polky (McElvey)

Guy was a funny, intelligent, and kind person who touched many lives and never judged anyone. I was privileged to attend his celebration of life yesterday and was very touched by the tribute his son, first wife, present wife, and friends made to him. He will be missed, but never forgotten.  Rest in peace, Guy!


06/08/15 09:26 PM #6    

Cyrus Creveling Jr.

My eulogy at Guys funeral service yesterday in Forest Hill, Maryland.
 
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When someone passes from this life, the people who love them can only speak about the person they knew. All of us here have a different relationship with Guy, whether it be widow, spouse, father, brother, neighbor or acquaintance.
 
I knew Guy as a classmate, teammate, and, most importantly, as a friend.
 
We met 60 years ago in elementary school, often riding the same yellow bus and sitting in the same classroom. Later, we ran track together in high school. Still later, we shared the dubious position of being classified 1A in the draft at a time when our academic achievements were equally abysmal. And we liked rock-and-roll, beer and young ladies, which we pursued with varying degrees of success — or lack thereof.
 
But the thing that stood out about Guy to his close friends — his running buddies — was his sense of humor. He was not a story teller and didn’t tell many jokes, but Guy’s finely tuned appreciation of the absurd, punctuated with spot-on pithy comments, had us — an appreciative but highly critical audience — laughing constantly.
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When I ran track in high school with Guy, he was pretty good, while I was beyond terrible, usually finishing dead last in distance events. At one big meet, he made a critical observation: I was plodding along in heavy Chuck Taylors, where everyone else, including him, had lightweight racing spikes. Since we were running in different races, he offered to loan me his spikes, and that day they were like wings on my feet and I did improve— finishing next to last. When I returned the spikes, Guy said, “I’m thinking that your shoes aren’t the problem, Cy.”
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And let me add, shoes were kind of a thing with Guy. Our mutual life-long friend, Bill Bass, tells a story about walking with Guy in junior high school to go bowling at Eastover. Heading home, another friend, Billy Rivers, was chiding Guy about his terrible bowling skills. Guy took a playful kick at him. Billy grabbed his foot and held on while Guy helplessly hopped around on the side of Indian Head Highway. Suddenly, Billy started laughing and everyone saw what was so funny — Guy was wearing his bowling shoes home, having forgotten to turn them in and get his own sneakers back. Guy didn’t want to walk the additional miles back to the bowling alley alone, and, as he pointed out, the shoes were a nice upgrade to the ones he left behind and, anyway, who else had such unique and colorful footwear?
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When the Guy was a little older, his mother Hope upgraded her kitchen in Fort Foote Terrace. It cost a lot of money, and Guy pointed it out to all his friends, who had never seen a nicer kitchen. And, like Guy, we had never been responsible for feeding ourselves, let alone a family, so we could have cared less. “For this money, we could have bought a Corvette,” Guy observed, wistfully, echoing our own self-centered thoughts.
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Bill Bass also tells the story about a night several years after high school that started when Guy picked Bill up in his notoriously unreliable Mustang, which had starting problems, just to begin the list of mechanical deficiencies.They stopped at an apartment complex in Oxon Hill, one that was transiting from simply poor to criminally dangerous, to meet friends. Told about a party in Virginia — where there were rumored to be girls— they all piled into a nicer car and headed off. They left Virginia after midnight and hitchhiked on the Beltway to within a couple of miles of Guy’s car, when, in a stroke of dumb luck, they were spotted and picked up by Bobby Bass, Bill’s younger brother, who drove them back to the apartments. On the way, they explained that they were going to need jumper cables and some help, since Guys battery was dead. When they got to the Mustang, they popped the hood, and were figuring out where to clamp the cables when… slowly… all three of them realized that Guy’s car was running. He had left it on and unlocked, thinking they would only be away for 5 minutes, and it was now 6 hours and a half-a-tank of gas later. The Bass boys started laughing at this situation, but Guy was crushed with humiliation at his car not being stolen from this den of thieves. “We have just established,” Guy said sadly, “the pathetic value of my car.”
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In 1984, the 20th reunion picnic for the our high school was held at a lake. Late in the afternoon, Guy and his wife Karen (KK) realized that one of their twin boys, just a toddler, had wandered off, and they were frantic with worry and needed to find the prodigal son before he fell in the water.
 
[Which boy was missing? When I once asked Guy how to tell them apart, he pointed and said, “there is That One and The Other One. Is that helpful?”]
 
I volunteered to watch Meridith and The Other One and Guy and KK took off at a run. Just then, the call went out for the group family photo. Hmmm, what to do? If Guy came back with the stray, then discovered I had lost his other two children, his legendary sense of humor might fail him — and then me. So I scooped up the Piper kids, sat The Other One on my lap, put my arm around Meridith and smiled like the proudest father in the world. Some day in the future, I thought, this photo might come in handy.
 
That day came 10 years later when I went to the Piper house for dinner. Meridith was a senior in high school, and the twins were coming into a very cynical age. I gathered the family around, and explained that long ago I was married with a son and daughter, but my wife and I were very, very poor, and eventually had to sell the two children to a rich family, but I still thought of them. The looks on the kid’s faces told me that they weren't buying this obvious crock, but in the background Guy smiled, knowing that a trap was being set.
 
“Do you want to see what they looked like?” I said, displaying the photo and pointing out the proud father and his two children. Loud groans from all three kids as they recognized themselves, and laughs from their parents.
 
Later Guy congratulated me on pulling off the scam, which was high praise indeed from the master. He quickly added, “I expect you to pay for their therapy, Cy” 
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Guy retired in 2000, and for the next couple of years we got together frequently. We watched virtually every game when the Maryland Terps won the national basketball championship, and had a blast.
 
But mainly we went for long walks, where we talked about everything under the sun. Forty years dropped away, we were just two high school knuckleheads having a good time.
 
Many of these walks were on a 6-mile trail around Lake Accotink, in Northern Virginia. We walked one summer in a rainstorm — after a week of torrential rains — when the trail was full of mud and frequently cut where water was flooding out of the lake. Being a Postal Service letter carrier, this was way too much like my day job, and I asked Guy if he wanted to turn around.
 
Guy looked at me with mock contempt, and said, “I don’t know what kind of [sissy] Army unit you were in during Vietnam, but I WAS IN THE AIR GUARD!”
 
The gauntlet had been thrown! Soldiering on, we met a hiker who was wet to his waist, and soon we were knee-deep in swirling brown water as far as the eye could see, but even good sense — especially good sense! — wasn’t going to stop us now.
 
Guessing where the trail was by the trees, and knowing there were deep gullies underwater, we were now single-file with me in the lead and Guy following, chattering away how the smarter men ended up in the Air Guard, so when he saw me drown, he would take the safer path.
 
Suddenly I plunged into deep water and my hat was floating away. Struggling to the surface, I crawled into shallower water, and turned around as Guy — blindly following my exact same path for some reason I have yet to understand! — totally disappeared in a huge splash.
 
When we were finally safe, I stared at him in disbelief, but before I could ask the obvious question, Guy held up a finger and mumbled, “In the Air Guard, mostly we worked on airplanes.”
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Guy Maxwell Piper: Father, husband, brother and proud, proud member of the Air National Guard. And my friend of a lifetime. I will never forget you, Guy, Rest in Peace.

06/09/15 08:20 AM #7    

Cecil Trollinger

I met guy Maxwell Piper in 4th grade(Mrs. Dahlgren), and had every class together between 6th(natch) thru 10th grade. Should you choose to look up droll in the dictionary, I believe you will see a picture of Guy. Maybe he wasn't a great bowler, but I was there the day he had 3 strikes in a row in duckpin!!! Guy was born in Apr. of '46, so the summer  of '58, Billy Rivers(b. Nov. '46), and myself, (b. Oct.) hitch hike to the Atlantic theater to see a double feature. Different pricing tiers were in use. if you were under 12, you paid a quarter. Older than 12 cost 35 cents. The additional dime was enough to pay  for a  bag of popcorn. Rivers and Piper easily get in for the reduced price; perhaps because I had shaved that morning, i did not. Left holding the bag. or in this case NOT holding the bag. Moving forward to 11th grade, B Bass, B Jeffries, and I (lefty brigade?) sit in the back of Mrs. Brendel's Algebra II class where we spend every minute of every class talking sports. After 3 days, Mrs. Brendel has had enough, moving me to a seat behind Guy. We spent the rest of the year talking about girls, sports, girls, politics, girls, while our classmates were learning Algebra II. Guy, I will miss your wry( sorry, Dennis) humor, and your friendship. Jeff Trollinger


06/09/15 02:30 PM #8    

Grace Dodson (Stasica)

So sad to hear about Guy's death.   The way I remember him was that he was a nice guy.   My thoughts and prayers are with his family. 

 

Grace Dodson Stasica


06/10/15 03:33 PM #9    

William Bass

Guy Piper (1946-2015)    An American Success Story

As we know by now, on May 29th our classmate and friend Guy Piper passed away after a long illness. Guy is survived by his devoted wife Mary, his three children Merideth, Brandon, Xander, their wonderful mother Karen (KK) and his brother Philip (OHHS 1961).

Many of us who knew Guy in high school and college, remember him as smart, fun loving and witty. We all have Piper stories that bring smiles to our faces. However, I will always remember his business success and the hard work that enabled him to rise to professional and financial heights unimaginable to any of us back in 1964. Guy did not wait for his ship to come in. He swam out to the ocean and met it.

Around 1975 or so Guy interviewed for a position at the newly formed Consulting Division of the Big Eight Accounting Firm Price Waterhouse. Guy felt lucky to even get a chance to interview, mainly  because of a well placed contact, his sister Judy (OHHS 1960), who was the executive secretary to one of the Senior Partners at PW. Judy typed up Guy’s Resume, and scheduled the interview. She also advised him to shave his mustache. “No way,” said the man who a few short years earlier had won a suit against the AF National Guard so he could wear a short hair wig over his flowing locks to his weekend meetings. “Love me, love my mustache.” He later said, “It seemed important at the time.”

Evidently, Guy interviewed well. He got the job, in spite of his appearance, “Clean Cut, but hip” as he used to say. The weekend before starting at Price Waterhouse, he and I were body surfing at Ocean City when a killer wave wiped us out and drove Guy face first into the ocean floor, blackening his eyes. Thus he became the first PW new hire to show up to work with facial hair and dark glasses ala Jack Nicholson.

Through the next several years I marveled at Guy’s how long and hard Guy worked and how deftly he maneuvered his way up the partnership ladder at Price Waterhouse. Workdays of 12 to 14 hours, 6 and sometimes 7 days a week were the norm. Also in those days if you were not promoted every year, you were “let go” by the firm. I once asked Guy why he put himself through all that punishment, stress and pressure, and he answered, “I want to prove to myself and my colleagues that I can succeed at this. I know that with a lot of hard work and a little luck along the way, I can make partner and the rewards will make this all worth while.”

Succeed he did. After a transfer to Denver he made partner. He was later promoted to a more senior position in Los Angeles, then to Senior Managing Partner in Tokyo, responsible for Asia, then to Senior Partner for Financial Markets in Brazil. Along the way he got a couple of those “lucky breaks.” It seemed like the harder he worked the luckier he got. 

I remember KK, Guy’s wife during those Price Waterhouse years, telling me how much she admired Guy’s work ethic. “I don’t know how he does it. I know I couldn’t.” Not many could.  She also said, that she tells their children quite often, “Everything we have and the wonderful lives we have led, we owe to how hard Guy worked…and a few lucky breaks along the way.”

Sadly Guy’s luck started to run out about 10 years ago when his health began to fail. For the past five years or so Guy deteriorated drastically and the old gang didn’t get to see much of him.  Those of us who loved him owe his wife Mary a great debt for making his final years as comfortable as possible.

I have not subjected this story to any fact checkers. I never do. The facts should never get in the way of a good story and this is a good one. It’s an American success story. Guy Piper lived it. He made us proud.


06/11/15 09:22 AM #10    

W Michael Seganish

My wife Nancy and I attended the memorial service for Guy. I had not intended to speak; but after Cyrus related the Mustang story, I could not resist. What Guy's legacy to me is about 25 stitches. Guy. Jack Graham, Danny Labriola and I had an apartment near Prince Georges Plaza while we were all at College Park. Guy had an Austin Healey which always was breaking down. Jack, Danny and I were eating dinner when Guy came home. We all laughed when we saw  his car  smoking. In reality it was on fire. There was no hose out front, so we were running water outside to wet blankets to put on the engine in pots,pans,etc. I had my ROTC leather sole shoes on and got oil and water on them. On one the trips back into the house, I slid through the plate glass window and suffered numerous cuts. It was an interesting time and I miss Guy's  quiet, sincere manner. 

   Mike Seganish


06/11/15 10:50 PM #11    

Carole Porter (Pommer)

I met Guy in our senior English class because he sat behind me, and he loved to tease and pull pranks on me. A few times when the teacher’s back was turned, I would suddenly and shockingly find myself directly facing a laughing Guy because he would flip my chair and desk around in a 180. Fortunately, the teacher never caught on.  We weren’t in the same typing class, but in the spring I started finding hilarious typed notes each day from Guy in my typing paper folder in the file cabinet, usually thanking me for my unbeknownst “generosity”. We started dating which continued through our freshman year at the University of Maryland, but later it dwindled down to only a regular Friday night date during our sophomore year. We stopped dating at the beginning of our junior year.

Life marched on for both of us until Guy called me about fifteen years later saying that he was in Dallas on business and did I want to meet for dinner. We played catchup discussing our family, children, and work, but his favorite subject besides his children were old and new stories about his friends from Fort Foote and OHHS. After that, he would call every year or two or whenever he came to Dallas on business, and we’d meet for dinner. When he discussed his achievements in business, he was modest. Guy thought it was funny that a boy from OHHS with a “mere” MBA from the U. of Maryland was hiring Harvard MBAs to work for him. He got a real kick that he and his wife were able to attend the Oscars one year because he was a new exec with Price Waterhouse in LA.  He was a loyal friend and treasured his lifelong friendships. I was always amazed at how great he was at keeping in contact with them and me. He loved going to reunions.

In August of 1999, Guy visited Dallas and when we met up, I told him I planned on going to the OHHS reunion that was coming up in a few months. I hadn’t been since the 20th.  A week later, I found those plans had to be cancelled because the only thing on my future agenda was surgery, chemo, and radiation. The following spring while I was recovering, Fran Polky (McElvey) called to announce that she and Guy had planned our own special OHHS reunion in Breckenridge, Colorado, at Guy’s expense to celebrate my recovery. So the three of us met in Colorado and enjoyed four fun-filled days in July—walking tours of quaint Breckenridge and beautiful Vail, sailing, a picnic, the symphony, and great meals. Bill Bass joined us one day adding to the fun. Of course, we did have a near disaster one night when a deer hit the side of Guy’s rental SUV, smashing in the passenger’s side, as we were driving back from dinner. DEJA VU! In college, Guy always had problems with his cars; they either broke down on a fairly regular basis or caught on fire. At least this time, it didn’t catch on fire and no one was hurt with the exception of the poor animal.  Other than that, the celebratory vacation was wonderful.

In the spring of 2006, Guy called me one Saturday morning and asked if I wanted to meet for lunch. I assumed he was in Dallas. No, he was on a cross-country road trip to visit his son in LA and was in New Orleans after Katrina, looking for a possible investment. I asked him if he was flying and he replied no, he was driving. Stunned, I asked him if he had a jet engine on the back of his car because it’s an eight hour drive from New Orleans and furthermore, did he ever read a map. Around 9pm he finally pulled up in front of my house for a late, somewhat dried out dinner. He was going to stay at my place and thought he’d be in LA the following night! I asked Mr. MBA if he knew how big Texas was and informed him that he’ll still be in Texas the next night. When he left in the morning, I made him promise to call me whenever he stopped for the night. That night I received a call from Guy sheepishly telling me he was still in Texas. (It was a great “I-told-you-so” moment, and I fell on the floor laughing.) The next day he called from the Hoover Dam and the following day, he made it to his son’s in LA.   I didn’t expect to hear from him anymore because he was going to take a more northerly route home. About five days later, I got another call from Guy telling me he wasn’t feeling well and could he stay at my house until he started feeling better. I told him sure so he took the 400-500 mile detour from Kansas to recuperate in Texas. When he left three days later, he told me that was the last cross-country road trip he was ever going to take.

In 2006 I came home to visit with my parents and attend the OHHS reunion. Guy came by to visit with my family, who still lived in Southlawn.  Preceding the reunion, the weather was horrible, pouring buckets for days. Guy ended up staying on my parents’ lumpy sofa for two days. He and my dad loved to talk about history, especially WWII. Guy and I went together to the reunion at Fort Washington. It was a fun gathering, and both of us enjoyed exploring the old fort with Bill Stark and Cy Creveling.  Guy went back to his new home in Havre de Grace, near Baltimore. Three days later my father died suddenly of a heart attack just before my return to Plano. Guy came back to console my mother and me and returned again for my father’s funeral. He was a big support and did a good job of cheering us up.

The next summer I was back in Oxon Hill once again, getting ready to put my mother’s home of fifty years on the market so she could move in with me in Plano, Texas. Once again Guy came to the rescue. He helped unload a bunch of “stuff” that we had to get rid of and cheered us up once again.  In late October, Guy came back to Southlawn one last time to wish us farewell and good luck right before the movers came and my mother and I would fly to Texas. It was a just a regular goodbye between old friends. I knew he would not be calling to meet for dinner in Dallas anymore because he was retired and was no longer traveling. I wouldn’t be coming “home” because my mother would be living in Plano with me. I thought it wasn’t a big deal; after all, I’d see him sometime in the future at an OHHS reunion. I was wrong.

This past year I enjoyed seeing old friends from elementary school, junior high, and OHHS again at the 50th reunion. I asked Guy’s old friends if they’d heard from him. No one had. Although the reunion and being in Ocean City was great, I noticed a void because Guy wasn’t there teasing and laughing with us.

Guy will be remembered fondly by me as a bright, incredibly funny, loyal, and generous friend. He was a good man. In the future when I think of Guy, I’m sure it will bring a big smile to my face because that’s what he did. RIP Guy Piper.

Carole Porter Pommer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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