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Leslie "Les" Guttu

April 17, 2019
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Leslie "Les" Guttu, 76, of John Day, died at his home Wednesday, April 17, 2019.  A Celebration of life will be held May 3, 2019~2 p.m. at the John Day United Methodist Church. 

Les was born in Bottineau, North Dakota July 18, 1942 to parents Sam and Sally Guttu. He lived in Missoula, MT until 7th grade. He then moved to Superior, MT and graduated from Superior High School in 1960.

Only months after graduation, he married Sonja (Sonie) Felstet, his high school sweetheart, November 11, 1960.  They had attended all 4 years of High School together. They had 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls.

Les worked at Diamond International Lumber Mill in Superior, MT. He became a certified Lumber Grader and eventually the Quality Control Supervisor, where he worked for 20 years.  He then moved to John Day, OR in 1986 where he worked for the Malheur Lumber Company for 20 additional years.  Les changed career paths and began working for Winner’s Choice making custom bow strings.  He did this for 10 years before retiring in 2004.

Les coached shot put and discus at Grant Union High School for over 20 years. He had some great athletes that he helped turn into champions. He loved watching all of his grandchildren excel in whatever sport they enjoyed playing. Even after his grandchildren graduated, he still supported Grant Union athletics.


Les enjoyed hunting and fishing with his boys, sometimes even the girls got to go.  In his later years, he enjoyed gardening, bowling and golfing and even made custom golf clubs.  Les was also a dedicated and loyal fan of the Seattle Seahawks. He had a great sense of humor and enjoyed telling stories.

 Memorable dates included the day he married the love of his life and December 25, 2018 when his son Russell woke up from his heart transplant surgery.

Les is survived by his wife of 58 years Sonja Guttu of John Day, OR; sons Russell and wife Lydia Guttu (Hannah and Stockton) of League City, TX, Eric and Jamie Guttu(Chaliss, Hayden and Jake)of Hayburn, ID and Kuna, Idaho; daughters Jodi and Robie Ranft(Austin and Tressa) of John Day, OR., Darcy and Jason Dawson(Rylan and Samantha) of Cascade, ID; brothers Greg and Dave Guttu of Tacoma, WA; 9 grandchildren and one great-grandchild Hazel LilyMae.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother Sandy and sister Ave Rundquist.

For those who would like to make a memorial donation in honor of Les, the family suggests Grant Union Track and Field through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home PO BOX 543, Halfway, Oregon 97834. Online condolences can be shared at

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