LOUIS WILLIAM GUINETT
July 7, 1929 ˜ March 21, 2021
We are saddened to announce the passing of our father Louie Guinett. While he has put down his earthly stone hammer and trowel, we have no doubt that his Lord and Savior will have gained a highly skilled stone mason whose “artistry in stone” will be reflected in heavenly arches and pathways. Louie built many enduring works of art in stone, but his greatest legacy is his family, whom he loved deeply, provided for selflessly, and protected unwaveringly, despite many challenges. Predeceased by his first wife Elsa (1933-2013); and his second wife, Evie (1929-2018); he leaves behind his children, Renae Kuhn (Bob), Tracy Guinett (Cindy), and Debi Paull (Gregg); as well as nine grandchildren, Jesse, Katie, Jordan, Steven, Brittany, Adam, Michael, Jocelyn, and Nicholas; and seven great-grandchildren, Taylor, Hailey, Barrett, Patrick, Grace, Haven, and Greyson.
Born in Bridgeport, CT, he faced many hardships and challenges in his childhood as his family moved often before settling in Vancouver, WA. In 1950, shortly after they married, he and Elsa started their own business, Louis Guinett Masonry. Louie, the master craftsman, ‘pounded stone’ alongside his men, maintaining a pace no one could match, while never compromising the artistic design. He consistently worked six days a week or more, often sacrificing his evenings to do the office work required to plan for jobs ahead. He, with the help of his wife, Elsa, built the business into an unrivaled, nationally recognized success story. In 1981, Louis was chosen by architects, builders, and masons to receive the nationally recognized Gilsman Award for “outstanding craftsman and outstanding masonry contractor of the Pacific Northwest.” In 1993 they proudly transferred the business to their daughter, Debi, and her husband, Gregg Paull, whom Louie had mentored for over ten years.
In retirement, his skillful artistry could also be seen in the beautiful bowls and other creative pieces that he spent many hours “turning” out of rough rounds of wood. Most of these works of art he gave away to family and friends as lasting tributes to his skill, generosity, and love.
Louie, while a good listener to the stories told by others, loved to spend time with people. The hallmark of his acceptance was his handshake; where you quickly realized he was used to holding a large rock in one leathery hand and pounding it into shape with a stone hammer in the other. The firm grip made you wince.
The final chapter of his life spent at Van Mall Retirement Center was, perhaps, the most challenging due to the isolation created by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the frustration resulting from his inability to form words and carry on normal conversations with his family and others due to a recent mini-stroke.
Although Louie was not one to wear his faith on his sleeve, there is no doubt that he was confident in the reality of his destiny with his Lord. He anticipated his place in Heaven in which he would be free from life’s pain, disappointments, and regrets.
Due to COVID restrictions, a celebration of life will not be held at this time.
Please share a memory @ www.columbian.com/obits