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Dee Guthrie was Kaufmann's ad model

 

October 11, 2011

Delores Lillian Reese Guthrie

Delores Lillian Reese Guthrie, the little South Hills girl who grew up on Rochelle Street in Knoxville and graduated from South Hills High School in 1948 to become one of Pittsburgh's best-known fashion models of the 1950s and 60s, has died.

She died Wednesday, Oct. 5. at the Capital Halquist Memorial Hospice Center, in Arlington, Virginia, at the age of 81 from complications of pulmonary hypertension, a heart-lung ailment. Her death was announced by her former husband, and friend, Andrew Guthrie, a retired NBC News and Voice of America correspondent. She lived the last 21 years of her life in Reston, Virginia, a Washington D.C. suburb.

"Dee" Guthrie, as she preferred to be known, was a familiar figure at Kaufmann's Department store downtown, and in Kaufmann's ads in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and the Pittsburgh Press, and at the Pittsburgh Athletic Club's noon fashion shows.

She is survived by her son, Ian of Boulder, Colorado, a sister Ruth Craig, and brother Robert Reese, of Whitehall, nieces Traci Ann Thompson, Alice Ann Reese and Maura Ann Reese, all of Pittsburgh, and nephews Carl Reese of Poway, California, Brian Reese of Oceanside, California, and John Reese of Butler. Her brothers Murray and Eugene Reese, of Pittsburgh, and her nephew Paul Reese, of Richmond, Virginia, predeceased her.

Dee Guthrie was born December 7, 1929, and grew up in Knoxville. After graduation she went to work for Carnegie-Illinois Steel Corporation, which merged with U.S. Steel. Within a few years, she was executive secretary to then-CEO Roger Blough's top Pittsburgh-based assistant.

She also began modeling for Kaufmann's Department store and appeared frequently in the store's ads in The Pittsburgh Press and Post-Gazette. She modeled at the Pittsburgh Athletic Club, ushered at hundreds of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concerts, and found time to dance with World War II veterans at the local VA hospital with men whose psychological disorders kept them institutionalized.

Moving to New York City in 1962 to follow her fashion career, she married Andrew Guthrie, an NBC News writer. When Guthrie was assigned to cover the Viet Nam War, Dee moved to Hong Kong where she studied Cantonese. When her husband was transferred to Cleveland, Ohio, she became chairman of the local UNICEF chapter. A congregant of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, she was lauded in a review of the Cathedral's service by the Cleveland Press Religion Editor for her "meaningful" reading of scripture

Delores Lillian Reese Guthrie

Later in life, she worked at the Washington international law firm of White & Case, where she was, for 11 years, executive secretary to former Nixon and Ford Administration Deputy Transportation Secretary John Barnum. The couple divorced in 1987 and Dee retired in 2005.

She was a founding member of the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of the American Indian, and a member of Washington National Cathedral, where she helped build houses for Habitat for Humanity.

 

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