G. Guthrie Conynghamof Eastern PA Supply Co. died peacefully at his home May 10. He was 84.
After receiving his bachelor's degree from Yale University (class of 1945) and after active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, he began his career at the family business, Eastern PA Supply Co. In 1951, he was recalled to active duty and was then sent to Korea where he earned two Purple Hearts and was honorably discharged as a 1st Lieutenant.
He would continue to work at his family’s business and be an active member of the community for the next 55 years. He was CEO of W. H. Conyngham & Co. Inc., whose principal businesses were: Eastern PA Supply Co., a 10-location wholesale distributor of plumbing, heating, electrical, and water systems equipment; Hillside Farms, a Holstein dairy farm managed by his brother William; Hillside Greenhouse, managed by his brother Jack, who was also vice-president of sales at Eastern PA Supply Co.; and Hayfield Farms, which would eventually become a real estate venture with the focus on preservation of quality wildlife habitat and shared resources.
Conyngham relished the wholesale distribution business where he made countless lifetime friendships with fellow wholesalers, suppliers and contractor customers. He was considered a true icon of the industry.
He was one of the early presidents of the Middle Atlantic Wholesalers Association, a regional trade association affiliated with the American Supply Association and served on its first Board of Directors.
Conyngham was also a very active member of C.L. Watt Inc., a management and marketing cooperative group dedicated to improving the business of its independently owned wholesale-distributor members. His no-nonsense approach to business and friendly demeanor are fondly remembered by his many associates.
As busy and active as he was in his family business and industry trade associations, Conyngham never forgot his community, and the obligation as a successful person to give back generously and often with time, ability and his checkbook. To that end he served on many community boards as a board member, officer or chairman, often times for 30, 40 or even 50-plus years. His longevity to these local and regional agencies and organizations was highly valued for the mature perspective he brought to the table.
In addition to his first wife Corinne, he is preceded in death by his brother William L. Conyngham and William’s wife, Cornelia Parkhurst Conyngham.
Mr. Conyngham is survived by his family, including his loving wife Shirley Marquart Conyngham; devoted brother, Jack and his wife Lou; son Donald and his wife, Joyce; son Malcolm and his wife, Janeen; his one and only devoted daughter, Thamsin, and her husband Malcolm; son, George, and his wife Maureen; 11 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Additionally, step-children Michael Marquart, Eric Marquart and Kirsten Marquart Judd, and their three children; and finally, his faithful Jack Russell Terrier, Jackie.
Funeral services will be held Thursday at 10 a.m. in St. Stephen's Episcopal Pro-Cathedral, 35 S. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre, Pa., with the Rev. Daniel Gunn officiating. Interment will be at the family’s convenience in the Conyngham Family Plot at Hollenback Cemetery, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Friends may call on Wednesday, 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m., at the Harold C. Snowdon Funeral Home, 140 N. Main St., Shavertown, Pa.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to
- The United Way of Wyoming Valley 8 West Market St., Wilkes-Barre, Pa. 18701
- Children’s Service Center of Wyoming Valley 335 S. Franklin St. Wilkes-Barre, Pa. 18703
- Wilkes-Barre YMCA 40 W. Northampton St. Wilkes-Barre, Pa. 18701
- American Red Cross 20 New Commerce Blvd. Ashley, PA 18706
- SPCA of Luzerne County Fox Hill Road Wilkes-Barre, PA 18705
- St. Stephen’s Episcopal Pro-Cathedral, 35 S. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre 18701.