Mel Guenther

1940 - 2021


June 23, 2021 - 8:02 AM

Melvin Leon Guenther passed away on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, in Bartlesville, Okla. Mel was born on Aug. 23, 1940, in Yates Center, to Lucas Daniel and Eunie Mae (Mooney) Guenther. Mel grew up in Iola, and graduated from Iola High School in 1958. 

On March 20, 1960, Mel married the love of his life, Linda Jo Higginbotham. Soon after, Mel started his career with Family Loan in Bartlesville, Okla. Mel and Linda were soon blessed with two daughters, Chris and Cathy. Mel’s career moved the family to Tulsa, Ponca City and back to Bartlesville where he managed the Family Loan and Blazer Finance offices and became Vice President of Plaza National Bank until his retirement.

Mel was an outdoorsman and avid Oklahoma Sooner football fan. He was a published poet and performed his cowboy poetry at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and other cowboy poetry gatherings across the west. 

Mel was preceded in death by his parents; half-brothers Nelson and Lloyd; half-sister Vera Mae; in-laws Con and Vina Higginbotham; brother and sister-in-law Bill and Connie Grimes; brother-in-law Steve Higginbotham and niece Tracy Frame. Mel is survived by his wife Linda Higginbotham Guenther; brother Dennis and wife Jackie Guenther; daughters Chris Guenther-Dutcher (Mike), and Cathy Guenther Evans; grandchildren Kendra, Chase, Catherine (Alex) and Kourtney; and great- grandchildren Collin, Camden, Cade and Cora; sister-in-law Billie Frame; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family will host a visitation at Carlyle Presbyterian Church from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 25. Memorial services will be Saturday, June 26, at 11 a.m. at the Carlyle Presbyterian Church in Carlyle.

The family would like to thank Kindful Hospice for their loving care and kindness.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to the Carlyle Presbyterian Church in Carlyle.

Friends who wish may sign the online guest book and leave condolences at


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