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Published July 10 2013

Forum editorial: Jean Guy a special first lady

In one of two memorial services this week, family, friends and others will bid farewell to former North Dakota first lady Jean Guy today at Fargo’s First Presbyterian Church. A similar event was conducted Wednesday in Bismarck. Jean Guy, wife of the late Gov. Bill Guy, died Friday at age 90. Bill Guy died April 25 at age 93.

The people of the Fargo area had the privilege of having the Guys as neighbors for many years after they left public service and were, for the most part, out of the spotlight. Until a few years ago, it was not uncommon to see the couple at a matinee at one of the city’s multiplex movie theaters. Jean was quick with a comment about a film, often to Bill’s wry smile. It was so clear they loved each other’s company, whether at a big political event or at an afternoon movie.

As first lady, Jean took on several causes, always with grace, intelligence and focus. Her demeanor in and out of public life showcased the best of North Dakota’s political families. She could be tough and opinionated, and that was part of her great strength, not only as a governor’s wife, but also in later life during her service on several important state and national boards and foundations.

Jean Guy surely will be revered as one of the most beloved and respected first ladies in North Dakota history. In their 70-year partnership, she and Bill embodied the spirit of this state. Her roles ranged from active political wife to dedicated mother of five to a life of public service. She did all of them very well.

We join Jean Guy’s family, friends and admirers in celebrating her remarkable life.


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Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.