LEWISTOWN — Charlie G. Guinn, 76, died on Sept. 7, 2019. He was born Feb. 11, 1943 to Herman and Gladys (Spinks) Guinn. He married Susan Knedler, the love of his life and life partner. Charlie is also survived by children: Robin (Mike) Groene, Grady (Tammy) Guinn; sister, Cathy (Merrill) Blaser; grandchildren Erica, Brett, Christopher, Beth and Melissa; and the 609 people who have been employees of Hi-Heat Industries.
He started working at the age of 6 delivering newspapers in Selma, Alabama. He continued his work experience at the fruit market under the tutelage of a customer service pro.
Charlie began his life career path working in production at Watlow Electric, a manufacturer of electrical components. In the late 70s Charlie was one of the founders of Heatron, a manufacturer of electrical heating elements.
At the request of a previous customer, Tom Wedbush (life-long friend), Charlie founded Hi-Heat Industries, January 1981 in Kansas City. In 1990, the company relocated to Lewistown, Montana to a small building on First Avenue North. Hi-Heat grew and blossomed; today Hi-Heat is located in a modern factory and employs 61 people.
Hi-Heat Industries’ employees, the community of Lewistown, Susan, and his cats, not necessarily in that order, were the center of his life.
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Charlie was a member of Rotary, the City-County Planning Board, and the Outlook Club. He and Susan became active supporters of the Lewistown Swimming Pool, the Central Montana Medical Center, community school groups, and 4-H clubs. Charlie believed in buying locally and supporting the community.
One of Charlie’s goals was to generate on-going, sustainable growth for the company in order to have a healthy business now and long after he and Susan have retired. Through the study of business theories and practices, they discovered the Theory of Constraints (TOC), which is a process improvement methodology, which Hi-Heat began implementing in late 2004.
Charlie wore his attitude pin daily; his philosophy was, 'Get up on the right side, keep your attitude right side up.'
Viewing will be held at the Creel Funeral Home Chapel on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, from 3 to 7 p.m. with family receiving guests from 5 to 7. Funeral Services will be held at the Fergus Performing Arts Center at the high school on Thursday, Sept., 12, at 7 p.m. Interment will be Friday, September 13, 2:30 p.m. at the Geraldine Cemetery. Memorial donations are requested to CMMC Hospice, Fergus/Petroleum County 4-H or donor’s choice.
Arrangements are under the care of Creel Funeral Home. Charlie’s family and friends can share memories and condolences at www.creelfuenralhome.com