While any loss is deeply felt and sincerely mourned, some are more so than most due to their circumstances. Such circumstances are twofold in the untimely death of Lennie Guttman: the shockingly violent nature of his death, as well as his special stature in our close-knit community.
Known to nearly everyone in Willow Cove, Lennie was a bear of a man, always ready with a smile and a big, meaty handshake. It was nearly impossible to shake that hand and not recall that glorious spring of 1995 when Lennie Guttman and his powerful right arm led the Cougars to the first and only state championship in baseball.
But even those, few and far between as they may be, who were unfamiliar with Lennie’s sporting achievements of that inimitable season know him anyway. They may know him from Guttman’s Gutters, the bowling alley he founded and operated that has become something of an ad hoc community center always open to all, or from Burgers Fries Pop or Tom’s Place, two other local businesses he held almost as nearly and dearly to his heart as the one he owned himself, or from the unspoken but widely known fact that if you ever needed anything, Lennie would help. He wouldn’t pry, he wouldn’t preach, and he would always help. That was Lennie Guttman.
Lennie leaves behind his wife, Marcie, and their two children, Jack (17) and Becky (15). As deeply as we all feel his loss, it goes without saying that none of us can comprehend the profound devastation currently being felt by the Guttman family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this incomprehensible time, and we hope that the entire community joins us in offering them all the support and anything at all they should need in the coming days, weeks, months, and even years.
Given the violent nature of the crime and the investigation just getting underway, viewing and funeral arrangements are currently unavailable. It may be some time before we are all afforded the opportunity to pay our respects to Lennie Guttman—father, husband, baseball hero, community leader, good neighbor, great friend, outstanding man.