Beloved husband, father and grandfather Norman Raphael Guice, 87, of Mountain Home died Friday, Aug. 1, 2008, at Four Seasons Hospice Elizabeth House.
The son of Henry Clay Guice and Florence Blackwell Guice, he was a Henderson County native, born on Dec. 7, 1920. Married for 57 years to the late Edna Ray Guice, he retired in 1991 from DuPont where he worked as a quality control technician.
In 1937, he graduated from Flat Rock High School and enrolled in the Navy for three years of junior coreman duty. On his 21st birthday, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, he re-enlisted and became one of the many humble heroes of World War II. He served as a pharmacist’s mate in the U.S. Naval Pacific Fleet Submarine Force aboard the Cero and the Pilot Fish. He was present at the surrender of the Japanese in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945. He was called back into active duty in the Korean War where he performed a rare mid-air blood transfusion, saving the life of a soldier who had been one of his Flat Rock classmates.
He was a member of the United States and the North Carolina Submarine Veterans of World War II.
In 2006, he was fortunate to travel with Henderson County’s first HonorAir Flight for what he described as “the trip of a lifetime” to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
“Papa,” as his children and grandchildren affectionately referred to him, was a long-time, active member of the Mills River Presbyterian Church where he married his wife, Edna, in 1946. He served his church in many capacities over the years, including deacon, Sunday school superintendent and cemetery manager. His keen wit, courage, wisdom, faith and generous spirit will continue to be an inspiration to all who had the privilege of knowing him.
He is survived by his sister, Earline Whiting of Concord; his son, Michael Guice of Taylors, S.C.; three daughters, Julie Thompson of Flat Rock; Peggy Bloom of Eugene, Ore., and Mary Rouse of Arden; a grandson, Skip Rouse of Arden; three granddaughters, Tabitha and Elizabeth Guice and Christina Balauch of Greenville, S.C.
A celebration of his life will take place at 2 p.m. Monday at Mills River Presbyterian Church. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with military graveside rites conducted by the Hubert M. Smith American Legion Post 77, the Hedrick-Rhodes VFW Post 5206 and the Chapter 14 of the DAV. The family will receive friends following the service at a reception in the church’s fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Mills River Presbyterian Church, 10 Presbyterian Church Road, Mills River, N.C. 28759; to Four Seasons Hospice, Elizabeth House, 571 South Allen Road, Flat Rock, N.C. 28731 or to HonorAir, 216 Fourth Avenue, Hendersonville, N.C. 28739. An online register book is available for family and friends at www.thosshepherd.com.
Thos. Shepherd and Son Funeral Directors is in charge of the arrangements.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”