• Sun May 29 2005
  • Posted May 29, 2005
By ANDREW HOLLAND A new bike bridge has been constructed in Marshalldown near the Lennox plant to remember one of its most beloved employees. Memories and laughs were shared Friday afternoon at the bridge dedication and ribbon-cutting for the late Bob Guthrie, a Marshalltown resident and Lennox employee for 27 years. Guthrie passed away July 2003 in Bloomfield during the running of RAGBRAI. Around 75 family members, friends, co-workers and residents were in attendence to celebrate Guthrie's life. T-shirts were printed with several familiar phrases and Bob's old intramural softball number, 20. Dan Webber, Guthrie's co-worker for several years delivered the keynote speech to the audience. "Bob's character said a lot for him as an individual," Webber said. "He always went out of his way to give good advice and people rarely heard a bad word about him. I was in a car wreck before Bob's death and for the seven months I was on my back, he wrote me, called me and gave me cards all the time." Webber believes the bridge will be around for a very long time and will keep Bob's spirit alive. "This bridge is great for the city and Lennox, and the statewide involvement of its completion has been outstanding," Webber said. Guthrie's widow, Debra felt the bridge was an important statement for Bob's attitude and character. "When the community steps up and does something like this to celebrate the life of an individual, you know the person was very important to a lot of people," Guthrie said. "This is a great honor for Bob, and it was wonderful for his co-workers to do this for him." The newly completed bridge has been worked on for several weeks now by volunteers and is a project jointly subsidized by the city and Lennox. The bridge is located on 12th street, directly in front of the Lennox factory. Bettie Bolar, chairwoman of the Marshalltown Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce spoke to the audience, thanking members of the community. "I would like to thank Vicki Miller in Quality Control at Lennox for her efforts on the project," Bolar said. "Vicki went to Council meetings and made the project a reality. Stones restaurant was great to us as well, as they donated free meals to our volunteers during the building process." Bob Workman, director for the Marshalltown Parks and Recreation believed the bridge was a great addition to the Marshalltown community. "This project is a great new link to our bike trail towards Des Moines and beyond." Workman also said the project was a real display of emotion and volunteerism from the community. "As Bob would say, 'Let's quit talking and get to riding bikes!'," Workman said. --- Andrew Holland may be reached at

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