- Ada, Oklahoma

October 9, 2012

West Nile claims Guthrie ex-mayor

The Ada News

Guthrie —  

A former mayor of Guthrie has died after battling West Nile virus.

Officials with the First Christian Church say Jon Gumerson died Saturday after contracting West Nile. He was 76.

He died the same weekend the church was holding a blood drive in his honor. Organizer Jessica Eaves says 40 people donated blood Sunday at the event.

Eaves said Gumerson taught Sunday school at the church for 50 years. He was also an avid Sooner fan and local businessman.

Gumerson served as Guthrie’s vice mayor from 1969 to 1971 and as the city’s mayor from 1971 to 1973. He again ran for mayor in 2001 and served in the city’s top post until 2007.

Services for Gumerson will be 2 p.m. Thursday at First Christian Church.

Gumerson, known locally for his fun-loving ways and happy disposition, fell ill weeks ago from the illness and was on a respirator. 

While mayor, Gumerson joked with citizens saying he thanked them for supporting him and his wife, Barbara, thanked those who opposed him.