Kristine Joyce Guthrie class of 1965
January 30, 1947 – July 5, 2022
Kristine Joyce (Carpenter) Guthrie was born on January 30th, 1947, in Lansing, Michigan. She was 75-years old when, on July 5th, 2022, after a long battle with cancer, she peacefully and lovingly passed with close family by her side at her home in Okemos, MI. Kristine is survived by her three children; Gina Marie Guthrie, Michael Wayne Guthrie (wife, Kelli Guthrie), and Deborah Karen Joana Guthrie (husband, Alan Rosenberg); her grandchildren, Zachery Michael Guthrie (wife, Amanda Guthrie), Matthew Gregory Guthrie, Jonathon Michael Guthrie, Kristin Michelle Guthrie, Nicholas Richard Guthrie, and Samantha Ann-Marie Carr; two great grandchildren, Ashton Michael Guthrie and Alexa Eve Guthrie; her siblings, Dennis Carpenter (late wife, Georgia Carpenter), Deborah Carpenter, Karen Glidden (husband, Gary Glidden), Gregory Carpenter (wife, Vicki Carpenter), and Joana Wolfarth (late husband, Rod Wolfarth). She is preceded in death by her parents, Franklin Wayne Carpenter, and Pauline Victoria Hannah Carpenter.
Kristine was raised in Okemos where she met and married her former husband, Stephen Michael Guthrie in 1965. Earlier that year, she’d graduated from Okemos High School where she’d excelled in math and science while also playing trumpet in the marching band. A few years later, influenced by the civil rights and political movements of the time, coupled with a strong drive to make a difference (in her and her children’s lives, as well as others), Kristine made the decision to pursue her dream of becoming an attorney. While raising her three children, she earned a BA from Michigan State University in 1977. Then, after being accepted into Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, she went on to complete her Juris Doctor in 1981.
Starting her career with Legal Aid of Michigan first, in Port Huron, then Lansing Kristine passionately and tirelessly fought for the rights of low-income individuals, particularly those of women and children. She vigorously defended victims of abuse, volunteering her time at a battered women’s shelter, and arguing a case that would later impact law intended to improve the identification of abuse earlier on. Before retiring, she would go on to practice for over 30-years, a fierce defender and advocate of social justice and equality.
Outside of work, Kristine enjoyed many interests. She developed a particularly high-level skill as a seamstress, making many of her own clothes, blankets, and coverings. A proud Swede and exceptional baker, Kristine was known for her Swedish coffee cake, beef stroganoff, and lamb dinners (although, it must be said, she loved breakfast at McDonald’s). An avid fan of MSU and professional Detroit teams, Kristine also loved watching the Spartans, Lions and Tigers (a hot dog at the stadium was one of her favorites). But she was never prouder than when she could cheer her kids and grandkids on at their sporting events (she was known to hoot and holler at Okemos football games). She even participated herself at an early age, including in tennis, bowling, and softball. She loved swimming, ice skating, sledding, canoeing, camping, playing board games, debating politics and world affairs, solving puzzles, and playing cards. She even served in the Cub Scouts for several years as her grandsons’ Den Leader and Cubmaster, something she was very proud of. And, she was an avid reader, scrapbooker and genealogist, something she traveled far and wide to pursue (including an amazing trip to Sweden with her sister, Joana).
Kristine loved to travel and take road trips with family. Early on, with siblings, parents, and relatives in places Up North, like Boyne City, Drummond Island and Burt Lake where they played intense games of Pinochle. Later, with her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren to Holland State Park, Frankenmuth, Tahquamenon Falls, Gaylord, and Mackinac Island. Some of her fondest memories were of family trips to Colorado, Wisconsin, Chicago, Niagara Falls, New York, Washington DC and Disney.
Kristine’s greatest achievement and love, however, was her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, as well as the many beloved animals in her life. Whether sitting down with a bowl of popcorn to watch Star Wars (for the umpteenth time), playing with dolls or action figures, drawing pictures, making art, reading books, listening to and singing along with music, cooking, playing at the park, going to the pool, watching a game, taking a road trip or celebrating a birthday or holiday, doing it together with family was what she valued and cherished above all. And it was during these times, and every time in between, she would teach and show them how to live a faith-based Christian life; to be gracious and merciful, honest, humble, thankful, loving, respectful, compassionate and without judgment. She taught the importance of integrity, following thru with your commitments, helping others, having a good attitude and an open mind, educating yourself, and passionately pursuing your interests. She made you feel like you could do anything, and she would support you in whatever that was.
Kristine positively impacted every person she touched, inspiring and motivating innumerous individuals throughout her journey. Outside of her professional council, her personal council was equally as respected. She lived and breathed Matthew 22:37-39: “Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'; John 13:34: “I give you a new command: Love each other. You must love each other as I have loved you.”; and Mark 12:29-31: “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Kristine treated children with the utmost love and dignity, welcoming them into her heart, showing them how important and valuable they are, never looking down on them and always raising them up, as is written in Matthew 18:10, 14. She always said, put children first, above self.
May Kristine’s example of loving each other above all live eternally within us. May her love, grace, strength, and a renewed loving spirit live within us each day.
A private burial service with immediate family will be held at Glendale Cemetery in Okemos, MI on Saturday, August 6, 2022, at 11:00 am. A Celebration of Life with close friends and family will immediately follow at her daughter Deborah Guthrie’s at 2575 Dustin Rd., Okemos, MI 48864.
In lieu of flowers, donations would be welcome at the following:
- Small Talk Children’s Advocacy Center
3400 Pine Tree Road, Suite 106
Lansing, MI, 48911; or, online at: https://www.smalltalkcac.org/donate
- MSU Safe Place, Attn: Holly Rosen, Director
MSU Safe Place - Mail Processing 166 Service Rd., Room 113A East Lansing, MI 48824
(Please make checks out to Michigan State University and note MSU Safe Place in the check memo line); or, online at: https://givingto.msu.edu/gift/
Type MSU Safe Place in the search field and select “in Memory of”.
Please be sure to sign the online guestbook.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.grlansing.com for the Guthrie family.
Our thanks to daughter Deborah Guthrie for her assistance in creating this article.