Donald Edward Guizzo Oct. 21, 1936 – Feb. 15, 2020
March 12, 2020
SWAN VALLEY - Donald "Geez" Edward Guizzo, 83 of Swan Valley, joined our Holy Father on Saturday, Feb. 15 with his loving wife and daughters by his side at North Idaho Advanced Care Center. Taking an obvious risk by undergoing cardiac bypass open-heart surgery, with the intent of returning the gift of extended life to be shared with his adored wife and family, he fought a great battle.
Donald was born Oct. 21, 1936 in Comet, Mont. to Ralph and Martha Guizzo. His Italian parents quickly moved Don and his only sibling LeRoy to Butte, Mont. to seek richer opportunities. Don graduated from Butte High School, to find himself employed for a prestigious mining facility, known as the Anaconda Copper Company for 12 years. After working for more than a decade and faced with declining copper demand, Don joined the Army National Guard. He committed to service for six years.
In 1964, he moved to Condon, Mont. With hard work and determination, qualities that were important to him, he labored at Pyramid Lumber Company, Gray's Lumber Mill, Neil Meyer's Portable Saw Mill (making 2 x 4s), building log homes and was employed one season for the Forest Service as a Fire Prevention Guard. His strong work ethic gained him trust as a caretaker on a 320 acre horse ranch and foreman of a large crew. Don also worked as a custodian at the Swan River School and was on the Swan Valley Elementary School board for several years.
Don's loyalty to his children from his first marriage and his love-affair for Swan Valley pushed him with more purpose to find allegiance with Swan River Youth Forest Camp. He took a position as a counselor for troubled youth. Don's upbringing in the Butte boxing community fueled him to pioneer, with the help of his co-workers, a successful boxing program to help detour the anguish harbored within his "juvenile delinquents." Through the SRYFC's many transitions, Don held various positions with the State of Montana: counselor, anger management advisory, drill sergeant, high security guard and boxing coach. Sergeant Guizzo ultimately finished out his career at the largest correctional facility in the state, Montana State Prison, located in Deer Lodge, Mont. "Geez" was known as a tough and uncompromising man and his superior commitment granted him retirement after 31 years.
In the summer of 1981, Linda Styler, daughter of Herbert and Leona Styler, stole Don's heart at a dance held at the Swan Valley Community Hall. Don and Linda were married in Coeur D'Alene in 1983. He had found the love of his life. He remained steadfast in his relationship with Linda "Louie" and committedly helped her raise her four children in Condon. "Best move I ever made, no regrets" – he said. He lived in the Swan for 55 years.
Don looked forward to his daily walk with his dog. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and always surrounded himself in the great outdoors. He was intrigued by the history of the Indian Tribes of North America and you would often find him engulfed in a "Cowboy and Indian" movie. Don loved Rock and Roll music and could "cut a rug" on the dance floor when a singer took to the stage! He liked to travel by way of car to visit museums and historic sites, scenic attractions and take family vacations. Over the years his stubbornness softened and he relished family traditions.
He was preceded in death by: his parents Ralph and Martha; his brother LeRoy Guizzo; his daughter Debbie Guizzo and his grandson Kyle Thompson.
Don leaves to cherish his loving memory: his beloved wife Linda Guizzo; his nephew Randy (Sharon) Guizzo, his nieces Vicki Guizzo (LeRoy Dougdale) and Carol (Randy) Walter; his sister-in-law Blanche (Ray) Lapham; his children Theresa Entzel, Donnie Guizzo, Debora (Tiger) Hulett, Darcy (Jeff) Stewart, Martin Thompson and Tracy Zebarth; his grandchildren Maria (David) Renlund, Natasha Entzel, Timothy (Priscila) Entzel, Tyrel Hulett, Cody (Brittney) Hulett, Chance Hulett, Dawson Zebarth, Xander Zebarth; his great niece and nephew Nicole Guizzo and Colton (Keya) Walter; his great great niece and nephew Haisley and Calvin Walter; and his great grandchildren Rylan, Colby, Stetson and Carson.
Sincere thanks go out to the NIC staff at St. Patricks Hospital and North Idaho Advance Care Center for their dedicated care and constant efforts to make Don as comfortable as possible.
Family, friends and others whose lives Donald touched are invited to a Catholic mass lead by Father Craig Hanley in Butte, Mont. at St. Ann's Catholic Church Saturday, March 14 at 11 a.m. A luncheon will be held immediately following the service.
A more casual "Celebration of Life" will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 28 at the Swan Valley Community Hall (Hwy 83, MM 42.5) in Condon.