After a courageous fight with Small Cell Lung Cancer, Joseph “Smuzzy” Erland Guyer, 68, of Coleraine, passed away October 22, 2020, at his home surrounded by his family. He was born July 18, 1952, to Dale “Doc” and Elma (Jokinen) Guyer in Grand Rapids. His early years were spent in Taconite, Trout Lake, and Holman Location. As a very young child, he believed he was a member of the Taconite Fire Department because they gave him his own hook for his jacket. He attended their meetings regularly. He was also the first to know when the donut man came to restock the Taconite Grocery Store; he would often help unload the truck while getting paid in donuts. Smuzzy graduated from Greenway High School in 1971 and from the Bemidji Area Vocational Technical Institute carpentry program in 1973.
He worked as a carpenter until 1978, when he then became employed as a maintenance millwright for Minnesota Power. Following his 2008 retirement from MP, he worked part-time with Guyer Business Services, Lakeview Cemetery Association, and Martin Gager Plumbing & Heating. Smuzzy also served 20 years as a Coleraine Fire Fighter/First Responder, was an Itasca Ski & Outing Club member, and was a proud Elder of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
In 1979, he married Holly (Hansen) Guyer. They made their home in Coleraine “Mesabi Nation” where they raised Jennie Marie, Dale William, and Trevor Lauren Guyer. He was a loving, supportive husband and father. With all he enjoyed in life, he most highly valued his family time. He worked hard and always made it possible for Holly to work part-time around the kids’ schedules. He was always ready for a challenge, whether it was all-star wrestling in the living room, teaching the kids to fish and hunt, wiping the rust off his skates for either a father-son hockey game or a figure skating show, or strapping on jumping skis and flying like “Eddie the Eagle” at an end-of-the-year ski jumping tournament. His strong work ethic, kind and giving nature, sense of humor, and wit are evident in each of the kids. One accomplishment of which he was especially proud was spending time with family and friends while building Dale’s home – including the three diamonds, catwalks and all.
He was a kind man with many friends. Over the years, he enjoyed sitting around the campfire, fishing with his brother Peanut, picking wild blueberries, spending time with the “Friends of the Whitetail”, being a part of the LOW guys weekends, his and Holly’s most recent travels including combing the beaches with his metal detector for pieces of sunken ships, and working on Sudokus. He loved canning and cooking, especially holiday dinners and old family favorites. He excelled at the Thanksgiving pie making contest against his sisters. As a skilled carpenter, Smuzzy was also known for his excellent problem-solving skills. When asked where he stored all of his knowledge and his various ideas, he would reply, “It’s in the ‘vault’” (while pointing to his head). He was a saver; if you needed it, he probably had it.
Smuzzy is survived by his wife of 41 years, Holly; sons Dale “Doc” of Lawrence Lake and Trevor (JayLee) of Bovey; his sisters Trika (Ken) Smith and Cricket Guyer, both of Coleraine; niece Kendra (Dustin) Arthur (and children Aurelia Marie, Warren, and Abram); and nephew Corey (Amber) Smith and children (Ethan and Carson), along with many others that lovingly called him “Uncle”; brother-in-law Mike Hansen of Crystal Lake, IL; numerous Guyer/Jokinen cousins; and many close friends.
He will forever be in our hearts, and his humor will always color our world. We weren’t ready to let him go, but we find comfort knowing he is now reunited with Jen, his parents, his brother James “Peanut” Guyer, his grandparents, many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
Our family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Provatus and Smuzzy’s exceptional nurses and staff turned friends (telling each he/she was his “favorite”) at the Grand Itasca Infusion Center, Itasca Hospice, Hibbing Radiation Center, and St. Mary’s 8th floor medical team, as well as all who were recently able to visit or call just to check in on him. In lieu of flowers, donations in Smuzzy’s memory to Blandin Employees for Life at GRACF, 350 NW 1st Ave, Suite E, Grand Rapids, MN 55744 would be greatly appreciated.
Arrangements by Peterson’s Funeral Home. Due to COVID-19, a private interment for immediate family will take place at Lakeview Cemetery.
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