Memorial planned for Gov. Guinn
LAS VEGAS (AP) – A state police motorcade accompanied the body of former Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn from the Clark County coroner’s office to a funeral home in downtown Las Vegas on Friday as family members made plans for a funeral service.
The 73-year-old moderate Republican died Thursday after a fall from the roof of his Las Vegas home, where he was making repairs.
Guinn’s son, Jeff, told reporters Friday evening that his mother, Dema Guinn, wanted to make sure everyone knew they were “humbled and extremely grateful for the incredible outpouring of support” they have received.
“As you can imagine, our father’s passing came as a terrible shock, and we are still trying to come to terms with that loss,” Jeff Guinn told a brief news conference on the front lawn of the family’s home.
Jeff Guinn was joined by his brother, Steve, and Pete Ernaut, a family friend and former chief of staff to the governor.
“Please know that my family and I are touched by the hundreds of e-mails and phone calls we have received in that short time. They serve as a reminder of how beloved our father was by people from all parts of our state and community. We thank you for your support and for the respect you have shown for our privacy,” Jeff Guinn said.
Among those calling Guinn’s widow, Dema, to express their sympathy were former President George W. Bush and his wife, Ernaut said.
Ernaut said a viewing is scheduled at 7 p.m. Monday at St. Joseph, Husband of Mary Catholic Church in Las Vegas. A funeral Mass is scheduled there at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Ernaut said the family was told by the Clark County’s Coroner’s Office that it will take up to two weeks to complete tests to determine an official cause of death.
Guinn’s family is asking that donations be made in his honor to a memorial fund to help pay tuition costs for Nevada students. They asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Kenny C. Guinn Memorial Millennium Scholarship Fund at the state treasurer’s office.
In 1999, Guinn pushed the Legislature to approve his Millennium Scholarship program, which uses tobacco company settlement funds to help Nevada students pay for their college costs at state schools.
Guinn was the popular predecessor to current Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons.
He’s remembered as an educator and former Clark County school superintendent, millionaire bank chairman and two-term governor.
His tenure marked a time of rapid growth and prosperity in a state now facing huge budget deficits, record unemployment and high home foreclosures.