Remembering Jim Guidry
Those wishing to send a message regarding Jim
may send an email to News@gGuidryNews.com
James Ray (Jim) Guidry
July 6, 1942 - January 21, 2016
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our owner and publisher, Jim Guidry. Jim was a hands-on, veteran newsman who built his career and the business that carries his name on his sterling reputation for fairness and insistence on honesty, both in his long body of work and in his personal and professional relationships.
Jim embraced all the new technologies of the 21st century and in 1996, the same year that he and Lynda married, he established Guidry News Service in Galveston, Texas. He brought with him more than 40 years in broadcast journalism around the Gulf Coast region; as well as six years of service to the City of Houston, where he established the Public Information Office for the Department of Public Works and later became special assistant to then Mayor Jim McConn. Jim moved to Galveston Island in 1983 and lived there until he and Lynda relocated to Houston in 2009.
Prior to establishing Guidry News Service, Jim served one year as Governmental Liaison for the Galveston Economic Development Corporation and covered local news for radio stations as news director at KGBC Radio in Galveston and as the Galveston corespondent for Houston’s public radio station, KUHF/NPR.
Jim was born, raised and educated in Port Arthur, Texas. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1960 and attended the University of Houston. He inherited from his father an avid interest in following the “news” and at an early age began to haunt the local popular radio station, KOLE. As a teen-aged amateur the experience he was afforded there by staff and management laid the foundation of his life-long career.
That career put him in the company of the community leaders in whatever city he was living. His most formative years in dealing with news content were the mid-1960s through the mid-1980s spent in Houston, Texas. His inherent honesty and sense of fairness laid the foundation for relationships with people from all walks of life that endure to this day.
Jim’s years in Galveston, Texas were initially relaxing until he restarted his radio news reporting work for KGBC Radio on Galveston Island. His love for his work and deep knowledge of the workings of governments made him invaluable to the community and the region for his concise coverage of the very active and colorful political scene centered in Galveston’s county seat.
As a single man, Jim also enjoyed a vast array of friends and social situations and was an avid promoter of Galveston’s many cultural and philanthropic endeavors.
Serving on the boards of various civic organizations also came naturally to Jim; serving as vice president of planning, United Way of Galveston, president of the Downtown Revitalization Committee and executive director of the Galveston Winter Texans Organization throughout the 1990s. He also served on the boards of Old Central Cultural Center, Crimestoppers of Galveston and the Historic Downtown/Strand Partnership.
Jim also became involved in important community organizations on a professional and personal level. He enjoyed being an active member of the Rotary Club of Galveston Island for many years. He served as Program Chair for eight years and was honored to be a Paul Harris Fellow and served his club as President in 1996, the same year that he married Lynda Weatherford and founded Guidry New Service.
In 2009, Jim and Lynda relocated to Houston in what is now known as Midtown, just blocks from where he began his radio career at KULF, where he pioneered the development of modern broadcast techniques utilizing cassette recorders and became known as the “dean” of Houston’s City Hall News Corps.
His involvement in covering regional news had grown with his business to encompass daily coverage of Harris, Galveston, Brazoria, Fort Bend and Jefferson counties.
Guidry News also focused much of its attention on Bay Area Houston, the home of NASA and the very important petrochemical complex and shipping industries. Being able to always see the “big picture”, Jim had particular interest in the work of port authorities and transportation issues.
Jim was 73 years old and until his recent health crises his primary passions were reporting “what happened”, fairly and accurately and his love affair with Lynda, his wife of twenty years.
He made more friends than can be counted from his years of working around the region. His keen wit and kind, gentlemanly ways will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
Jim died at home in Houston, Texas with Lynda by his side.
Jim is survived by his wife, Lynda, son Daniel E. Guidry of Galveston, grandson, U.S. Army Capt. Heath Alan Guidry, his wife Megan Smyth Guidry and great granddaughter, Arya Lynda Guidry of Fort Sill, OK., grandson James Guidry, a sister, Betty Payne (Robert Payne), and two brothers, Carl Guidry (Nettie) and Don Guidry (Juanita) and many nieces and nephews. Jim was predeceased by father Joseph Romual Guidry, mother Mary Sylvania Patin Guidry and brother Edward Guidry.
Jim’s “right hand man”, managing editor Garrett Bryce and contributing reporters John David Suayan, Juan Peña, Robert Mihovil, Lora-Marie Bernard, Jennifer Olin and Russell Owen carry the mantle in his name, for which he was immensely proud and grateful.
Heartfelt appreciation also goes to Dr. Eme Agomo, family friend, for his counsel and personal commitment to Jim's care, and to the friends and relatives who lovingly assisted in his care.
Jim chose to be cremated, with a private ceremony for family.
A Memorial Gathering was held on Monday, February 29, 2016 at The Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston, Texas. A recording of the speakers is here Listen (1:12:50)
Memorial contributions may be made in Jim’s honor benefiting The Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston, TX., Ronald McDonald House in Galveston, TX., Abiding Faith Baptist Church in Baytown, TX., or a charity of your choice and would be much appreciated.
Condolences may be sent to Lynda Guidry at 4001 Fannin Street, Suite 4432, Houston, TX. 77004.
Below are messages sent from friends and associates of Jim Guidry and Guidry News Service on Jim's passing.
Yolanda Navarro Flores
Thank you for posting Jim Guidry's history.
Today, I received an email which had a link to your site. I read it, and began wondering how the site was developed.
Then, I notice the picture of Mr. Guidry. I clicked on it and found a wonderful memorial to him.
Again, thank you for sharing the history of a very fine man.
With deepest admiration,
Yolanda Navarro Flores
Jim taught me a lot in my first days of news reporting in Houston. He guided me through the politics of City Hall and Commissioners Court. And in the early 1970's, Jim and I traveled together the road from Galveston to Port Arthur to cover a hurricane. It was my first hurricane reporting, as Jim worked for KXYZ and I KULF. We dodged rain, falling trees and flying awnings. It was great! It was one of my highlights of my reporting on the news of Houston.
As a former colleague of Jim's at KTHT Radio in Houston, I know what a genuinely good person and talented broadcaster/newsman he was.
He will be missed by many more than will ever be know.
God Bless and Rest in Peace.
Joan Hoffman Eakin
Is it really possible two decades have passed since he began The Galveston Fax and you all tied the knot? It seems like only yesterday Jim was guiding me through the minefield after he arrived just in the nick of time to the Galveston Economic Development Corporation. (I walked into so many pools of quicksand before he showed up). When he broached the subject of a newsletter based on a public forum, I told him flat out: Bad Idea. It meant losing him, and I still had so very much to learn. But off he went, whistling to his own tune.
I sought his counsel regardless. And he was willing to oblige.
Jim was conscientious and ethical, yes, but he was wise beyond belief when it came to the inner workings of politics. He taught me how to dance within those metrics. Luckily, coming from a big family, I already knew to keep my independence. Jim knew as well. Folks soon learned not to mess w/Guidry Fax because, let's face it, The Fax is the facts.
He’d sit through hours of (often contentious) bantering and then boil it down to a few salient paragraphs offering no more than old-style journalism at its finest. Community leaders could consume The Fax at their leisure, just as long as it was before morning coffee. I remember when The Fax became required reading for businessmen and even recall copies floating around meetings where passages were quoted with vigor.
Made me proud to call Jim Guidry my friend.
I’m grateful for the gifts Jim bestowed during our time together. I have to tell you though, Lynda, you were always his secret weapon. While Jim’s brain was dedicated to his craft, his heart was devoted to you. He told me you were the best thing that ever happened to him.
Jim Guidry will never hear about the monumental impact he had on the communities he loved, and more importantly, those whose lives he touched so deeply. I, for one, think that’s a damn shame. My hope is that you will find solace as you bear witness to the fruits of your combined labors. I don’t know if he could have ever become the man he was had you not been by his side, working stride for stride.
Please give my best to your new family at the Guidry News Service and the folks back on the Island. Yes, I miss my Island. Almost as much as I miss your husband. In Jim, I feel his solid hug and gentle kiss, hello and goodbye.
My deepest hope is that you find comfort in knowing you chose a good mate. It’s the most any of us can ever hope for.
All my Love,
Carol Vaughn, M.S.
Harris County Department of Education
Dear Lynda, Family and Guidry Staff:
We are saddened to hear the news about Jim’s death. We appreciate the community ties we have with Guidry News. Several years ago, Harris County Department of Education honored Guidry News Service with our Media Honor Roll Award. In doing so, I had the opportunity to meet both Jim and Lynda as we presented the award. Jim was a newsman with integrity and community pride. We appreciate him and will always remember the mark he made in greater Harris County. Again, our condolences and prayers are with you.
Carol Vaughn, M.S
Media and Communications Manager,
Harris County Department of Education
Communication and Community Engagement
Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership
To Lynda and the Guidry News family from the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership family,
Lynda, we hope you know how much we have treasured Jim’s and your friendship and support over the years. Your Guidry News family is close knit, but we have always considered you a part of our BAHEP family, as well. Whether we were holding one of our general membership meetings or a holiday get together, we could always count on seeing Jim, with camera hung around his neck, and you there.
Accolades for Jim are pouring in from all corners of Houston and Galveston, and they are well deserved and hard earned over a lifetime of dedication to the people and businesses of this special place in Texas. We could certainly add to those with recounting the many times that Guidry News Service covered BAHEP initiatives that were important to the region and often the nation.
We could do that, but we’d rather just say, “Thank you, Jim and Lynda, for being the kind, loving, and generous people that you are. We will miss you terribly, Jim – your grin, your sense of humor, your intelligence, your integrity, your friendship. Although you’re covering the news someplace else now, you will never be forgotten by the BAHEP family – your family once removed!”
Lynda, please call on us if you should ever need anything. Our doors, and hearts, are always open to you and the Guidry News family.
Your BAHEP family,
Barbara, Bob M., Bob P., C.A., Dan, Elaine, Harriet, Jane, Jimmy, Kathryn, Kim, Richelle, and Vicki
Maureen Patton -
Executive Director, The Grand 1894 Opera House
By now, you've heard the sad news that Jim Guidry, one of The Grand's earliest friends and supporters, has passed away. Jim's wife, Lynda, called me with the news not long after he had died because in her words, he loved our relationship and The Grand and always valued our friendship and partnership. She felt it was very important to make sure I knew as soon as possible. I am honored and humbled by that love and trust.
Most of you would not necessarily be aware of our earliest years and how we struggled to "get the word out" to push for ticket sales. Jim, as a reporter for our long time KGBC radio, made it his goal to stop by, tape recorder in hand and just chat about upcoming events. He initiated those talks regularly and without any prodding from me. We'd find ourselves on the air repeatedly and often with an extra comment from Jim about how Grand we were and how deserving of everyone's attention.
Jim saw us through the toughest times as well as the celebrations of restoration and our Grand Centennial! Large or small event, Jim was there, always at the ready. We celebrated with Jim when he married his beloved Lynda and then his new venture in on-line news. We were among his first "subscribers" and proud of it.
You will hear from others about Jim's dedication to his craft, his belief in our community, his loyalty, dependability, integrity and honesty. Our friend and colleague, Robyn Bushong said that he was a man defined by all those things. Most of all, he was a gentleman in the truest sense of the word and a friend. The Grand is better for having him in our corner.
I know you will join me in keeping Lynda and the staff of Guidry News in your thoughts and prayers. We will all miss him.
Barry Goodman - The Goodman Corporation
Integrity, honesty, entrepreneurial, mercurial, innovative, thoughtful….These are just a few of the attributes that I remember about my friend Jim Guidry. Learning of his passing, after a long struggle back from heart bypass surgery, rehabilitation and, from what many of us thought would be a return to good health, was not a so much a shock but a moment of great sadness. A reminder to all of us who knew and loved Jim, that life is precious and fleeting, and that we can take nothing for granted. Jim surely didn't.
I met him when I first came to Houston in 1974. I was a new recruit for the Fred Hofheinz administration and Jim was a City Hall news reporter and then a special assistant to Mayor Jim McConn. We shared the excitement and challenge of working in the nation’s fastest growing City. We shared the early years when voters decided to create a new transit authority, single member council districts and prepare the City for the onset of “unmanageable” growth. Jim was on the scene then and continued to be on the scene throughout his career.
Jim took a risk when he and his wife and soul mate Lynda were first married and decided to establish Guidry News, a technologically advanced daily news format which focused on the decisions and discussion of our leaders and political bodies in areas that most impacted our lives. Starting out with a few believers and subscribers, with a Galveston focus, Jim and Lynda built Guidry News into a regional powerhouse of useful information brought to your computer, or smart phone long before other media could convey the same information, and in a way that provided more depth and understanding.
Jim's legacy is forever stamped by the integrity he brought to reporting and the media, the creation of a unique way to convey essential information, the love he had for his family and friends, and his unyielding quest for truth and honesty. He will be forever missed, but his memory and lifelong contributions will remain within each of us who knew and loved Jim.
To Guidry News and staff:
My husband and I are so sad to hear about the passing of Galveston's icon in journalism. It just feels so empty knowing Jim is not out there, somewhere doing what he loved and did best. It just felt right and secure knowing Jim was bringing us news about our Island. He was honest and knew what we wanted to know.
He interviewed me once, when the Star Drug Store had refurbished it's old Coca-Cola sign. As the crane lifted the large sign up to be put back in it's place, Jim turned to me with his microphone and asked me how it felt to have the signs back up. I told him it was like having an old friend back.
He said, "Cut, that was perfect!" Unlike the signs, Jim will never be replaced.
Bay Area Transportation Partnership
BayTran extends heartfelt condolences to the family and co-workers of Jim Guidry, Owner and Publisher of the Guidry News Service. Jim Guidry passed away last week following complications from by-pass surgery. Jim was the consummate news reporter and a true gentleman.
For years, with his wife Lynda by his side, Jim provided daily coverage of news and issues that impacted our community. He reported with honesty and integrity, and provided his subscribers with timely updates and in depth coverage of area activities and events. We will miss Jim and will continue to value his legacy
John David Suayan - Guidry News Associate
Dear Mr. Guidry:
It’s not every day that individuals change the lives of others, but you did mine in a very positive way.
Around this time two years ago, the publication I previously worked for went through some major changes. Those changes unfortunately resulted in the elimination of my position.
It was then I chanced upon the Guidry News Service and noticed an ad seeking freelance writers. I thought to myself, “Oh, I can do that.”
My résumé updated, I sent you an e-mail expressing my interest. The rest was history.
I’m not going to go into extensive detail about the work I did for GNS since the University Area Association mayoral candidate forum on Jan. 23, 2014; however, let me just say thank you for allowing me to join a well-respected entity.
You taught me that in an era of clickbait and sensationalization, fairness, honesty, and integrity still hold the utmost importance in journalism. I wanted to do great by you, Mrs. Guidry and Garrett because of the outstanding body of work the organization has produced in the past 20 years.
It’ll take me forever to list the many people who I’ve met who told me wonderful things about you. If anything, I know I’m part of a team that many in the Houston-Galveston community are a fan of.
You have no idea how much I’m going to miss you. I'll do my best to help carry on your legacy.
May the angels lead you in.
and the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region
Dear Lynda and Guidry News Team:
It is with a heavy heart and deepest condolences that I write this note to you.
Jim was a valued community member, friend, and newsman. It was always a joy to have you and Jim attend our events and cover the news of our region.
He was always kind, supportive and willing to share his enlightening viewpoints.
He will be missed.
Lynda, my heart aches for you and I pray that God provides you with peace during your time of grieving. You have family and friends that will surround you with love. I hope you find some comfort in that.
You are always welcome in our “home” at the Economic Alliance, and if there is anything we can do to assist you during this time, don’t hesitate to ask.
Michelle and the Economic Alliance team
Bill Worsham and LJA Engineering
Lynda and Guidry News family,
We were so sorry to hear the news of Jim’s passing. It is obvious from the outpouring of affection and admiration that he and all of you have had a tremendous positive effect on our coastal communities.
Bill Worsham and LJA Engineering
Nancy Schnell - City Shoreacres Alderwoman
Dear Guidry News Family,
I am so saddened to hear of the passing of Jim Guidry. I never had the pleasure to meet Jim in person but I enjoyed our conversations and correspondences throughout the years.
Jim was a man of great character and integrity, wit and charm.
He will be sorely missed.
Our prayers are with the Guidry family both by blood and by news.
"Well done thy good and faithful servant."
Alderwoman Nancy Schnell and Family
I’ve known of few people in my life, now increasingly long, as well liked - and even loved as Jim Guidry. He came to Galveston to retreat from the big city. He made the Island his own, learned its quirky ways, and mastered it. He will be missed.
Bay Area Council on Drugs and Alcohol
On behalf of BACODA, I’d like to share our deepest condolences on the passing of Jim Guidry. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone at Guidry News as well as Mr. Guidry’s family and friends.
Jennifer Newton, CPS
Rolf Pessier and Marie Leterme
to Lynda and the staff,
Please accept our sincere condolences on the loss of Jim Guidry.
Twenty years ago, we had the pleasure of getting to know Jim and Lynda upon starting our adventure in the peculiarities of our little island while proceeding with the rehabilitation of an old building on Market Street, just west of 25th- an area that was still off the map for most BOI .
Jim and Lynda were a valuable resource and most friendly to newcomers.
Jim will be missed.
Keeping Lynda and Jim in our thoughts and prayers,
Rolf Pessier and Marie Leterme
Jim Guidry was an exceptional newsman; he certainly reported the facts, but beyond that he understood what he was reporting. He made sure that his stories covered the breadth and depth of whatever was happening. And Lynda was an amazing partner. I will miss the team.
Jim Guidry was a fine human being…honorable and compassionate, honest and forthright, funny and so full of curiosity. T he world interested him. His was a good life…just too short.