Ex-Dayton ad exec known as 'Dad' in 'Cathy' comic strip dies

The gentleman who inspired the character of “Dad” in the popular comic strip, “Cathy,” died this week in Sarasota, Florida.

William Lee Guisewite, who spent much of his career in Dayton as an advertising executive, died Jan. 25 at age 94. He is survived by his wife, Anne; daughters Mary Anne Nagy, Cathy Guisewite and Mickey Guisewite, and his grandchildren and sons-in-law.

His family said that being on the comic pages of his hometown newspaper, the “Dayton Daily News” was a “great joy for Bill” for many years.

A performer in high school and at Kent State University, Mr. Guisewite joined Stan Mouse — who later became vice president and general manager of WHIO-TV and Radio and president of Cox Broadcasting — to create a comedy song and dance team called Guisewite & Mouse. The pair wrote, produced, directed and acted in “No Time For Classes,” performed at Kent State for years.

Mr. Guisewite’s advertising career began in Dayton when he became a partner in Church & Guisewite Advertising. After moving to Midland, Michigan, where he was President, CEO of C&G Graphics, he returned to Dayton to become President and CEO of Willis/Case/Harwood Advertising.

A huge fan of the circus and the theater community when he and his wife retired to Sarasota, Mr. Guisewite also had a lifelong love of baseball and musical theater and a deep faith. He was a member of Shiloh Church in Dayton and Church of the Redeemer in Sarasota.

A funeral service is being held in Florida on Saturday and a burial service with military honors on Feb. 2. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to The Bottomless Toy Chest, P.O. Box 623, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303 (providing toys and activities to pediatric cancer patients) or Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236.

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