Martha Guson

Obituary of Martha Guson

Martha A. Guson

Olean, NY Martha A. Guson of 705 West Henley St., a longtime resident of Olean, died on Tuesday January 17, 2017. It was her 100th birthday, and earlier in the day friends and family members had gathered to mark the occasion with her.

Mrs. Guson was the wife of Professor S. John Guson, who enjoyed a long career as the head of the School of Business at St. Bonaventure University. They began their married life in Olean shortly after their wedding in June 1944, held in the chapel of what was then St. Bonaventure College. Mr. Guson predeceased her, in 2006.

A graduate of Fredonia State Teachers College, Mrs. Guson was a classical musician of voice, in addition to playing five instruments. She was supervisor of vocal music in the Eden, New York, high school before her marriage. After marrying, she gave private vocal music instruction in her home until 2015.

Mrs. Guson was an ardent supporter of Olean’s Civic Music Society and Friends of Good Music, which she helped to establish. On several occasions she and her husband hosted receptions in their home for singers who were performing in Olean, including opera legends Robert Merrill and Beverly Sills.

For many years, Mrs. Guson also hosted receptions for the pastors of St. Mary of the Angels Church, where she was a parishioner. In addition, she hosted the reception marking the ordination of Fr. Lawrence Ford, O.F.M., who is scheduled to celebrate her burial Mass. Mrs. Guson and her husband were affiliated into the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, Order of Friars Minor, in 1988.

Mrs. Guson was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and was also an antiques dealer for many years. She became a familiar and welcome figure at the auctions of the Robert C. Eldred Company on Cape Cod, where she and her husband spent many summers with their younger daughters.

Martha Elizabeth Aud was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, on January 17, 1917. Her family moved to Silver Creek, New York, where she and her two brothers spent their childhood. Both brothers, Lt. Col. James Aud and Rev. Joseph Zachary Aud, predeceased her.

She is survived by her daughters Rosanne Nasky, Denise Guson and Mim Harrison, along with several nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held for her at St. Bonaventure University Chapel on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. The family will be present to receive friends there beginning at 9:00 a.m. Burial will follow in St. Bonaventure Cemetery, next to her husband.

The Casey, Halwig & Hartle Funeral Home, Olean is handling the arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at