INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — If you ever needed a place to host a fundraiser — whether it be in the name of astronomy, classical music, education or several other worthwhile endeavors — Paul Guttman was your man.
“His sense of humor and enthusiasm made him an unforgettable host,” said Paul’s son, Erik Guttman. “At the same time, his keen and creative mind led him ever onward to new ventures in business, recreation and fields of knowledge.”
Guttman, a well-known Incline Village local whose passions for the environment, education and energy conservation were as generous as his philanthropic lifestyle, died Aug. 16 in a plane crash in Northern Nevada. He was 72.
Guttman and fellow Incline resident William Bohn were flying in a single-engine Urban Air Samba XXL plane when it crashed for unknown reasons in Misfits Flat, near Stagecoach, Nev., east of Carson City and Dayton. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.
Bohn, who held an illustrious career as an architect and imagineer with the Walt Disney Company, also died in the wreck. He was 63.
Born in Carmichael, Calif., Guttman graduated from UC Berkeley in 1963 and UC San Francisco in 1967 as a medical doctor. He worked in the public health sector, serving with the U.S. National Geodedic Survey during the Vietnam War as an assistant ship’s surgeon.
He had a private medical practice in San Francisco from 1969-81 and continued working as a radiologist in various practices and hospitals before retiring in 2006. Guttman’s best medical work was helping pioneer the diagnostic use of Ultrasounds in the mid 70s.
He started several businesses over the years, and he was active in charity, most notably donating a tomography device to Jerusalem University Hospital in the name of his mother, Lila Guttman; and starting the nonprofit organization Space Science for Schools in 2002 in Incline Village.
“My father would enter a new activity with such enthusiasm and energy that soon he would be speaking to leaders in the field,” Erik Guttman said.
Paul Guttman also was a passionate driver (race and touring), cyclist, sailor and pilot. Other hobbies included photography, astronomy and electronics.
He was actively involved in issues in Incline Village and Lake Tahoe, frequently taking stances on light pollution and energy conservation; promoting education; and fostering local arts, particularly with the Toccata-Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.
Often Guttman would offer his Incline home to host lavish soirees for Toccata, and he was scheduled to do so on Sunday, Sept. 8, to help raise funds for the nonprofit music organization’s annual 9/11 memorial concerts.
Instead, Toccata will host a free concert in Guttman’s honor at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 8 at St. Patrick’s Church in Incline Village. Donations collected will go toward the newly created Paul Guttman Concert Series, scheduled for February or March 2014.
“We are all still in shock and mourning the tragic and sudden death of our dear friend Paul Guttman,” said James Rawie, Toccata’s artistic director.
Guttman is survived by his brother, Alan; sons Erik and Mark; daughter Sarah; and several grandchildren, nephews and nieces.
“He had unflagging commitment to his children,” Erik Guttman said. “He combined a rigorous life of work, personal pursuits, entrepreneurship, civic engagement and family in a unique manner that inspired all who know him.”
Memorial services for Guttman will take place at Oakmont Memorial Park in Lafayette, Calif., at 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 30. Memorial donations may be made to Space Science for Schools. Visit www.ss4s.org for information.
A celebration of Bohn’s life was held last weekend in Incline Village. He and his wife, Eileen, moved to the community as full-time residents in 2006.
Born in Missouri, Bohn formerly worked as an architect with the Airstream Corporation, and for 18 years with Walt Disney’s WED Enterprises as an imagineer, helping design projects for Disneyland, Disney World, Epcot Center, Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo DisneySea.
He went on become the senior industrial designer for Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, Calif., working on such large-budget projects as the Indiana Jones Adventure rides and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Bohn enjoyed vintage auto racing and flying, as well as skiing, hiking and backpacking, cross-country skiing, kayaking and off-road biking.
“It is important to keep the lake pure. We love our community,” Bohn said in a 2008 North Lake Tahoe Bonanza story.
He also was involved in many social events at Tahoe, including the Lake Tahoe SummerFest Board of Directors and Sierra Nevada College Community Outreach Board.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks those to remember Bohn by donating to the charity of your choice.