Steve Guinn, Ph. D.: In Memoriam

September 7, 2021

After a long and valiant battle with cancer, we are saddened to share that longtime Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Board Member and Fallingwater Advisory Council Member Steve Guinn, Ph.D. passed away September 1, 2021. He was 73.

Conservancy staff and fellow board members described Steve as a kind, thoughtful, and caring, a wonderful person who consistently took time out of his busy schedule to support the causes he cared so passionately about, including helping people, nature and Fallingwater thrive.

Steve had served on the Conservancy board since 2008 and from 2010-2015 led the Conservancy’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign, Our Shared Legacy, which raised $59 million in private funding for land protection, watershed restoration, urban greening and Fallingwater efforts. He also served on the board’s nominating committee and was a member of the Fallingwater Advisory Committee. He was generous in sharing his expertise and best practices in the areas of management and leadership development. But long before his board service, starting in 1983, he and his wife Kathi were Conservancy members.

Kind, soft-spoken, hard-working, funny in a gentle way, generous and always good to be with are the words Tom Saunders, the Conservancy’s president and CEO, used to describe Steve’s demeanor and presence, that made him an indelible part of the Conservancy family.

“The Conservancy’s an unusual place because the people are so special. Steve was a part of that. He chaired our campaign, with huge results, but with humility all along the way. I think everyone who spent time with him found him to be supportive — of WPC and everyone he knew personally. He was a gem. We will miss Steve very much,” Tom adds.

As a member of the Fallingwater Advisory Committee, which is made up of private individuals committed to the preservation of Fallingwater, Steve helped share Fallingwater with the world. He has also been a member of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation for many years.

When Fallingwater was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2019, Steve said, “Achieving the World Heritage designation confirms the wisdom of Edgar Kaufman jr, in choosing WPC to be responsible for the assets and potential of Fallingwater into the future. WPC has shown excellent stewardship for Fallingwater in choosing wise and capable leaders such as Lynda Waggoner and Justin Gunther to guide the preservation and potential of this world class Western Pennsylvania architectural site.”

Steve retired from PSP Metrics in early 2021, a Pittsburgh-based consulting firm, where he was the owner and managing partner. He is survived by his devoted wife, Kathleen “Kathi,” their daughter, Shanan, and extended family members — to whom the Conservancy staff, board and advisory committee members extend their sincere condolences.

Steve’s obituary highlights his leadership and contributions to his family, service to others and our region. Friends and family are invited to honor Steve at a celebration of life ceremony from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12, at the Fox Chapel Golf Club located at 426 Fox Chapel Road in Pittsburgh.