Melissa Guthrie, wife of the founder of Alabama fried chicken chain Guthrie’s, dies

Alabama News


Christmas Day
December 25 2021 12:00 am

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Two years after her husband’s death, the matriarch of a longtime Alabama fast food chain has died.

Friday morning the company confirmed Melissa Savannah Guthrie, wife of Guthrie’s founder Hal Guthrie, died Tuesday at 77 years old.

“She was the matriarch of the Guthrie family and played a vital role in every aspect of their lives,” a statement on the restaurant’s Facebook page read. “Melissa was the wife of the founder of Guthrie’s, Hal Guthrie. She was instrumental in developing the Guthrie’s brand. Melissa’s faithfulness to the Lord was evident in her unending generosity to her family, her church, and her community. She was known as a prayer warrior to many.”

Hal Guthrie opened his first restaurant in Haleyville in 1965. Over the years, the chain expanded to include over 40 restaurants across Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida.

“We just try to give people a good product and good price,” son Hud Guthrie said following the death of Hal Guthrie in October 2019. “That’s what he always believed in.”

Melissa Guthrie, who grew up in Oakman, graduated from the University of Alabama with a master’s degree in education, teaching elementary school for many years.

“Melissa will be missed by so many, but her legacy of deep gratitude, encouragement and love of Jesus Christ will live on for generations to come,” the statement read.

Visitation will be held at the First Baptist Church in Haleyville on Nov. 15, 2021 at 11 a.m., and the funeral will begin at noon.

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