A look back at those who passed away in the Mid-Ohio Valley in 2018

The Mid-Ohio Valley said farewell to local leaders, performers, educators, veterans and community supporters in 2018.

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Ralph Looney, 96, of Parkersburg, died Dec. 23. He was the owner and operator of Ralph’s Market, a Parkersburg supermarket which at one time was the second-largest, single, independent grocery store in West Virginia.

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Robert L. “Bob” Mason, 81, of Parkersburg, died Dec. 18. Mason, who was a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, was a mayor of North Hills.

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Mary Lee Neal, 88, of Williamstown, died Dec. 16 at Marietta Memorial Hospital. A Golden Horseshoe winner of 1944, she served four years on Williamstown City Council where she started the Tree Commission. Neal also served on the Williamstown Planning Commission.

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Roger Wade Allen, 83, died Dec. 15. He was a speech professor at West Virginia University at Parkersburg, where he was a chairman of the Humanities Division. A baseball and football standout at Anderson University, he sang and toured with the CBH Quartet and was active in local community theater and music, most recently performing music with his jazz group, The Prof Trio. Allen performed in local productions of “Man of La Mancha,” “South Pacific,” “The Merry Widow,” “H.M.S. Pinafore,” “The Pirates of Penzance,” and “Eden on the River.”

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Betty Lou Beckner, 75, of Parkersburg, died Nov. 12. She and her husband, the late Jim Beckner, owned The Shirt Factory and Sporting Goods in Parkersburg, opening the store in 1977.

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Greg “Putz” Herwald, 71, of Little Hocking, died Dec. 7. He coached softball, baseball and boys basketball, volunteered with the Boy Scouts and was the football and basketball announcer for Belpre High School from 2002 to 2005.

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Barry L. Deem, 72, Parkersburg, died Nov. 25. A U.S. Marine in the Vietnam War, he once sang with Jim Forshey in the Tribute to Elvis Band.

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Paul Wayne Smith, 73, of Washington, W.Va., died Nov. 23. He was a commissioner for the Lubeck Public Service District.

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Judy Grize, 75, formerly of Marietta, died Nov. 21. After her husband, Douglas, retired from the U.S. Air Force, they settled in Marietta and ran a bed and breakfast, the House on Harmar Hill. She retired to her hometown, Bloissfield, Mich., after her husband died in 2016.

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Jackson Lee Hayes, 70, of Middlebourne, died Nov. 20. Hayes was assessor of Tyler County, first being elected in 2004. He served on Middlebourne City Council and was on the citizens committee to select the site for the Tyler Consolidated schools.

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James Eli Ash, 88, of Alma, died Nov. 3. An inductee in the West Virginia Agriculture and Forestry Hall of Fame, among the honors he received were the West Virginia University College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award; chapter, state and national American Farmer Degrees from the National FFA; the West Virginia FFA’s Distinguished Service Award; the National FFA’s VIP Citation; the Mountaineer Collegiate FFA’s Honorary Mountaineer Lifetime Achievement Award; the Carroll Greene State Supervisor of the Year Award; and Outstanding Senior Citizen of Tyler County.

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Roger K. Hock, 77, of Marietta, died Nov. 2. He was in the U.S. Army’s 113th Army Band at Ft. Knox and the 24th Infantry Division Band in Augsburg, Germany. He directed the American Activities Youth Band and received the Scroll of Appreciation for improving German-American relations. In 1972, Hock organized the 20th Century Ltd., a band which opened for Ike and Tina Turner, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jose Feliciano and Ronnie Spector and the Ronettes. In Boston, Hock performed on trombone with The Four Tops, Fabian, Bobby Rydell, Al Martino, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, Thelma Houston and comedian Foster Brooks. He recorded commercials and documentaries, was a featured solo on Andy Pratt’s first album, appeared with the 20th Century Ltd. on “The Larry Alltop Show” and “The Patty Cassara Show.”

Upon returning to Marietta, Hock became president of the local chapter of the American Federation of Musicians and led the local group, The Brass LTD.

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Donald Eugene Ingold, 84, of Belpre, died Nov. 3. He was actively involved in Masonic groups in West Virginia and Ohio and an honorable member of the Order of Kentucky Colonels. He raced late model, sprint and midget race cars in the 1950s and 60s.

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Carl H. Weisser died Nov. 3 in Homosassa, Fla. He came to Marietta College on the GI Bill, then opened Leo’s Italian Restaurant, offering the first pizza and hoagies in the Marietta area. He also managed the Marietta Country Club.

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Joseph Leo Joyce, 74, of Parkersburg, died Nov. 2. While in the U.S. Air Force, he was among the first to make radio contact with U.S. forces in Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. A graduate of Parkersburg Catholic High School, he coached football, basketball, golf and tennis at Parkersburg South High School for 34 years and coached the Parkersburg Catholic boys tennis teams to back-to-back state championships in 1996 and 1997.

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William Perry Bonar, 87, died Oct. 31. A life-long Democrat, he served on Parkersburg City Council, where he was vice president.

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LeEllen (Pat) Hinkle Moore, 79, of Beverly, died Oct. 31. She learned to fly an airplane before getting a driver’s license, and was a director of patient registration at Marietta Memorial Hospital, receiving the Fenton Award in 1992. She retired from the hospital as director of Patient Financial Services in 2011. She was vice president of the Fort Frye Local Board of Education from 1990 to 1998 and served on the Southeast Ohio Region School Board.

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Rusty Doyle Rinard, 70, of New Matamoras, died Oct. 31. A commander of American Legion Post 378, Rinard was a mayor and past council member of New Matamoras and the fire chief of the Grandview Township Volunteer Fire Department.

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John T. Hoffman, 70, of Ripley, died Oct. 27. Hoffman, who was a Scout Executive with the Boy Scouts of America, was an executive director of Artsbridge in Parkersburg.

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Marcella Ann Chandler Blomberg, 80, of Littlefield, Texas, died Oct. 26. She was active in the Parkersburg Art Center, taught art at St. Joseph Seminary and was commissioned to create the Stations of the Cross and other ceremonial pieces in bronze for St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church. Her liturgical art commissions can be seen in other churches around the country.

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Col. William Frederick Donohoe, 85, of Evans, W.Va., died Oct. 24. He retired from the West Virginia State Police with 35 years of service with the rank of colonel and was a disaster field director for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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Nancy Marilyn (Brown) Sams, 77, of Belpre, died on Oct. 22. Involved in numerous community groups, Sams was instrumental in the Belpre Historical Society Museum and the Farmers Museum.

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Frank Deem, 90, of Vienna, died Oct. 10. Deem served in the West Virginia Legislature in every decade since the 1950s. Deem, who was in the oil and gas industry, was most proud of building the golf course at North Bend State Park. At his memorial service, Deem was eulogized by Sen. Joe Manchin, Rep. David McKinley, former Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Supreme Court Justice Tim Armstead.

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Nancy Borden Hoy, 85, of Marietta, died Oct. 4. She was an avid historian that helped others list property on the National Register of Historic Places. She was a member of the Washington County Historical Society, the League of Women Voters and was a docent at Campus Martius, Fearing House, the Castle and the Anchorage in Marietta. She researched historic sites around Ohio including the West Side of Marietta, the lock system of the Muskingum River and the 88 Ohio courthouses. In 1994, the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office presented her with a Merit Award for leadership in Washington County historic preservation.

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John Cecil Thorne Jr., 83, of Parkersburg, died Sept. 27. He was a plant superintendent at the Ames Co. Plant No. 2.

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Stanley N. Bucklew, 78, of Parkersburg, died Sept. 24. He was a head basketball and golf coach at Parkersburg South High School, owned Bucklew Construction Co. and was a partner in Greenmont Development Inc. and the Westwood Land Co., which developed and built homes in the Westwood Subdivision. Bucklew also was president of the West Virginia State Home Builders Association.

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Daniel Roy Mace, 101, of Elizabeth, died Sept. 18. A football standout, boxer and avid hunter and fisherman, Mace won a seat in the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1962, representing Wirt County. He also was the postmaster in Elizabeth until 1979 when he retired.

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Thomas M. Sharp, 70, of Parkersburg, died Sept. 12. He was a highly decorated veteran, serving three tours of duty in Vietnam, and received a Silver Star, the third-highest decoration for valor, a Bronze Star, Purple Heart Second Award, Cross of Gallantry, the Army Accommodations Medal, Army Air Medal, Good Conduct Award-Second Award, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Award (five), National Defense Medal, Master Parachuters Badge and Combat Infantry Badge.

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Edwin “Ed” Paul Ellyson, 60, of Washington, W.Va., died Sept. 9. He was a three-time West Virginia sporting clay champion.

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Gary R. Armacost, 79, of Parkersburg, died Sept. 6. He owned and operated the Midas Service Center in Parkersburg for over 30 years and owned Midas franchises in Marietta and Beckley.

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Phil Davis, 74, of Pennsboro, died Sept. 4. He was a member of the Ritchie County Historical Society, a two-term chairman and member of the Ritchie County Republican Executive Committee, member of the West Virginia Republican Executive Committee, a member of the state 2nd Senatorial Republican Executive Committee and a member of the state 7th Delegate Republican Executive Committee.

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Robert “Bob” Paul Jackson, 74, died Sept. 3. He was a county commissioner in Ritchie County and was the presiding officer in the Stewarts Run Hunting Club, which included the late Bill Stewart, head football coach at West Virginia University.

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The Rev. (Pastor) Donald Eugene Matheny of Parkersburg died on Sept. 3. He pastored numerous churches and after retiring was West Virginia representative to the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches and the Freedom Fellowship.

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Charles George (“Chuck”) Eliopulos, 84, died Aug. 28. He was director of the Physical Therapy Department at the former St. Joseph’s Hospital in Parkersburg, was a trainer for the Parkersburg High School Big Reds football team for numerous years and was a volunteer trainer for the U.S. Olympic Rowing Team.

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Gregory Todd Farnsworth, 55, of Williamstown, died Aug. 23. He was an executive chef at the Marietta Country Club.

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William Glen Bunner, 80, of Mineral Wells, died Aug. 21. He was a president of the West Virginia Bass Festival and headed the school program, Hooked on Fishing Not Drugs.

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Sonny Bidwell, 56, of Beverly, died Aug. 6. He was the baseball coach at Fort Frye High School, former football coach and a teacher in the Fort Frye school district for 34 years. He surpassed 300 career wins as a baseball coach in 2016, coached Fort Frye into the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference championship game the past four seasons, winning the title in 2017 and 2018, as well as 2005. Fort Frye won 13 Pioneer Valley Conference championships and 10 sectional championships under Bidwell.

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Terry B. Ball, 64, of St. Marys, died Aug. 4. Ball was on the Pleasants County Board of Education.

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Terry Lee Miller, 71, of Charleston, died July 31. Miller retired from the Wood County Sheriff’s Department as a lieutenant. Under former Gov. Joe Manchin, he was director of Homeland Security and was the executive director of the Regional Jail Authority.

Miller was the president of the West Virginia Deputy Sheriffs Association for more than 16 years, served on the Governor’s Law Enforcement Training subcommittee, was president of the Wood County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and was a vice president, secretary and chaplain of the Fraternal Order of Police, Blennerhassett Lodge 79 in Parkersburg and served on the Consolidated Public Retirement Board, where he met with his wife, Terasa. He had to resign from the board for her to agree to go on a date.

He lobbied the Legislature on behalf of issues for law enforcement officers and was involved in the establishment of the West Virginia Deputy Sheriff Retirement System adopted in 1998.

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Dorothy “Dottie” June Cox of Ravenswood died July 25. She was a sociology and psychology professor at West Virginia State College and West Virginia University at Parkersburg.

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Valerie J. Adkins, 51, of Marietta, died July 20. She was an ambassador for the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce and Ambassador of the Year in 2017.

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Clement D. Dowler , 94, of Washington, W.Va., died July 20. At the age of 18, Dowler was a ball turret gunner in the U.S. Army Air Corps whose plane was shot down in 1944 over German-occupied France. Dowler bailed out of the plane, broke his ankle upon landing and for five months evaded enemy forces. He fought with French Resistance units before he was reunited with the American army and the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Dowler earned a Purple Heart, an Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three Bronze Stars, the World War II Victory Medal and the Army Good Conduct Medal. In 2014, Dowler received the French Legion of Honor, and in 2017 received the Office of Strategic Services Society’s Distinguished Service Award.

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Patricia J. “Patty” Christopher, 82, of Waterford, died July 19. A former school teacher, Christopher wrote a cooking column for The Parkersburg News and Sentinel for decades.

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Furman Earl “Pony” Souther, 94, of Vienna, died July 10. Souther was in his teens when he helped to organize the Juvenile Jug Band that performed on WPAR in Parkersburg and other radio stations in Ohio and Kentucky. He was a singer and a comedian in the band. He served in World War II in an anti-aircraft battalion and then with the combat engineers in the European Theater of Operations.

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Stephen Andrew Dixon, 60, of Marietta, died July 6. Dixon was a magician who performed many years in the region, devoting himself to the trade after he retired from Chevron. A member of Magic Ring No. 97, he performed at the White House, the Greenbrier Resort and the Kentucky Derby.

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Todd Stubbe, 48, died July 4. A local musician and actor, Stubbe purchased the Dils Center in hopes of returning the former meeting facility into a destination in downtown Parkersburg.

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Eric Bumgardner, 57, of Williamstown, died June 28. He was the chief operator at the Water Department in Parkersburg and was the assistant manager of the Parkersburg Utility Board, from which he retired a few weeks before passing.

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Ronald L. Chapman, 78, of Ripley, died June 27. He was an assistant prosecuting attorney for Jackson County; served with the Judge Advocate General Corps in West Germany as chief defense counsel, chief prosecutor and chief of legal assistance and claims; was senior counsel with the West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Fund, was an assistant attorney general for the State of West Virginia and was an administrative law judge with the Office of Hearings and Appeals, Social Security Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in Charleston.

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James A. Cochrane, 65, of Parkersburg, died June 11. Cochrane was the founder of RCDI, a development company involved in several major projects in Wood County in recent years, including the Patriot Center in South Parkersburg, Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart in Vienna and Lowe’s.

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Jerry Traylor, 63, died on June 10. Traylor was a motivational speaker and writer with cerebral palsy who overcame the disability to run marathons. Traylor, who once lived in Parkersburg, was included in “The American Character” by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. He spoke to more than a million people, encouraging them to use their talents to help others.

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Lawrence Edward “Corky” McCorkle, 69, of Ravenswood, died June 3. He was a treasurer of the Ravenswood Development Authority.

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Jeanne Hall Strecker Edwards, 94, died May 26. She was among the organizers of the Franciscan Meal program in Marietta, was a docent for The Castle and was one of the first two women to serve on the YMCA Board of Directors.

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Marden “Marty” W. Gilchrist, 76, of Coolville, died May 19. Gilchrist, a veteran of the U.S. Army, was the veteran affairs officer in Wood County for more than 29 years.

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Dr. John Michel, 78, of Marietta, died May 15. He was a distinguished professor emeritus of mathematics at Marietta College, where he was chairman of the Department of Mathematics for nine years and wrote the National Science Foundation grant that helped fund computers and software for the department’s first calculus computer labs. He was twice selected as an Edward G. Harness Fellow, awarded on the basis of excellence in teaching. His many and diverse contributions to the college were formally recognized when he received the Marietta College Service Award in 2002. He retired from the college in 2004.

The Mathematical Association of America recognized Dr. Michel as its 2009 recipient of the Certificate of Meritorious Service. He co-founded Ohio NExT, a special mentoring program for young math faculty.

He worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he met his wife, Kay Tilley, on the first Mars flyby mission; was a JPL consultant on the Cassini mission to Saturn, the Mars 2003 lander/rover mission and several deep-space probes including Voyager.

After rockets were downsized following the Challenger explosion, Michel’s team came up with an alternate path for the Galileo mission to Jupiter. The probe was launched toward Venus, where it picked up speed as it circled the planet, gathered more speed through a gravity assist when it passed Earth and then on to Jupiter where it arrived in 1996 after a six-year journey. The team received the NASA Group Achievement Award for the solution.

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Ron Roberts, 84, died May 6. Roberts worked for Marbon, Borg-Warner and GE Plastics for 39 years and was involved in economic development initiatives in the region. He was on the boards of numerous organizations including SW Resources, the former Camden Clark Memorial Hospital, the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley.

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William “Bill” McClure, 68, of Parkersburg, died April 28. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, McClure retired from WTAP-TV where he was the master control supervisor for 20 years. He was president for 12 of the 23 years he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Mid-Ohio Valley Transit Authority.

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Kathleen “Kathy” Elaine Morton, 59, of Parkersburg, died April 28. She held positions with the Daughters of the American Revolution including state vice regent and chapter regent, and was a senior leader in the Children of the American Revolution, where she was an honorary senior state president in West Virginia, senior national chaplain, senior national recording secretary, senior national registrar, senior national vice president for the Mid-Southern Region and honorary senior national vice president.

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Frederick “Dean” Carter, 82, of Ravenswood, died April 17. He was active in the community with numerous organizations including Adopt-A-Family, Ravenswood Jaycees, Ravenswood High School Band Boosters, the Ohio River Festival, the Ravenswood High School Parent Advisory Committee and the Boy Scouts of America. Carter had also received the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls Grand Cross of Color.

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C. Brooks Harper, 79, of Marietta, died April 15. Harper was a Marietta City Councilman and was council president until he became mayor by succession when Nancy Hollister became Ohio’s lieutenant governor. A decorated Mason, Harper was president of the Harmar Bridge Co., the nonprofit organization that cares for the historic swivel bridge that spans the Muskingum River and connects the West Side with downtown Marietta. As president, it was Harper’s duty to turn the bridge once a year, or when needed.

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Dean A. Ketelsen, 66, died April 13. Ketelsen was a retired deputy sheriff for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office where he was a captain. Ketelsen was among the chief organizers of Project Lifesaver in Washington County.

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Ellen Adaline Brown, 90, of Vienna, died April 10. Brown retired as executive director of what was known until the early ’90s as the West Virginia Association for Retarded Citizens.

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Harry Fleming, 69, of Marietta, died April 2. Fleming was superintendent of Marietta City Schools from 2011 to 2015 and of Belpre City Schools for seven years before that, following a career in numerous positions in the Marietta district. Fleming spearheaded Belpre’s inclusion into the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative, which shares resources and new technology for the classroom.

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Jerry Burns, 77, of Parkersburg, died April 1. He served 10 years as the maintenance supervisor for the City of Parkersburg after he retired from McClinton Chevrolet, where he worked 42 years. Burns also was president of the Parkersburg South High School wrestling boosters.

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Bill Arden Mullins, 77, of Spencer, died March 31. A plane and helicopter pilot and flight instructor, he received the Wright Brothers Master Pilot award from the Federal Aviation Administration for 50 years of service.

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J.R. Hill, 70, of Davisville, died March 24. Hill was well-known among outdoorsmen as the game biologist for the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources Region 6 in Parkersburg. He retired after 38 years of service.

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Paul R. Westfall of Parkersburg died March 17. A professional engineer and U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, Westfall retired as manager of projects in central engineering at the former Borg-Warner Woodmar Plant in Wood County. He was a president of the Parkersburg Utility Board and was president of the West Virginia Society Society of Professional Engineers. He was West Virginia Engineer of the Year in 1992.

Westfall served on numerous local organizations, including the Allohak Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the United Way, the Salvation Army and on advisory and search committees at the former Parkersburg Community College.

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James L. “Jimbo” Bauer, 65, of Marietta, died March 14 at Riverside 181, the Front Street bar he bought in 2004 and which served as a popular hangout for Marietta College students.

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John Richard “Buzz” Buzzard, 86, died March 13. He was the quarterback on the Marietta High School Tiger football team that beat Parkersburg High School 7-0 in 1948.

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Edward Pitner Sr., 93, of Marietta, died March 10. A U.S. Army veteran who landed on Omaha Beach in World War II, he retired as a teacher from the former Parkersburg Community College in 1989, was an artist and member of the Ohio Arts and Crafts Guild, taught nature survival classes and founded a Poison Control Center in Parkersburg.

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Mary Lucille “Lucy” Bays, 102, of Parkersburg died March 9. She was a graduate of Parkersburg High School where she was a member of the school’s first A Capella Choir.

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Donald Leslie Jones, 82, of Marietta, died March 8. He was an assistant in the office of the Ohio Attorney General, then was prosecuting attorney of Washington County from 1972-1980.

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Mary “Jane” LeRow, 86, of Parkersburg, died March 8. She was an extension agent in Wood County, helped develop several events including the Honey Festival and Parkersburg Homecoming and was on the board of directors of many organizations.

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Everett Amos “Bud” Hostottle, 82, of Waverly, died March 6. The retired DuPonter was among the founders of the Waverly Volunteer Fire Department.

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Nicholas Charles Brooker, 47, of Belpre, died March 6. He was a technical director at WTAP-TV in Parkersburg.

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Joseph H. Quick, 84, of Vienna, died Feb. 18. He was the pipe major of the Pipes and Drums of St. Andrew and taught many students to play the bagpipes. A talented woodworker, he was a Master Mason and belonged to the Sons of the American Revolution.

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Edwin A. Davis, 87, of St. Marys, died on Feb. 15. He retired as the Pleasants County Schools Director of Transportation. Davis was a chief of the St. Marys Volunteer Fire Department and a member of the State School Bus Standards Committee.

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Tommy W. McCrady, 83, of Ripley, died Feb. 7. He retired as chief of the Ripley Police Department after 30 years in law enforcement.

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Audrey Sayre Hartley, 94, of Cottageville, died Feb. 3. She won numerous cooking contests and in 1972 won the West Virginia Chicken Cooking Contest. In 1977, she won the West Virginia Beef Contest.

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Samuel G. Davis, 72, of Marietta, died Feb. 2. Davis was the business agent for Parkersburg/Marietta Building Construction Trade Union and a member of Laborers Local 639. He was a past chairman of the Democratic Party in Washington County and served on the boards of the American Red Cross and the United Way.

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Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Smoot Dils, 99, died Feb. 2. Dils was a volunteer and member of the board of the Smoot Theatre, a volunteer for 30 years with the Friends of Blennerhassett, past president of the Parkersburg Junior League, past president of the Sheltered Workshop and participated with American Field Service students, Girl Scouts of America, PEO, the Presbyterian Church and the Glenwood Community committees, among others.

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James “Jim” Dotson, 82, of St. Marys, died Jan. 28. An aeronautics engineer at IBM and a United States Navy veteran, he received numerous awards for achievement in aeronautics. Dotson was a member of the United States Air Force Global Positioning System team, of which the National Aeronautics Association said GPS was the most significant development for safe and efficient navigation and surveillance of air and spacecraft since the introduction of radio navigation. A trophy with the names of the team is on permanent display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

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Unabelle Rebecca Boggs, 88, of Akron, died Jan. 22. The Looneyville, W.Va., native was a noted scientist, teacher and researcher who received her doctorate in nutrition from the University of Maryland. She was in “Who’s Who in American Women,” received numerous national recognitions and was published in numerous professional journals including the “Miller Pharm. Symposium for Physicians.”

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Charles William “Charlie Bill” Schob of Marietta died Jan. 20. An engineer and U.S. Air Force pilot, he was a founding member and past president of the Marietta Morning Rotary Club, where he was instrumental in the Discovery Garden, which was later named after him by Rotary. He was named the 2014 Gabe Zide Citizen of the Year by the Marietta Chamber of Commerce.

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Dr. Rutherford “Gene” Clark Sims, 81, of Parkersburg, died Jan. 15. In medical practice from 1971 to 2002, Sims delivered around 5,000 babies. After he retired, he became an administrator at Camden Clark Medical Center, then retired again at age 75 and volunteered at the Wood County Juvenile Drug Court and taught pottery classes at the Parkersburg Art Center.

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Robert Glenn Wilson, 64, of Parkersburg, died Jan. 14. He was instrumental in the development of ambulance services in Wood County and for 42 years was a paramedic with the St. Joseph Ambulance Service, where he was a director. He was among the first emergency responders at the Willow Island cooling tower collapse in 1979 and the Shell Chemical Fire and explosion. In high school he worked for the Franklin Ambulance and Knotts Ambulance services. He developed his skills as a responder by going on news stories with his father, Glenn Wilson at WTAP.

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C. Robert “Bob” Sullivan, 90, of Sistersville, died Jan. 13. A teacher and coach for 33 years, he was director of the Neighborhood Youth Corps in Wood County, principal of Williamstown High School from 1966-71 and Lewis County High School from 1971-73, assistant superintendent of Tyler County Schools in 1973 and superintendent in Tyler County until he retired in 1983. He was president of the West Virginia Secondary Schools Principals’ Commission from 1971-72.

His coaching accolades include a 123-67 record as boys’ basketball coach at Magnolia High School, including the school’s first Class AA championship in 1961 and an unbeaten regular season in 1964; Ohio Valley Athletic Conference titles in football at Magnolia in 1960 and 1961, with a 10-0 season in 1960; named the West Virginia High School Coach of the Year in 1961 by the Sports Writers Association; coaching the state All-Star team in the Ohio-West Virginia All-Star game in 1962; and receiving the Ohio Valley Basketball Coaches’ Association Award in 2005.

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Mary Helen (Somerville) Townsend, 84, of Elizabeth, died Jan. 11. A Sunday school teacher, EMT, volunteer 4-H leader and president of the Wirt County 4-H Leaders Association, Townsend in 1987 was the first employee from the Bureau of Public Debt in Parkersburg to receive the Patrick J. Mulligan Service Award.

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Garold William Greenlees, 73, died Jan. 8. He was on the Ohio River Sternwheel Festival Board of Trustees and was the founder of the Rolling Oldies Car Show. He worked with his father at The Greenlees Co. in Marietta, then took over the company and expanded it into commercial industrial contracting and real estate development. Greenlees was also president and owner of American Star Painting and Coatings.

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John E. Triplett Sr., 83, of Marietta, died Jan. 6. He served in the Ohio Army National Guard during riots in cities and at colleges in Ohio. Triplett was the director of the former Community Action and he helped establish the first Head Start program in Wood County.

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Mary Elizabeth (Zuspan) Crookham Froendt, 90, of West Columbia, W.Va., died Jan. 3. An exhibitor of weaved rugs, she was inducted into the Mountain State Arts and Craft Fair Hall of Fame.

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