PARKERSBURG Friends of the late Eugene T. "Sonny" Hague described him as a skilled attorney who never met a stranger.
Hague practiced law in downtown Parkersburg for 47 years. On Sunday, he passed away at the age of 71.
Longtime friend Steve McCord, a retired insurance agent, met Hague 15 years ago when McCord moved to the Parkersburg area.
"He was one of the kindest men I ever met," said McCord. "He never met a stranger. Since the first time I met him 15 years ago, he never forgot me and we always remained good friends. He was a first-class individual."
Local attorney Jim Bradley knew Hague as a child.
"I knew him most of his adult life, and we met as children. His backyard ran into my backyard on Elm Street," Bradley said. "Professionally, I found him to be a most competent lawyer highly skilled and learned in the law. Most of all, he was a true gentleman in all his dealings with both friend and adversary. Gene was the consummate gentleman, and that's why he had so many friends."
Friend Ben Garland said he traveled with Hague often as a young man.
"I've known him for 40 years. He was a top-notch friend," said Garland. "Once upon a time, he had a summer house on Crystal Lake and we spent a lot of weekends up there."
Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell said he remembers Hague as a well-respected attorney.
"I entered the police force in 1972, and Sonny and his father already had an established practice in Parkersburg. He was a longtime member of this community and had a very good reputation," Newell said. "I think everyone who worked with him or knew him always had good things to say about Sonny."
A 1957 graduate of Parkersburg High School, Hague went on to earn a law degree from West Virginia University College of Law. He returned to Parkersburg and began practicing law with his father.
Hague had served as president of the Wood County Bar Association, president of Parkersburg Country Club and Exalted Ruler of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge No. 198.
He is the father of Mary Lou Hague, who was killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
Services will be held 11 a.m. Thursday at Lambert- Tatman Funeral Home, 3005 Grand Central Ave., Vienna. Interment will follow at Parkersburg Memorial Gardens with Masonic services by Vienna Lodge 172. Visitation is scheduled from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday.