Nicholas Morey Jr., 82, of Vienna, passed away Nov. 9, 2012, after a long illness.
Born July 28, 1930 in Washington, W.Va., Mr. Morey was the son of the late Nicholas Morey Sr. and Sophia Sams Morey, and was raised in the Parkersburg area.
Mr. Morey attended Wood County Schools and graduated from Parkersburg High School in 1948, where he was a member of the A Cappella Choir. Following graduation, he attended Marietta College.
From 1949 to 1951, Mr. Morey bravely served his country during the Korean War. He was a member of the U.S. Army 1092nd Combat Engineer Battalion. After returning from the war, Mr. Morey worked at the atomic energy plant in Portsmouth, Ohio, for a year, and then worked at DuPont Washington Works for three years. In 1957, Mr. Morey founded Morey Construction Company, the first of numerous businesses that he would own. He built Morey Construction into the second largest construction company in the State of West Virginia. Mr. Morey also owned and operated Morey Crane Rental Company, the largest crane rental company in the state at the time, and the Foundation Company of West Virginia, as well as Marko Contractors Inc.
In 1965, Mr. Morey combined his love of aviation and his growing business portfolio by purchasing the Stewart Airport, which was located between Parkersburg and Vienna. During his ownership of the airport, he opened a Piper Airplane dealership and was president and owner of Industrial Aviation. In 1967, his Piper Dealership won first place in sales among the 21 dealerships of the Eastern Division of the United States. Also, in the late 1960's for the benefit of the Mid-Ohio Valley residents, he started the penny a pound rides in the summer time on Sundays so they could ride over and survey the town. Residents would step on scales and pay one penny for each pound they weighed; the ladies of course had their "own" scales adjusted so no one knew their true weight. One of the highlights of his aviation business was having his Piper Cherokee Trainer used during the filming of the James Bond movie, "Goldfinger." Mr. Morey continued his love of aviation long after the closure of the Stewart Airport, and owned airplanes into the 1990s.
Mr. Morey in 1969, formed and was president of Par Progress with partners Fred Wilmouth and Ted Morlang. Par Progress, which later became Oxford Development, built, owned and operated the Grand Central Mall on Mr. Morey's property at the Stewart Airport. This was one of the first malls opened in the state of West Virginia. In 1971, he was appointed to the Advisory Board of Directors of the Union Trust Bank. Mr. Morey was also part owner of the Union Central Bank in the Grand Central Mall. Nick spent his later career dealing in the crane rentals and sales until his retirement to Florida. Mr. Morey was an avid boater and a lifetime member of the Blennerhassett Yacht Club since 1962. He served as their Commodore in 1976 and 1977.
Mr. Morey is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Betty Lee Jones Morey of Vienna; children, Nicholas "Steve" Morey III (Noel Mahaney) of Belpre, Ohio, William "Danny" Morey of Vienna and Mark Randall Morey of Vienna; grandchildren, Racelle Nicole Morey Bailey (R.G. Bailey) of Garland, Texas, and Nicholas S. Morey IV of San Antonio, Texas; step-grandson, H.B. Hinton (Cynthia) of Wylie, Texas; great-granddaughter, Isabella Elaine Bailey; and step-great-grandsons, Vincent Hinton and Samual Hinton. Mr. Morey is also survived by his adored baby sister and childhood companion, Phyllis "PJ" Merendino (Dr. John Merendino) of Rockville, Md., and Aventura, Fla.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Morey was preceded in death by his siblings, William Morey, Roy Morey, Adele Florence, Dorothy Bailey, Madge Chelgren and Ruth Perloff; as well as his daughter-in-law, Deborah Elaine Morey.
Nick was known for his attraction to life's challenges and his deep love for his family. He will forever be remembered and missed by those he loved.
Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Tuesday at Leavitt Funeral Home, Parkersburg, with the Rev. Tom Stephens officiating. Burial will follow at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Visitation will be from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Monday at Leavitt Funeral Home, as well as 11 a.m. until the time of service on Tuesday.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.leavittfuneralhome.com