Remembering some of the notable figures the Mid-Ohio Valley lost in 2020

Teachers, doctors, public officials and other residents are among the notable deaths of 2020.

* Alice Chapman, Lowell, died on Dec. 30. She and her husband, Leroy, founded the Ely Chapman Education Foundation.

* William Morgan Brown, 76, Parkersburg, died Dec. 28. An engineer and retired professor, Brown wrote eight books on genealogy.

* Ned H. Tanner, 95, of Kansas City, Mo., died on Dec. 26. Tanner was co-founder and a partner in the Oxbow Golf Course in Belpre.

* Gene A. Haynes, 93, died on Dec. 19. Haynes was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1970, 1972 and 1980.

* Charles Aebi, 89, died on Dec. 8. He was the academic dean for 15 years and chairman of the Bible Department for six years at Ohio Valley University.

* Gilbert (Gil) B. Courtney Jr., 90, Marietta, died Dec. 5. He was president and board chairman of Peoples Savings Bank of New Matamoras, a councilman in Nelsonville, helped attract Best Photo to Coolville and helped get the 1987 National Christmas Tree felled from the Wayne National Forest.

* Mildred “Micki” J. Shirley, 89, Marietta, died Dec. 4. She and her family opened Aletha’s Florist in 1978.

* Paul T. Theisen, 89, formerly of Marietta, died Dec. 2. He retired in 2012 as the vice chairman of the Peoples Bancorp holding company and received the Outstanding Young Man Award from Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce.

* Debra Kay Baker, 65, died on Dec. 1. She was a professor of business for more than 30 years at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.

* Donald Lawrence “Larry” Kitts, 73, died Dec. 1. He was a fiscal officer for the Village of Beverly.

* James “Jim” David Parker, Williamstown, died on Dec. 1. He was elected in 2018 to Williamstown City Council and was a founder of the Williamstown Lighted Christmas Parade.

* John Wyllys Dudley, 74, Vienna, died on Nov. 29. He was president of J.W. Dudley and Sons Co., which operated Dudley’s Flowers.

* Patricia “Patsy” Noe Brown, 75, Marietta, died Nov. 25. She was a charter member and an original director of the Children’s Toy and Doll Museum.

* Scott Stephens, 65, Mineral Wells, died on Nov. 21. He was head girls basketball coach at Parkersburg South High School for 16 years, then an assistant basketball coach at Glenville State College under his daughter, Kim, the head coach.

* Leroy R. Chapman, 81, Lowell, died Nov. 19. He and his wife, Alice Ely Chapman, founded the Ely Chapman Education Foundation.

* Dr. Robert William Azar, 74, Vienna, died Nov. 17 at Cleveland Clinic. Azar was an ear, nose and throat doctor for more than 45 years.

* Monnie G. Parsons Landis, 88, Ripley, died on Nov. 14. She was a founding member of Main Street Ripley where she was executive director from 2000 to 2010.

* Martha Marie Kirkpatrick Modesitt, 80, Parkersburg, died Nov. 13. She was the founder of Marie’s House to Home to help the homeless.

* James Everett Ritchea, 93, Parkersburg, died on Nov. 10. Ritchea served two terms on Parkersburg City Council.

* Pauline Law Collett, 93, Belpre, died on Oct. 30. She and her husband Willie owned and operated Collett’s Greenhouse in Belpre for 41 years.

* Robert Nelson Doty, 87, Belmont, died Oct. 29. Doty was a mayor and councilman in Belmont.

* Hajo A. Kolshorn, 93, Marietta, died Oct. 22. He and his wife, Zena, a registered nurse, opened the Marie Antoinette Nursing Home in Marietta.

* Dan Sanders Stephan Sr., 83, Williamstown, died on Oct. 19. The family business, Valley News Service, was a distributor of periodicals and operated Peoples News.

* Robert L. Eschbacher, 81, of Davisville died on Oct. 18. He was public works director for the City of Vienna and then the City of Parkersburg until his retirement.

* Carol Kuhn Chenoweth, 81, formerly of Vienna, died Sept. 28. She was a co-director of the Harvest Moon Festival.

* Joe Charles Coggeshall, 73, Little Hocking, died on Sept. 19. He was an accomplished accordion player and frequently played in restaurants, nursing homes and churches in Marietta.

* Norma Elaine (Cundiff) Loew, 92, of Fredericksburg, Va., died on Sept. 5. An elementary school teacher in Marietta, she was the 1997 Teacher of Ohio Administrator.

* L. Burl Moore, 92, Belpre, died Sept. 2. He owned Farmer Burl’s Market in Belpre and was safety service director for the city of Belpre.

* George Alan Pooler, 83, Marietta, died Sept. 2. While in the Marine Corps, Pooler was in John F. Kennedy’s funeral procession.

* Warren Settle Frank, 99, died Aug. 23 in Wilmington, Ohio. Frank was city engineer for Parkersburg.

* Joanna Dent Yielky, 96, died Aug 22 at Hallandale Beach, Fla. She and husband Paul operated the well-known Yielky’s Hamburgers in Parkersburg for many years.

* James Paul “Big Jim” Farley, 76, Marietta, died Aug. 11. He was a High School All American who was inducted in 2012 into the Mid-Ohio Hall of Fame and the Marietta Athletic Hall of Fame.

* Robert T. Goldenberg, 96, died on Aug. 13. The oldest practicing attorney in the state of West Virginia, Goldenberg served in the House of Delegates and was named as one of the Best Lawyers in America in Employment Law.

* Dr. David W. Avery, 66, Vienna, died on Aug. 5. He was the team doctor for the Parkersburg South and Parkersburg Catholic football teams and was a health officer for the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department and a medical director for the Washington County Health Department.

* Dr. Donald R. Lantz, 91, Parkersburg, died on Aug. 2. Lantz was the founder and director of the first emergency room practice and ambulance service at the former St. Joseph’s Hospital.

* Betty Jo “B.J.” (Hupp) Hathaway, 79, died on July 29. She and her husband Thomas R. Hathaway established Superior Motor Co. in 1973.

* Harry Max Cogswell, 94, Marietta, died July 27. Cogswell founded Apex Feed & Supply in 1952 and was the 2002 Chamber of Commerce Businessman of the Year and the 1977 Agricultural Person of the Year.

* James M. Thompson, 93, died on July 26. Thompson established the McDonald’s franchise in Parkersburg.

* Wanda A. Metz, 91, Ravenswood, died July 25. She was the coordinator of the Business Co-op Program at Ripley High School and chairman of the Business Education Program.

* Gregory Rankin Brunton, 73, a 1964 graduate of Marietta High School, died on July 12. He spent 50 years in television, film and theatrical lighting and design and received 14 nominations for an Emmy, which he won three times.

* Frederic Howard Reeder, 81, The London, Ohio, died July 13. He was superintendent of schools in the Warren Local School District.

* Jerry Carpenter Wagner Sr., 88, of Leesburg, Fla., died on July 5. He operated Wagner Discount Tire in Parkersburg for 40 years.

* Clarence Kenton Argabrite, 82, Erwin, Tenn., died July 8. He was a Marietta Police officer and a safety-service director in Belpre.

* Glenn McCoy, 83, Vienna, died on July 3. McCoy was the Worthington Golf Course club champion in 1970-71.

* William Vinton “Vint” Rathbone Jr., 87, Vienna, died on July 1. He purchased the W.H. Smith Hardware Co. in 1976 and was elected to Parkersburg City Council in 1970.

* George Chappell, 61, Ravenswood, died on June 22. A symphony musician, he scaled the Matterhorn in 1980 during a geology field camp and was the youngest person in 1989 to head a state agency in West Virginia, the Solid Waste Management Board.

* Kenneth Herman Heiss, 86, Marietta, died June 20. He was the founder of Country Roads T&A Club, served on the Washington County Planning Commission and was a president of the Washington County Home Builders.

* Charles Samuel Foggin II, 63, died May 21. He was an agent for players in the National Basketball Association. In 1991, he joined the Orlando Magic and rose to director of international scouting for the ball club.

* Herbert Smoot Fahlgren, 89, Parkersburg, died on May 22. Smoot in 1962 created Fahlgren Advertising, which was among the most respected advertising and public relations firms in the United States.

* Hugh A. McConkey, 86, of Marietta died on May 19. He served on Marietta City Council.

* Andy Thompson, 57, died on May 13. He served on Marietta City Council and in the Ohio House of Representatives for the 95th District.

* Robert Davisson “Tex” Flint, 75, Spencer, died on April 27. He was chairman of the Social Studies Department at Roane County High School.

* Clyde H. Alloway Jr., 73, of Belpre died on April 25. Alloway was the first veterinarian in Belpre.

* Dortha (Dotte) Louise Harper White, 86, of St. Marys died April 20. She served four terms as a magistrate in Pleasants County.

* Kenneth Wayne Wall, 85, died on April 18. He was interim dean of Marietta College in 1979.

* Wayland L. Williams, 85, of Marietta died on April 17. He was a fire chief for the Warren Township Volunteer Fire Department and a Warren Township trustee.

* Beverly Ann Shatto, 59, died on April 8. She was the principal at Ripley High School.

* Floyd W. Collins, 85, Williamstown, died on March 30. He served more than 40 years on the Williamstown Volunteer Fire Department and retired as an assistant chief.

* Miles Duane McGregor, 87, died on March 16. He served 11 years on the Warren Local Board of Education.

* Richard E. Bowlby Sr., 91, Spencer, died on March 6. He and two classmates at West Virginia University established Burke-Parsons-Bowlby, a leader in the production of railroad crossties and pressure-treated wood products.

* John T. Smith, 84, Little Hocking, died on March 3. He was a founding member of the Little Hocking Volunteer Fire Department and a Belpre Township trustee.

* Bernard L. Clegg, 90, Vienna, died on Feb. 25. He was a founder of the Vienna Recreation League.

* Kenneth D. Simmons, 94, Springton, Pa., died on Feb. 24. Formerly of Marietta and a graduate of Pennsboro High School, he was the chief executive officer of the world’s two largest cement companies, Universal Atlas and Lehigh Cement.

* Martha Jean Evans, 85, of Macon, Ga., formerly of Sistersville, died on Feb. 18. She played women’s professional basketball for Hazel Walker’s Arkansas Travelers from 1952 through 1954 and established the School of Hope for exceptional children in Sistersville.

* George E. Lantz, 88, Vienna, died on Feb. 8. Lantz, an attorney, was an aide to U.S. Congressman Ken Hechler and was deputy attorney general of the state of West Virginia from 1969 to 1973.

* Dr. Carl Paul Zelinka, 91, died on Feb. 8. He practiced medicine in Belpre for more than 50 years.

* Joanne L. Argabrite, 76, of Parkersburg died on Feb. 6. She owned the JABO marble company in Reno.

* Donna K. Flanagan Collins, 59, of Ellenboro died Jan. 26. She served on Ellenboro Town Council.

* Elizabeth Ann “Libby” Taylor Brokaw, 83, died Jan. 20. She was the director of Marietta Memorial Hospital Outreach Services and its 55-Plus program.

* Phillip Lee Crane, 71, Waterford, died Jan. 12. Listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers in 1994, he was the 2003 Ohio Daughters of the American Revolution Outstanding Teacher in Social Studies.

* Dr. Robert F. Gustke, 88, of Vienna died on Jan. 14. In 1970, he opened the first practice in gastroenterology in Parkersburg where he helped create the endoscopy department at Camden Clark Memorial Hospital.

* Marie Jeanne Tasse, Ph.D., 94, of Marietta died Jan. 12. She came to Marietta in 1975 to teach the history of art, calligraphy and applied art at Marietta College until her retirement in 1991, at which time she became the director and instructor in the Marietta College Institute for Learning in Retirement.

* Hazel Eileen Matics, 88, Ravenswood, died on Jan. 11. She established the Girls Athletic Association at Ravenswood High School.

* Robert H. “Red” Hill, 86, Beverly, died on Jan. 4. He was a school teacher and coach for 35 years at Ripley High School, Warren High School and Fort Frye High School and was a member of the Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame Committee.


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