In Memoriam 2021 | News, Sports, Jobs
PARKERSBURG – Notable Deaths’ 2021 compilation features renowned residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Diana Rosemary “Diane”Bailes Ludwig, 68, of Elizabeth, died on December 13. She was the executive director of the Little Kanawha Area Development Corp. from March 2002 to December 2019.
∫ Dennis W. Cox, 73, of Vienna, died on November 28. Cox was the dean of students and administrator of Ohio Valley University where he worked for 45 years. He started the men’s golf team, was the coach of the year and led the team to the conference championship.
∫ Shana Lee Modesitt, 49, of Parkersburg, died on November 28. She was a detective in the Wood County Sheriff’s Office.
∫ Paul Borrelli, 93, of Parkersburg, died on November 24. He was the longtime owner of Artcraft Studio where thousands of negatives and photographs of local history, notable residents, events and ancient buildings were kept.
∫ Gary L. Farris, 74, of Parkersburg, died on November 10. A US Navy veteran, he was the founder of the Veterans Museum of the Mid-Ohio Valley.
∫ Paul S. Bibbee, 79, of Leachtown, passed away on November 3. A teacher, photographer, and WVU football and basketball fan, he was a member of the Wood County Historical Society where he was instrumental in the development of the Phelps / Tavenner Research Center and the Wood County Republican Executive Committee.
Herman “Zerg” Zerger Jr., 97, Woodsfield, died on October 22. A decorated World War II veteran who was captured by the German SS in February 1945 after 300 days of fighting at the front lines, he was the longest-serving chairman of the county’s Democratic Party in Ohio history and a member of many organizations in the ‘Veterans.
∫ Richard Brian Allen, 76, of Parkersburg, died on October 20. He was the manager of the Wood County Airport from 1976 to 1990.
Daniel “Dane” Ray Ritchey, 60, from Reno, died on October 18. He was the acting chief of the Reno Volunteer Fire Department, of which he was a member for 45 years.
∫ Woodrow David Miller, 66, of Parkersburg, died on October 10. He was president of Parkersburg Homecoming.
∫ Penelope Ann Powell Bailey, 94, formerly of Parkersburg, died on October 2. She served on the Wood County Board of Education and ran on the campaign slogan “A penny for your thoughts.”
∫ Earl O. Totten, 77, of Little Hocking, died on September 30. He was the EMS coordinator at Camden Clark Medical Center where he retired after 40 years of service.
∫ Dr Paul G. Modie Jr., 84, formerly of Parkersburg, and more recently of Hockingport, passed away on September 26th. His surgical practice extended from 1969 to 2010.
∫ Thomas R. Kearns, 62, of Waterford, died on September 20. He served on the Wolf Creek School Board.
∫ Steven Douglas Davis, 58, of Pennsboro, died on September 20. Active in the community, Davis was a member of Pennsboro City Council at the time of his death.
∫ Bruce Walter Holmes, 73, of Williamstown, died on September 18. He served on the Board of Trustees of Camden Clark Medical Center where he served as a patient advisor, served on the Patient and Family Centered Care Steering Committee, helped start a pet visitation program, helped design the Care Partner program and served on the boards of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Consumer Credit Counseling.
∫ Dr James M. Mills, 94, of Lower Salem, passed away on September 17th. He was a longtime dentist and the 1999 Ohio Tree Farmer of the Year.
∫ Kevin A. Rings, 58, of Marietta, died on September 17. He was a former Washington County District Attorney.
∫ Tony Weber, 63, of Marietta, died on August 26. Weber, who owned Weber’s Grocery, served on Marietta city council.
∫ Pamela Jackson Thomas, 84, of Belpre, died on August 25. She founded the Ohio Valley Press offset printing company in Belpre and ran the business through the 1960s and 1970s, was Co-Executive Director of the Ohio River Trails and co-managed the Ohio River National Scenic Byway. with her husband, Dick, who was Mayor of Belpre.
∫ David Kenneth Hearing, 55, of Marietta, died on August 23. He was a former owner and chef of Levee House.
∫ Lois Gene Jackley Padden, 96, of Vienna, died on August 19. Eucharistic minister through the pastoral service of the former St. Joseph’s Hospital, she served on the board of directors of the hospital for 20 years.
∫ Lynn William Phair, 86, of St. Marys died August 19 in Midlothian, Virginia. He was manager of the Union Carbide plant in Sisterville, ran the plant through two owners and retired as vice president of international operations for OSi Chemicals.
∫ Larry Lee Goodwin, 74, of Vienna, died on August 18. He was Deputy Chief of the Volunteer Fire Department of Vienna, of which he was a member for 50 years. He was the 2002 Firefighter of the Year, served for 12 years on the State Fire Commission, was co-chair of the Fallen State Firefighters Memorial Committee, and was the commission’s tee-ball coach. recreation of Vienna for many years.
∫ Sarah Elizabeth Parr Board, 96, of Parkersburg, died on August 5. She retired as Chief Assistant to the Wood County Clerk.
Robert “Bob” Duane Wable, 84, of Sistersville died on August 1. Owner of Wable Ford Mercury in Sistersville, he served on Sistersville City Council, five terms as mayor of Sistersville, a member of the Tyler County Commission for 30 years, the Elected County Association, the County Commission Association, the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council, the Sistersville Jaycees, the Sistersville Alumni Association, the Sistersville General Hospital Board of Managers and served on the board and directors of the First Presbyterian Church of Sistersville, First Tyler Bank and Trust Company-WesBanco, the board of directors of WesBanco Wheeling and Union Bank.
∫ Frank Leonard Christy, 73, from Marietta died on July 29. Beginning in 1973 with Christy and Associates with his wife Mary Lou, the company developed Greenhill Village Apartments in Belpre and a Western Sizzlin ‘Steakhouse in Parkersburg, but over the years has developed restaurants, hotels and commercial properties in Ohio, Virginia. -Western and Florida where the company developed the Hampton Inn and Suites in Vero Beach. Christy, who received the Marietta Chamber of Commerce Business Leader of the Year award in 1987, was an important community leader. Sitting on the Boards of Banks, Marietta College, and St. Joseph’s Hospital Board, he has supported the Becky Thatcher Showboart, the River Cities Symphony and the restoration of the Colony Theater, helped bring hot lunches back to schools in Marietta City, helped found Marietta in Bloom, and spearheaded the effort to bring dial-up Internet service to Marietta. Christy was also a musician, playing keyboards and guitar in rock and roll groups including Rudy and the Flamers with the Fabulous Flamettes with his wife and friends.
Dr George Whitmore “Strand” Hancock Jr., 79, of Marietta died on July 14. He was professor of physics and chairman of the physics department at Marietta College. He was instrumental in the development of the environmental science curriculum, the university specialization program, and arranged for the acquisition of the Phi Beta Kappa clock, among other accolades. The college’s Anderson-Hancock Planetarium is named after him.
∫ Joe Astorg, 84, from Vienna died on June 28. A collector of model trains Lionel, Astorg founded Astorg Buick in 1974 and Astorg Mercedes-Benz in 1977.
∫ Barbara Jane Wood Salter, 80, of Parkersburg died on June 15. She was president of the Parkersburg Municipal Planning Commission and president of the Junior League for two terms. She and her husband, Ron, founded the marketing company Salter and Associates in 1980.
∫ David Lee Rice, 73, of Parkersburg died on May 3. A veteran of the United States Army, Rice has run for President of the United States three times, most recently in 2020.
∫ Glenn O. Miller, 85, of Beverly died on April 26. A tough Republican and former Washington County Commissioner who loved to dance, especially polkas, Miller founded Miller’s TV Cable in 1963 and sold it in 1988.
∫ Dr William Hall Miller, 89, of Belpre died on April 19. A long-time dentist, he served on the Board of Directors of the Belpre Savings Bank as President, was President of the Belpre Lions Club and the Belpre Chamber of Commerce, and was a member of the Ohio Dental Association, Muskingum Dental Association, and American Dental Association.
∫ Clarence F. Full, 91, of Davisville died on April 12. He served on the board of directors for the Wood County Sports Association and enjoyed playing the harmonica and guitar.
Henri “Nelson” Cutler’s 85-year-old Benedict Jr. died on April 10. He served as an administrator for the Township of Warren for over 30 years.
∫ Kenneth Gilbert, 78, of Parkersburg died on April 10. An accomplished arts educator, he founded and directed the Mountain Trace Folklore Program at Parkersburg High School, where students produced three books on West Virginia heritage and culture and a history of Parkersburg High. Gilbert wrote and illustrated the “Blennerhassett Sketchbook” and the children’s book “Tilly Hen.” Recipient of a Fullbright scholarship to teach in England for one year, he was appointed by the governors. Cecil Underwood and Bob Wise as Commissioner for Human Rights in West Virginia.
Herman W. “June” Buskirk Jr., 90, of St. Petersburg, Fla., Formerly of Parkersburg, died on April 6. He retired as production manager at Parkersburg News after 47 years.
∫ Nona Boice Beebe Janks, 96, died on April 1. Inspector of the B-26 Marauder bombers during World War II, she was the owner of the former Mecca restaurant in Marietta.
∫ Robert M. Wark, 78, of Marietta died on March 30. Wark was a well-known chartered accountant.
∫ Kenny Wright, 83, of Parkersburg died on March 30. He was a successful football coach in Ritchie County, a founding member of the West Virginia Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2008, and led Ritchie County High School to six state championship playoffs in the last years of his mandate.
∫ William Barnett St. Clair, 65, of Parkersburg died on March 27. A graduate of Marshall University, St. Clair was a reporter for The Parkersburg Sentinel.
∫ George Pantelidis, 81, of Parkersburg died on March 21. Known as George the Tailor, he apprenticed in Greece and opened his own tailor-made costume and clothing store. He fulfilled a dream for his family and came to America in 1969, first working in Philadelphia, then moving to Parkersburg to become a head tailor at Stern Brothers. In less than a year, he opened George’s Tailor Shop,
operated for 35 years on Market Street and another eight years in Vienna before retiring.