In Memoriam

J. Scott Tharp, 89, died on Feb. 26, 2022. He was born on Jan. 30, 1933, in Clarksburg. He is survived by his wife, Joan Eddy Gall Tharp. Scott and Joan were married in 2008. His first wife, Mary Jo Post Tharp, died in 2007 after 47 years of marriage. Scott and his family moved to Barrackville when he was nine years old. He graduated from Barrackville High School in 1951. He also graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College and in 1959 he graduated from the West Virginia University College of Law. He served in the U.S. Army, mainly as a stenographer at the Army’s Far East Headquarters in Japan. He practiced law in Fairmont and Marion County for 62 years, reluctantly retiring and closing the practice in 2020. He was a member and past president of the Marion County Bar Association, a member of the West Virginia Bar Association, a former member and officer of the West Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, a former member and state committeeman of the American Trial Lawyers Association, and was elected a Fellow of the West Virginia State Bar Foundation. He served four terms as president of the Barrackville Lions Club. He was an active, dedicated member of the Barrackville United Methodist Church, where he taught the Young Adult Sunday School Class for more than 60 years. Over the years he held nearly every office in the church. He was formerly honored as the Fairmont District Methodist Layman of the Year. He also served as a member of the West Virginia United Methodist Foundation’s Board of Directors. In addition, he served as a member of the Union Mission’s Board of Directors for many years. Scott has an insatiable desire to travel and, along with his family, visited all seven continents, all 50 states, and roughly 130 countries.

Darroll Curtis Courtney, 84, died on June 28, 2018. He was born in Monongah on Oct. 18, 1933. He graduated from Jane Lew High School in 1953, attended Glenville State and served in the U.S. Army. In 1956 he married Mary Morrison. He retired from Hope Gas in 1990. He joined the Barrackville United Methodist Church in 1970. He was a member of the choir and an active member of The United Methodist Men, helping raise money for the Boy Scouts. In 2013 he was named both the Mon Valley District United Methodist Man of the Year and the West Virginia United Methodist Man of the Year. His community activities included volunteering at the Fairmont Soup Opera and the Barrackville Volunteer Fire Department. He was a member of the Barrackville Lions Club. He served as a member of the Barrackville town council and was Mayor of Barrackville.

Lesley L. Shockey
Lesley Lee Shockey

Lesley Lee Shockey, 78, died on Jan. 20, 2022. He was born on Sept. 13, 1943, in Parkersburg. A 1961 graduate of Ravenswood High School, Les studied both chemical and electrical engineering at Clemson University. He worked for 43 years as a chemist and, later, as an electrical engineer at Kaiser Aluminum (known later as Century Aluminum). He was very active with Local #5668 and served as president of S.O.A.R. Chapter #23-16, helping retirees receive the pensions and benefits that were promised to them. He was a member of the Independence United Methodist Church, Sandyville, for over 70 years and was very active in The United Methodist Men.  A celebration of Life service will be held at Noon on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022 at the Waybright Funeral Home, Ripley, with Pastor Enoch Pursley officiating. Burial will follow in the Independence Cemetery, Sandyville. A time of visitation with the family will be held on Friday, Jan. 28th from Noon until 2:00 pm and also from 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm at the funeral home.

Jerry E. Gieseke

Jerry E. Gieseke, 84, of South Charleston, died Dec. 27, 2021. Jerry had a distinguished career in the U.S. Coast Guard. His first retirement was on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where he volunteered for the Alzheimer’s Association and was an active member of Asbury Methodist Church. When he and his wife, Ann, moved to South Charleston to be closer to family, he became involved in the Lions Club, eventually becoming president; ushered for the Charleston Opera Guild; loved singing in the First United Methodist Church of South Charleston choir; and served multiple years as treasurer of First Church’s men’s fellowship.

Larry Joe LaCorte Sr.

Larry Joe LaCorte Sr., 84, of Ravenswood, died April 1, 2021, at home following an extended illness. Mr. LaCorte was a member of the North United Methodist Church, Ravenswood, where he served as a substitute Bible Study teacher and secretary of the United Methodist Men. He served as secretary of the Little Kanawha District for several years when Bud Rose was district president and was secretary when Steve Mahaffey took over after Mr. Rose’s death. Mr. LaCorte was very active in the United Methodist Men’s potato distribution drives. 

Harold Gene Jones

Harold Gene Jones, 94, a resident of The Willows Center and formerly of Cedar Grove Road, Parkersburg, died Jan. 28, 2021. Mr. Jones was a long-time meber of the Cedar Grove United Methodist Church, where he held many offices and positions, including Sunday School teacher and song leader. He was the United Methodist Men’s W.Va. Conference Man of the Year in 1996. He was a member of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Association and the Gideons International, speaking in several area churches over the years. He was a U.S. Navy World War II veteran. He worked for Paul Jack Studios, Pappas Brothers Prima Color and Giebig Printing until his retirement.

Odell C. Miller

Odell C. Miller, 91, of Morgantown, died of natural causes on January 13, 2021. Miller served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was a graduate of Berea College, Berea, Ky., and earned a master’s degree in agronomy from The Ohio State University. He spent much of his career teaching vocational agriculture at the high school level. Miller was an avid woodworker. He was an active member of the Spruce Street United Methodist Church in Morgantown and was a long-time member of the United Methodist Men at the church. Miller was the co-recipient of the West Virginia United Methodist Man of the Year Award in 2004. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the West Virginia United Methodist Men. His wife, Mary Margaret Hastings Miller, died in 2017.

Cremation services were performed by the Hastings Funeral Home/Omega Crematory in Morgantown. There will be a memorial service at a later date. Donations in his honor may be made to the Spruce Street United Methodist Church, 386 Spruce St., Morgantown, WV 26505.

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Robert Eugene Herndon

Robert Eugene Herndon, 88, of Cross Lanes, died on Dec. 2, 2020. He was an active member of Cross Lanes United Methodist Church for 50 years. He was active with the Cross Lanes United Methodist Men. He was a member of a quartet that often played at the church. He was an electrical engineer with Appalachian Power Co. for 37 years.

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Joe Woolweaver
Joseph Henry Woolweaver, 75, of Gandeeville, W.Va., died on May 22, 2020, at home. He served as vice president of the Little Kanawha District for many years. In 2019 he spearheaded the project to replace the chapel at Camp Kootaga in Wirt County. He was a regular attendee at the West Virginia United Methodist Men’s annual retreat at WVU Jackson’s Mill. As recently as March, he helped organize the district’s potato drop. The Taylor-Vandale Funeral Home in Spencer handled the arrangements.

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Brian Lee Farnsworth

Brian Lee Farnsworth, 60, of Vienna, W.Va., died April 8, 2020, at the Teays Valley Center in Hurricane, W.Va. He was a 1977 graduate of Parkersburg High School and a 1982 graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College. He was an associate of Radio Shack in Vienna for many years. He was an active member of the Crossroads United Methodist Church, and was a past president and past treasurer of the Little Kanawha District. A memorial service is being planned for a future date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggest donations to Habitat for Humanity.

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Donald Ellis

Donald Ellis, 86, of St. Albans, W.Va., died June 12, 2020, at CAMC Teays Valley Hospital, Hurricane. Don was a retired co-owner of Coal River Insurance Company. He was a member of St. Andrew United Methodist Church of St. Albans. He sang with the Messiah Chorus, the Charleston Civic Chorus, and the church chancel choir. He was a Sunday School teacher. He performed with the St. Albans Theater and was in the production of 1776 with the Charleston Light Opera Guild. He was very active in the Boy Scouts. After he moved to St. Albans in 1957, he was the assistant scout master and then the scout master at the First Presbyterian Church. He was in the Order of the Arrow Vigil, a 4-bead Wood Badge, and in later years on the Executive Board. He was awarded the Silver Beaver. He was on the staff of subcamp 13 for the four National Jamborees at Fort AP Hill in Virginia. He was instrumental in organizing the Circuit Rider camporee with the United Methodist Men, in conjunction with the Boy Scouts of America. He received the United Methodist Men’s Torch Award and was a Fellow of the Society of John Wesley. In lieu of flowers the family suggests a donation to St. Andrew United Methodist Church, 815 Kanawha Terrace, St. Albans, WV 25177, or to the Boy Scouts of America Donald L. Ellis Scholarship Fund for Summer Camp in care of the Boy Scouts of America Buckskin Council, 2829 Kanawha Blvd. E., Charleston, WV 25311.

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James Edward Rancjik

James Edward Rancjik was born Nov. 18, 1949. Died Jan. 30, 2018. Ed was a supervisor of maintenance and environmental services for the Monongalia County Board of Education for 42 years and was an active member of the W.Va. School Facilities Association. He was an active and longtime member of the Westover United Methodist Church, where he served as Lay Leader for 30 years, sang in the church choir, and helped with Vacation Bible School. He was the 2007 West Virginia United Methodist “Man of the Year,” the highest honor bestowed by the state fellowship.

C Montgomery “Monty” Craig: Died Aug. 10, 2019. Monty enjoyed a long and storied career in several areas of broadcast media before fully retiring from his business, Craig Services, in 1999. Retirement gave him an opportunity to concentrate more on his involvement in church and Scouting. Monty was a member of Stout United Methodist Church and often attended Trinity Episcopal Church. He participated in many aspects of church life including United Methodist Men and Scouting, with which he had a life-long connection. He was the 2006 West Virginia United Methodist “Man of the Year,” the highest honor bestowed by the state fellowship.

Rev. Harold A. Langevin, Jr.

Rev. Harold Arthur Langevin Jr.: Born Nov. 2, 1954. Died Sept. 2, 2019. Harold earned a Music Education degree from Fairmont State College (now University) in 1977. After college he returned to Randolph County as band director at Tygart Valley High School until 1980. In 1986 he began a 25-year career with the state Department of Health and Human Resources, retiring in 2011. Over the years Harold was the choir director and Sunday School teacher at Woodford Memorial United Methodist Church and the director of choirs at Otterbein UMC. He was a Little League Baseball and Mighty Mites basketball coach, and an instructor of private trumpet and piano lessons. In 2006 he became a licensed United Methodist pastor. He had appointments in multiple districts and touched many lives. He was serving the Belington Circuit at the time of his illness. He was active in the community. He served as volunteer chaplain at Davis Medical Center in Elkins. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Helping Hand Clearing House. At the time of his death, Harold was the Prayer Advocate for the West Virginia United Methodist Men. In 2018 he received the Torch Award from the General Commission on United Methodist Men’s Office of Civic Youth-serving Agencies/Scouting.

Boyd Hastings

Boyd Hastings: Born June 26, 1925. Died Dec. 19, 2019. Boyd became a baptized member of the Spruce Street Methodist Church in 1937, where he remained a faithful member his entire life. A veteran of World War II, Boyd worked for 40 years at First National Bank. He was a long-time member of the Lions Club, Masonic Lodge, Shriners, and Odd Fellows.

Allan Wayne Wolfe

Allan Wayne Wolfe: Born Oct. 2, 1947. Died Aug. 21, 2017. Allan and his wife, Rose, were the former co-owners of the White Hall Book and Craft Store. He was an active member of the Eldora United Methodist Church, having served in many positions within the church. He also was active in the Gideons and Scouting. Allan was especially active with the United Methodist Men, having served at the local, state and national levels. He was the 2009 West Virginia United Methodist “Man of the Year,” the highest honor bestowed by the state fellowship.

I. Arnold Eddy, 79, of Westover. Born Aug. 26, 1932. Died Dec. 2, 2011. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Eddy was a State Farm insurance agent for 47 years. He was a longtime member of the Westover United Methodist Church and was the 2000 United Methodist “Man of the Year.” He was instrumental in establishing the golf tournament that provides a majority of the funding for the annual Scout camporee held in conjunction with the West Virginia Methodist Men’s Annual Gathering at WVU Jackson’s Mill each September. He also was a member of the Westover Rotary Club and the IOOF No. 10 in Morgantown. Eddy believed in the Lord and wanted to share this love with everyone he met, thus he concluded nearly every conversation with … “I’ll see you all in church on Sunday.”

Donald M. Patterson, 76, of Walker, WV. Born in 1941. Died March 20, 2017. A U.S. Air Force veteran, he was retired from GE Plastics. He was a charter member of the Eastwood Fire Department, where he served as the first fire chief and was a member for 30 years. He was a member of the Vaught Chapel United Methodist Church, was president of the United Methodist Men’s Kanawha Charge, served on the Board of Directors for Crossroads United Methodist Camp, and helped with Boy Scout Troop 30 in Elizabeth.

James Paxton Roy, Jr.

James Paxton Roy Jr.: Born July 19, 1934. Died Sept. 21, 2019. Born in Morgantown, Jim moved to Nashville in the late 1970s from a position he held at West Virginia University. While teaching computer science at Nashville State Technical Institute, his faith led him to volunteer with The Upper Room prayer ministry. In 1993 he married Josephine Medlin and was hired as assistant to Betty Cloyd on the staff of The Upper Room’s prayer center. In 1998 he became director of the prayer ministry, a position in which he served until he retired in 2002. He was an active member of the Nashville Emmaus Community until he and Josephine moved to Foley, Alabama, in 2005. They were active members of St. Andrew by the Sea, a community church in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and the Servant Heart Emmaus Community in Citronelle for 14 years. They returned to Tennessee in April 2019.

Thomas Lowell Tate of New Cumberland, W.Va.: Born in Salem, W.Va., in 1943. Died on Feb. 1, 2020. He was a member of the Point Pleasant United Methodist Church, New Cumberland.

James William “Jim” Crowley Jr., 81, of Elkins, died on Aug. 3, 2020, at Colonial Place under the care of West Virginia Caring Hospice. At the time of his death, Mr. Crowley was president of the men at Elkins First United Methodist Church. Contributions in memory of Mr. Crowley may be made to the Elkins First UMC, 315 Kerens Ave., Elkins, WV 26241.