JAMES A. HELDRETH
James A. Heldreth, 83, of Shinnston, passed away at home on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, under the care of People’s Hospice, his wife Barbara and daughter and son-in-law, Kimberly and Rodney Strait.
Jim was born on September 22, 1933, in Shinnston, above his father’s barbershop on Bridge Street. He was the son of the late Luther A. “Pete” and Loma Anderson Heldreth.
On August 8, 1958, he married the former Barbara J. Tennant, a union that lasted 58 years. They became friends following his high school graduation.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara, daughter, Kimberly Heldreth Strait and husband Rodney, and several nieces and cousins.
He graduated from Shinnston High School in 1952 having been a member of the high school band under the direction of the late “Buck” Shaffer.
He then graduated from Fairmont State College with a Bachelor’s degree in Education. After signing a contract with the Marion County Board of Education he was promptly drafted into the U.S. Army. Following basic training at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina, he was assigned to Ft. Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas.
Following his military service and marriage, he began his teaching career at Fairmont Senior High School.
After two years, he was offered a job in Harrison County and became the Industrial Arts instructor at Shinnston Junior High. He also taught at Shinnston Middle School and retired from Lincoln High School in 1997, with a total of 40 years in the teaching profession.
Jim was a member of the First United Methodist Church, Shinnston for 65 years, where he was a member of the choir and served as Sunday school superintendent for over 30 years. He was also a member of the United Methodist Men. At one point he also served as church treasurer and had been on many church committees over the years.
A special thank you to Dr. Lance Dubberke, and the staff of United Hospital Center and People’s Hospice for their dedicated and compassionate care.
Friends were received at the Harmer Funeral Home, Shinnston on Friday, January 27, 2017. A funeral service was held at First United Methodist Church in Shinnston, January 28, with Rev. Cindy Boggs officiating. Interment followed at the Shinnston Memorial Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to First United Methodist Church, 64 Rebecca Street, Shinnston, WV 26431 or to the Lord’s Pantry, PO Box 64, Shinnston, WV 26431.
A service of Harmer Funeral Home, Shinnston.
CATHERINE LOUISE MERRYMAN
Catherine Louise Merryman, 89, of Clarksburg, WV, passed away on Wednesday, November 23, 2016, at the United Hospital Center in Bridgeport, WV.
She was born on December 13, 1926, at Clarksburg, a daughter of the late Andrew J. and Hessie (Higgins) Griffith.
Catherine was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Robert L. Merryman on May 11, 2013.
Catherine is survived by one son, Gary E. Merryman and wife Tonja of Clarksburg; two grandsons: Robert Stephen Merryman of FL, and Brad Lee Merryman of Clarksburg; a sister-in-law, Barbara Griffith of Clarksburg, and a brother-in-law, Joseph Davis of Erie, PA. Also surviving are numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents and husband, Catherine was preceded in death by one son, Stephen E. Merryman, and seven siblings: brothers Roy, Lloyd, Ralph, Howard, and Truman Griffith and sisters Mary Curtis and Mildred Davis.
Catherine was a graduate of WI and a member of the Broad Oaks United Methodist Church. She enjoyed staying active with her late husband, they especially enjoyed walking at the mall. Catherine enjoyed working puzzles in her free time as well. She loved being around her family and her grand-dog, “Lacy.”
EARIE CLEM GRIFFITH, JR.
Earie Clem “Bud” “Woody” Griffith, Jr., 76, Clarksburg, passed away, Saturday, November 26, 2016, at River Oaks Nursing Home.
He was born on September 8, 1940, in Clarksburg to the late Earie Clem, Sr. and Sylvia M. Hashman Griffith.
He was a truck driver and worked for Texaco before becoming disabled.
Mr. Griffith is survived by special friends who were like family, Jodi Malcom, Angela Goldsmith, Crystal Pumphrey, Elena Sandy, Cindy Hutton, and Terry Lynch; and two brothers, Gary and Michael Griffith both of Clarksburg; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Griffith was preceded in death by his wife, Rose Mary Nicholas Griffith; one sister Yvonne Quickle; and one brother, Larry Griffith.
WILLIAM G. HICKMAN
William G. Hickman, 73, of Clarksburg, WV, passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 27, 2016, at the United Hospital Center in Bridgeport.
He was born in Clarksburg, WV, on November 27, 1943, a son of the late John Allen and Bina Florence Bennett Hickman
He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Catherine Marie Belcastro Hickman, whom he married on June 24, 1978.
He is also survived by a brother, Paul Eugene Hickman; a sister, Shirley Messineo, both of Clarksburg; a brother-in-law, Patrick Belcastro (Dina), of Charlotte, NC; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, John and Charles Hickman; two sisters, Betty Trader and Edna Carpenter; and two brothers-in-law, George Carpenter and Tony Messineo.
Mr. Hickman was a graduate of Victory High School and Salem College. He taught Industrial Arts at Broadway Junior High and South Harrison High School, and also served as assistant football coach at Broadway Junior High.
He was an avid fan of WVU Football and Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball.
Mr. Hickman was a member of St. James Catholic Church, Clarksburg.
Special thanks are extended to Drs. Ramanathan, Ahmed, and Peters and to the nursing staff of UHC 6th floor North and South for their compassionate care.
EARL GENE STALNAKER
Earl Gene Stalnaker, age 35, Clarksburg, WV, passed away on Wednesday, November 23, 2016.
He was born August 25, 1981, in Clarksburg, WV, son of Tom Stalnaker and Pamela Sue (Carder) Cayton and his stepfather, Robert Cayton.
Earl is survived by his wife of five years, Nina (Feathers) Stalnaker of Clarksburg, WV; two sons, Caleb Stalnaker and Chase Stalnaker, both of Clarksburg, WV; his mother and stepfather, Pamela Sue Cayton and Robert “Bobby” Cayton, Weston, WV; father, Tom Stalnaker of Stonewood, WV; two brothers, John Carder and his wife, Angela of Shinnston, WV, and Dillon Stalnaker of Clarksburg, WV; father-in-law, Anthony Feathers and his girlfriend, Cathy of Clarksburg, WV; mother-in-law, Rebecca Knight of Clarksburg, WV; brother-in-law, Chad Feathers and his wife, Molli of Clarksburg, WV; several nieces and nephews that he loved greatly.
Earl was preceded in death by his brother, Dennis Alan Zickefoose, whom died on May 23, 2009.
Earl was a heavy equipment operator for Deep Well Energy Service. He was an avid trout fisherman, hunter and enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, especially his two children, Caleb and Chase.
BARBARA ANN ARNETT
Barbara Ann Arnett, 76, of Clarksburg, WV, passed away on November 26, 2016, at her residence following an extended illness.
She was born in Clarksburg, on April 14, 1940, a daughter of the late John Everett Williams and Velda Morgan Williams.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Clarence Arnett on March 5, 2009.
Mrs. Arnett is survived by two sons, Jed Eugene Arnett and David S. Arnett, both of Clarksburg; one daughter, Veronica J. Arnett of Meadowbrook; six grandchildren, Jeremy Carl Lew Arnett, Nikki Westfall, Tonya Arnett, Tosha Arnett, Elizabeth Smith and Thomas Smith; three great-grandchildren, Jason Arnett, “Kiki” Arnett, and Jacoby Riley; as well as several nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her daughter, Velda Jo Westfall in 2015; four brothers, Carl Williams, Ray Williams, Jimmy Williams and Johnny Williams; and one sister, Dorothy Williams Jacobs.
Barbara was a Beautician/Instructor at the Clarksburg Beauty Academy, and retired from Walmart as a cashier.
She enjoyed shopping, crocheting, sewing, bingo and working puzzles. She especially loved and enjoyed her grandchildren.
EVELYN LOU TOOMPAS
Evelyn Lou Toompas, 86, died peacefully at 9:40 a.m. on Sunday, November 27, 2016, at Golden Harvest Personal Care Home in Bridgeport, following an extended illness of Alzheimer’s disease. She was previously a resident of Bridgeport, West Virginia.
She was born in Nutter Fort, West Virginia, on March 26, 1930, the daughter of the late Leslie E. and Irene E. Simons Stanley. She was a graduate of Washington Irving High School, Class of 1948.
Evelyn was preceded in death by her husband of 40 years, Edward A. Toompas, who passed away August 24, 1994.
Surviving are twin sons, Stanley Edward Toompas, O.D. and wife Kimberly (Dean) of Philippi, WV, and Stephen Edward Toompas, R.Ph. and wife Kimberly (Johnson) of Bridgeport, WV four grandchildren, Amanda Toompas Rogers and husband David of Fairfax, VA, Christopher Toompas of Philippi, WV, Shelby Toompas of Fairfax, VA, and Kelsey Toompas Hendricks and husband Nathan of Pottstown, PA. One great-grandchild, Scarlett Rogers.
Evelyn is also survived by nieces, nephews, and cousins.
In addition to her parents and husband, Evelyn was preceded in death by one brother, Everett Bud Stanley and sister-in-law, Dorothy Stanley.
Evelyn was known for her extensive card ministry and her unselfish nature. She was a member of First Presbyterian Church of Clarksburg where she sang many years in the choir.
LOUIS G. MESSENGER
Louis G. Messenger, 68, of Salem, departed this life on Saturday, November 26, 2016, at United Hospital Center, Bridgeport.
He was born on January 28, 1948, in Jane Lew, a son of the late Clarence and Leona Sandy Messenger. On May 4, 1985, he married Debbie McDaniel Messenger, who survives.
Also surviving: One daughter, Kimberly (Peter) Cabrera, Norfolk, VA; one son, Louis “Jake” Messenger, Salem; two adopted children, Rachel and Willie Hawkins; five grandchildren, Emanuel, Armando, Manny Cabrera, Luke and Levi Hawkins; six sisters, Judy Bennett, Norma Williams, Shirley (George) Freeland, of Ohio, Sharon Carter, North Carolina, Janet (Tom) Brasselle, Canaan Valley, and twin sister Linda (Tom) Hall, Salem. He was preceded in death by one son, Anthony Messenger, and one brother, Charlie Messenger.
Mr. Messenger was a carpenter by trade and a veteran of the U.S. Army serving during the Vietnam War.
FRED E. HEIDELMEIER
Fred E. Heidelmeier, 100, of Clarksburg, WV, passed away on Sunday, November 27, 2016, at the Meadowview Manor in Bridgeport, WV.
He was born on February 13, 1916, in Washington, PA, a son of the late John and Lula (Rank) Heidelmeier.
Mr. Heidelmeier was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Alta Hall Heidelmeier, on April 28, 2006.
Fred is survived by one daughter, Shirley Williams and husband Joe of Clarksburg, eight grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren, and three great-great-great-grandchildren.
Fred was the last surviving member of his immediate family, having also been preceded in death by six siblings, Melba Bracy, Faye Roland, John “Bud” Heidelmeier, Bob Heidelmeier, Sylvia Goodwin and June Huey.
He was also preceded in death by a stepdaughter, Roberta Jean Milsap.
Fred retired with 43 years of service to Hazel Atlas, Continental Can, and Brockway Glass. He was an avid bowler, and a car enthusiast, especially Cadillac convertibles. Mr. Heidelmeier was well known for his fedora hats and was very much a true gentleman. He was Protestant by faith, and was greatly loved by his family.
MARGARET LEE (SNYDER) SCHMIDT
Margaret Lee (Snyder) Schmidt, age 99, of Clarksburg, WV, passed away on Tuesday, November 29, 2016, at Brookdale Senior Living in Marietta, Ohio.
She was born April 23, 1917, in Thomas, WV, the daughter of the late John Snyder and Ruth (Daughenbaugh) Snyder. She was the last surviving member of her immediate family.
Margaret is survived by her daughter, Linda Bunnell of Williamstown, WV; two grandchildren, Tracy Riley and her husband Dennis of Huntington, WV, and Tricia Bright and her husband Darren of Parkersburg, WV; four great-grandchildren, Andrew Henry Bright, Tyson Alexander Bright, Mason Patrick Riley and Parker Alan Riley.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Eugene Henry Schmidt, who died on August 15, 2007; two sisters, Alberta Moore and Ella Marie Vincent; a brother, John James Snyder; longtime friend, Babe Rebrook.
Margaret worked for Hazel Atlas Glass Company for 11 years. She was a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.
JACKIE LEE COOMER SR.
Jackie Lee Coomer Sr., 82, of Bridgeport, passed away Saturday evening, November 26, 2016, at his residence.
He was born December 3, 1933, in Dayton, OH, a son of the late John Brack and Zanna (Woods) Coomer.
On December 10, 1992, he married Carol Sue Gaston, who preceded him in death on August 29, 2015.
He is survived by three children, Rosezanna Coomer, Harrisburg, PA, Jackie L. Coomer II, Hagerstown, MD, and Jay L. Coomer, Arizona; 8 grandchildren; his brother, Howard Douglas Coomer, Missouri; a sister, Edna Mae Harden, Missouri; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by a son at birth, Walter Lee Coomer; a brother, Huey Coomer, and a half brother, Ernest Basham, and a sister in infancy.
Jackie served in the U.S. Army from 1952-1967. From December 1961 through February 1967, he was assigned to the White House as a transportation specialist, where he took every fifth trip with the President of the United States. He was on the fateful trip to Dallas, TX, when President Kennedy was assassinated and when Lyndon Johnson was sworn in.
He had also worked as a tour bus driver for Coach USA. He enjoyed creating stained glass and co-owned Castle Stained Glass Company with his wife Carol, and they enjoyed traveling to shows to sell their pieces.
LOUELLA JEAN GASTON
Louella Jean Gaston, age 89, of North View, Clarksburg, departed this life in her home on December 1, 2016.
She was born in Clarksburg, WV, on November 9, 1927, the youngest daughter of the late Homer W. Vance and Emma Cougar Vance.
Surviving are two sons, Donald B. Gaston II and wife Fran, Fenton, MI, and William V. Gaston and wife Reta, Clarksburg, WV; four grandchildren, Brooke, Christopher, Jennifer and Marissa; eight great-grandchildren, Aiden, Taylor, Emmy, Oliver, Quinn, Glen, Sammy and Mikie; and 12 nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald B. Gaston; three brothers, Walter, Hoy (Dick), Ora; and seven sisters, Dorcie, Grace, Pearl, Mildred, Madge, Virginia and Clara.
Mrs. Gaston retired from Anchor Hocking with 42 years of service. She was a proud lifelong Democrat who worked in the Harrison County Democratic Women’s Association. She was also a member of the Red Hat Society, Clarksburg American Legion Post 13, VFW Post 573, Fraternal Order of Eagles 2353, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and Loyal Order of Moose.
JOHN SALVATORE ARCO
John Salvatore Arco, age 35, of Clarksburg, passed away on Tuesday, November 22, 2016, at his residence.
He was born on February 4, 1981, to John and Carla (Long) Arco.
He was preceded in death by his paternal grandmother, Rose Arco, and his maternal grandfather, V. Gene Long.
In addition to his parents, he is survived by one brother, Jimmy Arco; one sister, Maria Arco; his nephew and niece, Isiaha and Ashirah; paternal grandfather, Albert “Engine” Arco; maternal grandmother, Wanda Long; and his aunts and uncles, Becky (Long) and Jerry Davis, and David and Maxine Long.
He is also survived by his partner, Toby Riffle, and best friend, Cindy Iquinto, as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins.
John Sal attended St. Mary’s Grade School and Notre Dame High School, where he graduated Co-Valedictorian of his class. He served as Student Body President and was an active member of many clubs and organizations throughout high school. He graduated from West Virginia University with a degree in Political Science. After working for several years for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, he attended and graduated from Charlotte School of Law. He was currently working as an Abstractor and enjoyed his work in the oil and gas business.