REMEMBERING: CALHOUN EDUCATOR AND FARMER EUGENE REYNOLDS DIES AT 89 - A Hur WV Native

(09/14/2017)

By Bob Weaver

9/13/2014

Calhoun educator and longtime Hur farmer Eugene Reynolds has died in Parkersburg at age 89.

Reynolds had deep roots in the Calhoun clay, including those to his German immigrant grandparents Godfrey and Bertha Wallbrown Fritz, who settled in the deep woods of the Husk Ridge in the 1880s.

His mother, Lizzie Fritz Reynolds, was a longtime Calhoun teacher of one room schools, and with her husband Hess Reynolds, operated the Hur post office and a store, the post office closing about 1950.

His mother was the daughter of German immigrants Godfrey and Bertha Wallbrown Fritz, residents of the Husk Ridge.

The English Department at Calhoun High (1958)
left to right: Louise McDonald, Glendon McKee,
Don McCartney, Eugene Reynolds, Sue Murray

The first time I remember seeing Eugene was at a bone-chilling occasion in the late 1940s. He took a sled with horses out the Husk Ridge to retrieve the bodies of two people who froze to death inside the vacated Fritz property.

See SUNNY CAL JOURNAL - Frozen On The Husk, No Matches To Be Found

Perhaps my greatest recollections of Eugene will be his work-hardy efforts operating the family farms on The Husk and Joker Ridge, his annual efforts playing Santa Claus at the Hur Church and as an exemplary neighbor.

Years after I had his high school English course, he reminded me of a conversation we had in 10th grade, as only teachers can do.

He said he spoke to me after class about my lack of interest in his English class, being a slacker. He said I responded by admitting "I was conspicuously and arbitrarily not much interested." Reynolds said, after hearing my spiel, "Maybe you're gonna make it anyway."

In more recent years, I expressed my disappointment to him about leaving his roots in the Village of Hur and moving to the Parkersburg area. I told him that I had looked forward to growing old, close to him.

After graduating from Calhoun County High School, he attended Glenville State Teachers College for one year, during which he was called to duty and served his country in Europe with the 36th Division of the Army during World War II.

He received the Purple Heart and Oak Leaf Cluster for having been twice wounded.

After the war he returned to Glenville where he obtained his BA in Elementary and Secondary Education in 1948. He then enrolled at West Virginia University and received his Master’s in Education.

He began his teaching career as principal of a two-room school at Cabot Station and then spent the next seventeen years at Calhoun County High teaching English, along with many other duties.

In 1968, he went to Spencer where he served as Assistant Principal at Spencer High School for twenty years. He retired from Education in 1988.

In addition to his educational career, he along with his mother and later his wife, Juanita, operated a 200 acre farm raising purebred Polled Herford cattle at Hur. He was a member of the Red Hill United Methodist Church where he taught the Senior Bible Class. He was a lay leader and member of several organizations within the church.

Funeral services will be held Sunday September 14 at 4:00 pm at the Stump Funeral Home in Arnoldsburg with Rev. Mark Watkins and Rev. Mary Zimmer officiating. Burial will follow in the Sycamore Baptist Church Cemetery at Mt. Zion.

See complete obituary Eugene W. Reynolds


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