Earl Norval Straight Sr., 105, a resident of Fairmont Health and Rehabilitation Center, passed away Tuesday morning (April 5, 2016) in the health facility.
He was born March 9, 1911, in Fairmont, son of the late Lawrence C. and Elba B. Straight.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Dolris "Dobbs" Straight, in 2011.
Mr. Straight received his A.B. degree in journalism and English from Fairmont State College in 1934, and obtained his M.A. degree in education and English from West Virginia University in 1938. He worked on his doctorate at the University of Colorado, with additional grad work at Ohio State University.
He began his journalism career as a teacher at East Fairmont High School. He served as a reporter, city editor and wire editor with the Fairmont Times and The West Virginian. After a brief military career in the U.S. Navy, he served four years as editor-and-chief of the Grafton Daily Gazette. He then moved to the Charleston area where he worked for the West Virginia Education Association and served as editor of the WVEA School Journal. While in Charleston, he was elected president of the West Virginia Industrial and Professional Editors, he was named "Sportsman of the Year" by the West Virginia Conservation Magazine and he was a member of Alpha Phi Gamma and Sigma Phi Gamma honoraries. He had articles published in state and national magazines, including the NEA Magazine, West Virginia Progress, the West Virginia School Journal, Consol News and Editor and Publisher.
In 1961, he returned to Fairmont as professor of journalism and director of public relations at Fairmont State College. In 1977, he retired from Fairmont State College and was elected to city council as Fairmont mayor. Mr. Straight was a 55-year member and elder of First Presbyterian Church in Fairmont. He was involved in various church activities, including the Boy Scouts of America. He was a lifetime member of Kiwanis of Fairmont, serving as a past lieutenant governor. He enjoyed any and all charitable activities involved in the community. He loved playing the game of golf and was a former member of the Fairmont Field Club. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing with his family and close friends.
Survivors include three sons and their spouses, Earl N. Straight II of Morgantown, Ron and Cyndy Straight of Fairmont, and Don and Cheryl Straight of Fairmont; two daughters, Shirley and her husband Herb Nevels of Catlin, Illinois, and Dorothy Ellen Molle of Clarksburg; grandchildren, R.J. Straight, Suzanne Straight, Anna Straight and her fiance Germain Johnson, Scott Simons, Lori Simons, Zachary Straight, Christian Straight, Dr. Richard Nevels, Cathy Lawhorn, Christy Corrington, John Molle, Beth A. Leachman and Julian West; great-grandchildren, Brandon Lawhorn, Lindsay Cox, John P. Molle, Geniya Johnson, Blake Corrington, Bailey Conboy, Benjamin, Lydia, Elizabeth and Anna Nevels, Benny Straight and Lilah Straight; a sister, Martha Jane Orr; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by a son-in-law, Jack Molle; a grandson, David Nevels; and two sisters, Helen Caplin and Ruth Bise.
Family and friends will be greeted during visitation from 2-8 p.m. Saturday and 1-2 p.m. Sunday at First Presbyterian Church on Jackson Street in Fairmont. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at First Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Elise Renee Neal officiating. Burial will follow in Mount Zion Cemetery and Mausoleum in Fairmont.
The family requests that memorial donations be made to First Presbyterian Church, 301 Jackson St., Fairmont, WV 26554.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Ford Funeral Home, Ford Chapel, 201 Columbia St., Fairmont.
Published on April 7, 2016