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County lost two good ones in November

Lawrence County lost two favorite sons the week of Nov. 23, 2009.

First, Art Shaffer, long time insurance agent, passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 24.

On Friday, Nov. 27, Kenny Howell, long time Lawrence County treasurer, passed away.

Ironton lost two fine Christian men in the space of five days. Our prayers go out to the families of these two men.

The lives of these two men were remarkably similar. Art was a 1942 graduate of Ironton High School. Upon graduation, he served in the Second World War with the 14th Armored Division.

Art would continue his education at the end of the war, graduating from Marshall University in 1949. He married wife Syble Dunkle in 1953, a union that produced three children, sons David and Steve, and daughter Kim.

I became acquainted with Art in 1970 when Syble and I took special education classes at Ohio University together. Children Steve and Kim attended Ironton Jr. High during my four years employment there.

Art and I continued our friendship when we both volunteered with the Boys Scouts of America and later the Friends of Briggs Library. He was always involved as a volunteer. After 56 years as husband, father, businessman, volunteer, and friend to all, Art has passed on.

Kenny Howell was 84 years old at the time of his death. He graduated from Ironton St. Joseph in 1943 and joined the U.S. Navy, also during World War II.

In 1947, Kenny and Jean Richendollar were married. Also a devoted family man, Kenny was the father of twin daughters, Rayette and Joette.

He would work for S.S Kresge for 38 years, serve as Hamilton Township Trustee, and be Lawrence County’s Treasurer for 20 years.

Kenny served with many organizations including Lawrence County CAO and the Ironton Masonic Lodge.

I first met Kenny at S.S. Kresge in 1976, when seeking door prizes for Special Olympics. That was my first year working with Special Olympics, and I was very nervous. Kenny made me feel right at home, asking many questions about Special Olympics.

I left with an armload of door prizes and was reminded to come back next year.

After 62 years as husband, father, businessman, volunteer, and friend to all, Kenny passed on.

As you can see, the similarities between these two men were many. Art and Kenny were married to the same women their entire adult lives.

Both were extraordinary family men. If you ever met any of their children, you know what I mean. Art and Kenny were Christians, attending church regularly. Both were involved in community service.

Art Shaffer and Kenny Howell represent the best of mankind, always helping others and never having a bad word to say about anyone.

These men exemplify what it means to be true Lawrence Countians.

Mike Nourse is a retired educator and contributing columnist for The Tribune. He lives in Coal Grove with wife Clara Gail, also a retired educator.