Obituaries — 6/17/12
Edgar Barrett III
Edgar O. “Eddie” Barrett III, former Marshall University athletic director and West Virginia University sports information director, who became a leading provider of supplemental retirement plans to teachers and non-profit workers, died June 15, 2012, in Huntington, W.Va., surrounded by his beloved wife of 56 years and his five children. He was 81.
Born March 16, 1931 to the late Edgar O. Barrett, Jr. and Jessie Church Barrett, he grew up in Fairmont. At 13, he began writing sports for The Fairmont Times. He turned his early experience in sports writing into a storied career in college athletics. Following his father to West Virginia University, Barrett became the University’s sports information director at the age of 20 in 1951. In that capacity, he helped bring WVU into the modern era of sports publicity and promoted many iconic WVU athletes, including Jerry West, Sam Huff, Hot Rod Hundley, and Rod Thorn. He earned a B.S. in English from WVU in 1952. He left WVU from 1954-56 to serve in the United States Air Force in Milwaukee as public relations officer, where he met Betty.
In 1967, Barrett moved across the state to Huntington to become Marshall University’s athletic director at the age of 36, at the time the nation’s youngest major college athletic director ever.
After three years at Marshall, Barrett became the general manager of Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Huntington before finally entering the insurance and then the tax sheltered annuities businesses. For 35 years, he operated Tax Shelter Benefits, Inc., a provider of retirement (403b) plans to teachers and employees of non-profit organizations.
Barrett received national recognition and numerous awards throughout his varied career. His 1961 WVU basketball brochure was recognized nationally by the United States Basketball Writers Association with their first-ever award. He served on the NCAA Public Relations Committee from 1963-67. The West Virginia Sportswriters Association gave Barrett the Gene Morehouse Award, its highest award recognizing distinguished service and outstanding contributions to sportswriting. WVU honored Barrett and his wife in 2009 as Most Loyal West Virginians and the 2007 Outstanding Volunteer Philanthropists. Barrett also received the WVU Alumni Association’s award for promoting the spirit and traditions of West Virginia. He received the WVU English Department’s Alumnus Achievement award in 2008. In 2010, he was elected to the WVU Sports Hall of Fame.
Known for his encyclopedic knowledge of WVU sports, Barrett was recognized as WVU’s unofficial sports historian.
Barrett was also widely recognized and honored in the insurance and tax sheltered annuities businesses. He was a life member of the insurance industry’s Million Dollar Roundtable and Top of the Table since 1998. He led six different companies in sales. He was sales leader of the year four times for Northern Life/Reliastar, and received their Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.
Eddie Barrett was outgoing, entertaining, and enthusiastic about his state. He loved college sports, Broadway musicals, travel, ballroom dancing, chocolate desserts, good friends, and above all his family. He loved the work he did helping “his teachers” and other clients to a more secure retirement.
Barrett is survived by his wife, Betty Heistad Barrett; five children and their spouses, Kevin and Laura Barrett of Port Chester, N. Y., Richard and Genevieve Barrett of San Antonito, N. M., Ned and Christy Barrett of Spartanburg, S. C., John and Cynthia Barrett of Charleston, and Ann and Dr. Stanley Tao of Barboursville. He is also survived by eleven grandchildren, Christopher, Julia, Andy, Quinn, Sam, Anna, Hollyn, Lily, Ned, and Jane; by his niece, Valerie Childs of Chadds Ford, Penn.; nephew, Dr. Barrett Childs and wife Leslie of Riverdale, N. Y., and their three children. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Beverly Barrett Childs.
The family will welcome friends on 5-8 p.m. at Klingel-Carpenter Mortuary. A funeral service will be 2 p.m. Wednesday at the First Presbyterian Church in Huntington, conducted by Dr. Rick Wilson and the Rev. Skip Seibel. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Cabell-Huntington Coalition for the Homeless, 627 Fourth Avenue, or WVU Alumni Association. Family guestbook at www.klingelcarpenter.com.
Gloria Jean Baise, 71, of Chesapeake, died Friday, June 15, 2012, in Heartland of Riverview. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Tuesday at Schneider-Griffin Funeral Home. Burial will follow in Getaway Cemetery. Visitation will be from 6 – 8 p.m. Monday at the funeral home. Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.schneidergriffin.com.
Geneva Wisenberger, of St. Petersburg, Fla., formerly of Ironton, died April 20, 2012. Memorial service will be 1 p.m. Saturday at Phillips Funeral Home. Visitation for family will be 11 a.m. Saturday; visitation for friends will be at noon.
Sonny R. Miller, 59, of Shawnee Hill, died Thursday, June 14, 2012, at Grady Memorial Hospital in Delaware, Ohio. Funeral will be 1 p.m. Monday at Tracy Brammer-Monroe Funeral Home in Ironton with Pastor Randy Depriest officiating. Burial will follow in the Vernon Furnace Cemetery. Visitation will be noon until time of service Monday at the funeral home. Online condolences may be expressed at www.tracybrammerfh.com.
William D. Siple, 67, of Rush, Ky., died Saturday, June 16, 2012, at the Boyd County Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Arrangements are pending at Phillips Funeral Home.
Robert Edward Valentine, 75, of Ironton, died Friday, June 15, 2012, at his residence. He was the husband of Mary Lou Siple, who survives. Graveside service will be 2 p.m. Monday at Woodland Cemetery. There will be no public visitation. Phillips Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Charles Jayne, 80, of Kitts Hill, died Friday, June 15, 2012, at the Community Hospice Care Center in Ashland, Ky. Arrangements are pending at Phillips Funeral Home.
Ronnie Parsons, 76, of Weirton, W.Va., formerly of Ironton, died Friday June 15, 2012, in Weirton. Arrangements are incomplete at O’Keefe-Baker Funeral Home.