Henry lauded for impact on Martinsburg community | News, Sports, Jobs


W. Gene Henry, who was 88 years outdated when he died Feb. 17, left his mark in Martinsburg by way of his service, enterprise ventures and educating.

Morrisons Cove Memorial Park Govt Director Chuck Gojmerac didn’t know Henry effectively however has all the time appreciated his affect on the neighborhood.

“He was extraordinarily pleased with his heritage and his hometown,” Gojmerac mentioned. “That’s evident by his donations again to the neighborhood by which he grew up. Gene Henry had his pulse on the neighborhood.”

Henry made a variety of beneficiant donations to his neighborhood and devoted over 1 / 4 century of his life to training, serving as a trainer and principal within the Altoona Space Faculty District.

Simply final 12 months, he funded the brand new Martinsburg Volunteer Hearth Firm constructing. He additionally donated land for the Martinsburg EMS constructing, and continues his giving methods posthumously by way of a

$1 million donation from his property to the Morrisons Cove Memorial Park.

His donation to the park will go towards handicapped accessibility, a Civil Battle monument, a baseball discipline, a slide for the park’s swimming pool and, tentatively, a discipline for soccer and soccer.

Gojmerac mentioned Henry’s donation towards these initiatives will expedite their completion, seeing the advance plan by way of forward of schedule. Prior to now, the park has hosted a neighborhood celebration day on the final Sunday of summer time, an occasion that Gojmerac hopes to rename the Gene Henry Group Appreciation Day.

“A really savvy enterprise individual,” based on Gojmerac, Henry based W. Gene Henry Cellular Residence Parks, which he ran for greater than 60 years.

Buying {hardware} provides typically for the maintenance of his cell residence parks, Henry frequented the Steele Residence Enchancment Heart, the place he met Randy Stoltz, who labored the counter. The 2 grew to become good pals.

A former borough supervisor and historian in Martinsburg, Stoltz had an in depth working relationship with Henry, as the 2 started numerous neighborhood initiatives collectively within the Nineteen Nineties.

“I’m going to overlook simply working with him on initiatives as a result of he had such a want for the city’s security and that the city would prosper,” Stoltz mentioned. “And every part that he did was everlasting, issues that he needed to final for a very long time.”

The neighborhood Henry so beloved and gave generously to had his again, too. Seven years in the past, Henry suffered severe accidents from a fall.

“He fell on the ice and virtually died,” Stoltz mentioned. “He form of severed one thing in his neck and spinal wire. That ambulance constructing that he helped fund and gave floor for saved him. That ambulance picked him up inside minutes. That was form of ironic that he gave that floor after which when he fell, they have been those there so rapidly to select him up.”

Stoltz remembers Henry for being a one-of-a-kind, giving man who cared deeply about his neighborhood.

“I’m going to recollect his generosity,” Stoltz mentioned. “What number of communities have somebody to provide a lot again? He may have saved each penny he made and carried out no matter he needed with it. He’s actually helped improve the Borough of Martinsburg.”

Martinsburg Mayor Wealthy Brantner Sr. echoed Stoltz’s sentiment, noting how actually distinctive Henry was in his generosity.

“We’ll most likely by no means have anyone like that once more,” Brantner mentioned. “He was so community-minded. The way in which he took care of the neighborhood was simply plain commendable.”

In keeping with Brantner, Henry was simply as beneficiant privately as he was in public.

“I believe, simply listening to some individuals discuss, not solely did he make giant contributions to the neighborhood, however I believe behind the scenes, with out publicity, he helped out plenty of people financially,” he mentioned.

The mayor’s son, Wealthy Brantner Jr., mentioned he’ll miss Henry’s presence.

“I’m going to overlook having him round and seeing him round city,” Brantner Jr. mentioned. “You’d all the time see him round city or sitting on the porch at his home. He all the time handled you effectively. He did a lot for the borough and the neighborhood. He was all the time looking for the neighborhood to make it higher and safer.”

Mirror Workers Author Andrew Mollenauer is at 814-946-7428.

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