Charles Kenneth Black

Charles Kenneth Black died unexpectedly on March 14, 2014, as he was leaving his garden.

Kenneth was born at Baldwin, W.Va., on Feb. 26, 1919, the third son of Orpha Messenger and Charlie Black.

His parents and five brothers, Glennn, Deward, Russ, Bill and Lynn preceded him in death, as did his beloved Springer Spaniel, Max.

He is survived by his sister, Joy Rhoades, Akron, Ohio; his wife, Mary Susan of Stouts Mills, W.Va.; and son, David Kenneth and wife, Dana, of Pittsburgh, Pa.

Kenneth attended the two-room school at Baldwin and Oak Grove United Brethren Church. He graduated from Sand Fork High School. For a time, he served in the Civilian Conservation Corps mostly at Cooper’s Rock. He joined the Army Air Force at the outset of World War II and was stationed during the war with the Eighth Air Force at Bassingbourn, England. Kenneth was a member of the 91st Bomb Group, 323rd Squadron. Famously known as the “Ragged Irregulars,” the 91st flew countless critical missions, most notably during D-Day.

Returning from the war, he graduated from mechanics school at Nashville Auto Diesel College in Nashville, Tenn. Back home, he worked on the pipeline and as a welder in central West Virginia, and as a mechanic at the Chevrolet garage. He retired as a well-known parts man at Rastle’s Auto. For several years, he kept cattle on the family farm, gardened, enjoyed his membership in Gilmer County Masonic Lodge 118, where he earned his 50-year pin, and was an avid follower of WVU football and basketball. At 95, he had lived a good life.

Friends may call from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday at Ellyson Mortuary Inc., Glenville. Services will follow at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the mortuary, with Pastor Bryan Groves officiating. Burial will follow in Stalnaker Cemetery, Glenville.

Memorial contributions can be made to Gilmer Senior Center, 720 N Lewis St., Glenville, WV 26351.

Ellyson Mortuary Inc. is assisting the family of Charles Kenneth Black with arrangements.