Paw Paw to host 64th Annual William H. Norton Memorial Day Parade this Saturday

Paw Paw community organizers will once again host Morgan County’s only Memorial Day parade this Saturday, May 25 beginning at 1 p.m. Prior to the parade, at 10 a.m. there will be a wreath laying at Woodrow Union Church, and then at 11 a.m. American Legion Post #128 will host a memorial service at the veteran’s monument.

A car show with food and craft vendors will be set up at Paw Paw Schools starting at 9 a.m.

Parade lineup begins at 12 noon and the parade will follow Winchester Street, Henry Miller Blvd. and Moser Avenue.

A parade and car show award ceremony will immediately follow the parade back at the school.

Sam Wagner is Grand Marshal

Retired Army Reserve Colonel Sam Wagner has been selected as Grand Marshal of the 64th Annual William H. Norton Memorial Day Parade on Saturday, May 25 beginning at 1 p.m. in Paw Paw.

He will also be the guest speaker at the Memorial Service at the Veteran’s Monument presented by the Paw Paw American Legion Post #128 at 11 a.m. prior to the parade.

Colonel Wagner grew up in an Army household. His father was a Korean War veteran who eventually retired as a Sergeant Major, and three of his brothers also retired from the Army.

He served 33 years, 8 months, and 13 days in the Army, serving across all three components – active duty, National Guard, and Army Reserve.

Colonel Wagner was enlisted as an Armor Crewman, and then served as a Field Artillery Officer for over 20 years before becoming a Logistician for the final few years of his career. He commanded 2 Artillery Batteries, in New Castle and Oil City, Pennsylvania, a Combat Sustainment Support Battalion in New York City, and a Regional Support Brigade in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was a Small Group Instructor for the Command and General Staff College.

Retired Army Reserve Colonel Sam Wagner.
submitted photo

He served as a staff officer at Battalion, Brigade, Division, and in combat, at the Corps level as the Chief of the Future Operations Section of the Operations Directorate, J3-5, for the Multi-National Security Assistance Command – Iraq in Baghdad.  He retired as Chief of Staff of an Expeditionary Sustainment Command.

He completed the Basic Armor Training, the Primary Leader Development Course, Officer Candidate School, Field Artillery Basic and Advanced Officer Courses, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, Command and General Staff College, Faculty Development Course, and the Army War College.

He holds a Bachelor of Science from Penn State and a Master of Strategic Studies from the Army War College. He has earned the medals appropriate to his rank and experiences, including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, and several Meritorious Service, Army Commendation, and Army Achievement Medals.

Colonel Wagner is the Founder of the Westmoreland County Veterans of the War on Terror and has served as a volunteer driver for the Westmoreland County Veterans Affairs Department, driving veterans from across the County to the VA Hospitals in Pittsburgh.

He also volunteers with Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense program to foster better relationships between employers and Reservists and Guardsmen. He is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He is also the Deputy Chair of the Westmoreland County America 250 Commission, which is a national organization committed to honoring the 250th birthday – the semi quincentennial – of the US in 2026.

After 35 years of service, Colonel Wagner retired from the US Army Corps of Engineers as an Operations Manager for the Pittsburgh District, where he was responsible for technical oversight and program management for the 16 lakes in the District.

Before that, he served as a Park Ranger at Raystown, Youghiogheny, Tionesta, and Shenango Lakes, and Manager at Mahoning, Shenango and Youghiogheny Lakes.

He and his wife Michele live outside Greensburg, Pennsylvania. He finally has his dream job – spending a few hours several days a week caring for his 4-year-old grandson. His post retirement “bucket list” includes visiting all state parks in Pennsylvania and all National Park Service sites across the country and watching the Pittsburgh Pirates play in every Major League stadium.

Sharp & Ross named Honorary Grand Marshals

Mr. Guy Sharp and Mr. Roger Ross, former Paw Paw High School teachers and coaches who each have more than 50 years of teaching experience, have been selected as Honorary Grand Marshals for the 64th Annual William H. Norton Memorial Day Parade.

Guy “Coach” Sharp is the son of Guy and Pearl Sharp. He has been married to his wife Roxanna for 34 years and is a member of the Church of Christ. He has one step-daughter, Kerri Dennis and two step-grandchildren, Michael and Kara.

Coach Sharp graduated from Paw Paw High School in 1964. Upon graduation he attended and graduated from Shepherd College in 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Physical Education, Health and Social Studies. He then worked toward his master’s degree, graduating from West Virginia University in 1977.

Coach Sharp taught and coached at Paw Paw High School for 20 years. During that time, he taught health, physical education, social studies and driver education. He was head boys’ basketball coach for 19 years, junior high basketball coach for 2 years, head baseball coach for 19 years and girls’ basketball coach for one year.

He taught health and physical education for a period of 12 years at Martinsburg Middle School, Martinsburg High School, and Musselman High School. Sharp served as head boys’ basketball coach at Musselman High School for all 12 of those years. He also taught at Berkeley County Child Care School for Behavioral and Special Students and was an assistant women’s basketball coach at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va. for two years. He is a member of WV Coaches Association and National Coaches Association.

Coach Sharp retired with 32 years of teaching and coaching in Morgan and Berkeley County Schools. He has served 23 years as a short term and long-term substitute teacher in Morgan County.

Roger Ross was born and raised in Coalton, W.Va., a small mining community in Randolph County. He has been married to his wife Janice for 49 years this July. They have two sons, Andy (Ashley) and Roger Lee (Amanda). They also have nine grandchildren, Addison, Tim, Alexis, Kade, Dominik, Sophia, Lydia, Andee and McKinley.

Ross attended West Virginia Institute of Technology where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Arts and History. Roger also furthered his studies at West Virginia University and Marshall University.

In 1971, Ross began teaching industrial arts, woodworking and drafting at Paw Paw High School. After 32 years of teaching, he retired from Morgan County Schools in 2003 but continued to be a substitute teacher. In addition to his teaching duties, Ross coached basketball and baseball. It was his pleasure coaching several fine athletes during his tenure at Paw Paw High School.

When Mr. Ross wasn’t teaching or coaching, he served as a seasonal park ranger 19 years for C&O Canal National Historical Park. After retiring from Morgan County Schools, Ross acquired a job at Timber Ridge School, where he continues teaching and has also coached basketball a few seasons.