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Monday, November 24, 2008

Gov. Cecil Underwood passes away....

Nov. 5, 1922 - Nov. 24, 2008

I may not have agreed entirely with the Republican party during Gov. Underwood's terms, but as a gentleman, I thought he was one of the most affable Governor's of West Virginia.

Underwood's first term as the state's Chief Executive was 1957-61, and at that point I was not even knowledgeable of most political issues. But, my father, whose grandfather was the 6th Governor of West Virginia, had many close friends in the political arena and some had visited our home on occassion. I remember Gov. Underwood and his lovely wife Hovah, visiting shortly after his first election. Being a young girl, I thought he was extremely handsome (hell with politics), and he maintained his good looks throughtout his second term as Governor in '97-'01.

The Governor and his wife organized a luncheon for families of former Governors, in the summer of 1999. My twin sister and I travelled to Charleston, and met up with my brother (I use the term loosely) and his family, to enjoy a lovely day in the garden at the mansion.

I had the opportunity to speak with Hovah again, and mentioned that I vivdly remembered her visit to our home some 40 years prior, and she spoke highly of my dad - what a wonderful feeling. Hovah was a diminutive woman, but so charming, I was quite sad when she passed in 2004.

As for the Governor's political career, I was basically impressed that he started at a relatively young age in his pursuit of representing the people. He ran successfully for the House of Delegates in Tyler County at the age of 22, and after six terms, gained his seat as the 25th Governor of West Virginia. Being the youngest Governor to represent WV, also gained him a stint as the first guest on the old TV show "To Tell the Truth." There's some trivia for you.

Again, in 1997, he gained notoriety as the "oldest" West Virginia governor, and the hits just keep on coming.

As I started earlier, I honestly liked Underwood as a person - no political reason whatsoever. He will be missed.

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