On September 3, 2003, the Wood County Recreation Commission suffered a devastating loss in the passing of long time Board member Bennett "Benny" Stump. Among his innumerable activities, Benny was a proponent of youth sports and recreation his entire life and was a key member of the Wood County Recreation Commission Board of Members for many years.
Benny was born at Stumptown, WV, the son of the late Clarence and Minnie Bennett Stump.
Benny was a graduate of Normantown High School in 1939. He earned a BA degree from Glenville State College in 1947, was Coach and Principal of Hillsboro High School, Pocahontas Co., 1947-1950. He served in the U.S. Navy 1942-1945 and was stationed at Jacksonville, Florida Naval Air Station, Aviation Training School as an instructor. He joined the Northern Board of IAABO in 1946. Benny started working in the WVIAC in 1948, football, basketball and baseball until his retirement in 1979.
He also worked in the Ohio Conference out of Columbus. Benny was a referee for over 40 years. He refereed the WV North-South All-Star Football game in 1979, refereed in four State Basketball Tournaments in WV, numerous state football playoff games, 15 State Baseball Tournaments. He was a Commissioner of the Ohio- West Virginia Officials Association and the Little Kanawha Athletic Conference- assigning football and basketball officials.
He served as the WWVSSAC baseball clinician, LKC All-Star Basketball Game Director, served as football rules clinician for the WVIAC and worked football in Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia and Ohio. He served on the Executive Committee for the Eastern District of Ohio Officials, also was selected to serve on the Orientation Panel when Ohio High School Athletic Association chose to adopt the National Federation Football Rules. He was selected for the WVSSAC Secretary of the Year Award 1980-1981. He was selected the Football and Basketball observer from 1980 until his latest illness. He was very active in the Parkersburg Community Youth activities; Parkersburg Little League Coach and Commissioner. State Chairman American Legion Baseball Program, Southern Regional Director 1970-1971. State director Babe Ruth Baseball Program, Regional director of the Mid-Atlantic Tournament held here 1963. He was lifetime member of BPOE #198 Lodge Youth Activities Chairman, local and state Hoop Shoot "Free Throw Contest" regional director, Teen-ager of the Month Program, scholarship program, girls and boys state camps, and the American Legion.
Benny was twice selected as WV Elks of the Year Award- 1975 and 1988, the highest award given by the Elks. He was chairman of Safety Town USA sponsored by Fort Neal Kiwanis Club, Co-Chairman of Parkersburg's First Annual Homecoming 1983, Co-Chairman Parkersburg's Bicentennial Commission- 200th Year celebration 1785-1985, Chairman of Wood County Recreation Commission, Co-chairman Parkersburg City Park Baseball Stadium Committee, chairman Parkersburg Fishing Derby, Chairman of the Parkersburg "Geritol Gang" Breakfast Club that meets weekly, past president of Worthington Senior Men's Golf League, he was an inducted member of the Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame and had served on the Parkersburg City Council for 4 years.
Benny retired in 1982 after 30 years of service from Aerolite Corporation in Marietta and was a member of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Parkersburg.
A member of the Parkersburg "Geritol Gang" Breakfast Club that meets weekly, past president of Worthington Senior Men's Golf League, he was an inducted member of the Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame and had served on the Parkersburg City Council for 4 years. Benny retired in 1982 after 30 years of service from Aerolite Corporation in Marietta and was a member of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Parkersburg.
According to his wishes, his family requested that in his memory, contributions be made to the Recreation Commission. In honor of Benny, the Wood County Recreation Commission created the Bennett "Benny" Stump Memorial Fund for Wood County Recreation that has and will continue to support the organization, children's sports, and recreation programming for generations to come.
Benny Stump was an icon in the community and a fine example of selfless volunteerism. He is sadly missed by the staff and members of the Wood County Recreation Commission.