Willa Pauline Pugh, 93, of Nashville, Tenn., formerly of Hacker Valley, W.Va., passed away peacefully on Tuesday morning January 5, 2021, at the home of her daughter with whom she has lived for the past 5 years.
Willa was born on August 9, 1927, in Replete, W.Va., the 4th daughter and 7th child of Lloyd and Alta Lough Bickel. Willa was preceded in death by her parents and by her high school sweetheart and loving husband of 56 years U.N. “Sleepy” Pugh, daughter Debby Stone, brothers Dana, Lester, Lawrence, and Ron Bickel, sisters Maxine Cogar and Emogene Pugh, nephews James Pugh and Larry Arbogast, and niece Shirley Arbogast.
She was a lifelong resident of Webster County until the last 13 years when she was lovingly shared by her 3 children. She always kept Webster close to her heart as she looked forward to receiving The Webster Echo every week no matter where she was living.
Left to cherish her memory and carry on her legacy are son Woody (Virginia) Pugh of Webster Springs, W.Va., daughter Doretta Osburn of Nashville, Tenn., Son-in-law David Stone of Anderson, S.C., Grandson Adam (Hilah) Stone of Anderson, S.C., Granddaughter Lauren Osburn of Nashville, Tenn., Step-Granddaughters Mary Stone (Jack) Kinsey of Hurricane, W.Va. and Holly (Trevor) Clark of Diana, W.Va., Step-Grandsons Ofie (Lisa) Helmick of Fairmont, W.Va. and Scott (Malinda) Helmick of New Martinsville, W.Va. Sisters Irene Burgess of Flatwoods, W.Va. and Myrtie Jo (Johnny) Davidson of Buckhannon, W.Va., Sisters-in-law Joyce Pugh, Nelle Bickel, Leta Payne and Darlene Bickel as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Willa loved her family and organized many family reunions over the years and loved to spend time catching up and sharing meals with her favorite people.
Willa was a devoted wife, beloved mother, adoring grandmother, caring sister, proud aunt, cheerful cousin, and faithful friend. She loved to cook and you could guarantee if you stopped at the farm for a visit, you would never leave hungry or empty handed. She enjoyed sewing and quilting and taught many younger generations these arts. She was an amazing gardener and blessed her family and extended family by keeping a basement full of canned goods at their disposal. She worked with 12,000+ chickens, many cows and other farm animals, having that special touch and sound of her voice that calmed them like no one else.
After her retirement from farming, she enjoyed reading, working puzzles, playing dominoes and of course spending time with her family, her two grandchildren most especially. Eating pizza, shopping, and climbing in the jeep with Adam and Hilah and sewing Girl Scout badges, getting Happy Meals and eating hot fries, playing the piano and watching Gilmore Girls with Lauren, Grammy/Nanny was the light of their eyes as they were hers.
Her volunteer efforts left the mark of her work ethic and spirit on her community. She was a lifelong member of the Panther Lick United Methodist Church (teen teacher), an avid 4-H member and supporter receiving her charting pin as a member of the Cherokee tribe at 4-H camp, a member of the Hacker Valley Rebekah Lodge, Hacker Valley Elementary PTA (president), WCHS Band Booster (president) and seamstress for numerous majorette uniforms over the years. She was instrumental in securing the high school activity bus running to The Valley affording all the local students the ability to participate in extracurricular activities.
One of her most loved roles and difference makers was her serving as the first president of the Hacker Valley Volunteer Fire Department’s Lady Auxiliary. She and “Sleepy” spent tireless hours organizing the initial fire department in the Valley. The first ramp dinner for the department was Willa’s idea and oh how she loved to see hard work and detailed plans pay off. Willa was the 1993 recipient of First Runner-up to West Virginia’s Mother of the Year, being selected from hundreds of nominees.
A graveside service and burial will be held Saturday, January 9, 2021, at 1 p.m., at the Hacker Valley Cemetery. The family asks as a tribute to Willa, in lieu of flowers please consider making a donation in her honor to the Hacker Valley Volunteer Fire Department at: HVVFD, 4999 Hacker Valley Road, Hacker Valley, WV 26222.
The family would like to thank all those who helped care for Willa over the years. She was a joy to be around to the very end.
Online condolences may be extended to the Pugh family at www.heavnerandcutright.com. The Pugh family entrusted the Heavner and Cutright Funeral Chapel with the arrangements.