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‘Grandma’ Hoover Serves As Christmas Parade Marshal

By Staff | Dec 2, 2015

Ruth Hoover

A woman known by many as “Grandma” will serve at marshal Saturday for Middlebourne’s Christmas parade.

“I feel it is a big honor to be selected out of all the people they could have chosen,” said Ruth Hoover, 80, a longtime resident of Middlebourne.

Hoover has served as a foster grandparent at the Tyler County Public Library since January 2014. While volunteering at the library, she is in charge of the story hour program for preschool children and helps with the after school craft program for elementary school students.

But that’s not even Hoover’s first stint as a Tyler County’s grandma. Between 2006 and 2013, Hoover served as a foster grandparent at the Arthur I. Boreman Elementary School. While Hoover’s official capacity involved guidance and remedial reading, she shared her care for students who may have needed a hug from time to time like we all do.

“I volunteer, I do what I do, for the children,” she said. “It does my heart good when they say ‘Hello, Grandma Hoover.’ They speak to me, know who I am and yes, it really does do my heart good when they recognize me, maybe even give me a hug on the street.”

Line-up for Middlebourne’s annual Christmas parade begins at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Ellsworth building the Senior Citizens Center. Before the parade begins, there will be a free breakfast for the kids and Mrs. Clause between 8 a.m and 10 a.m. at the fire hall. Following the parade, Santa will be at the fire hall with goodies for the children.

Hoover’s service to community extends to Tyler County’s senior citizens. As director of the Council of Senior Tyler Countians until her retirement, she was responsible for securing a permanent home in for the center in Middlebourne. Also, Hoover worked to help secure a grant, which brought the Meals Program to the county. Prior to that, meals were wheeled in from Ritchie County.

Hoover said she and her husband, Rex, moved to Middlebourne in 1955 when he got laid off from Weirton Steel, which was struggling during a national recession. She worked at Corning Glass Works in Paden City and he worked at Ormet Aluminum for many years.

Hoover said she loves Middlebourne and all that Tyler County has to offer.

“I love this small town,” she said. “And I love Middlebourne. It’s the best place anyone would want to live in. Everyone is your friend and you who know who everyone is.”

Though Rex Hoover will be watching the parade from heaven, the couple raised two daughters and have six grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and six step-great-grandchildren.

“Having a family grow up in Middlebourne was a good experience,” she said.

For more information, contact 304-771-9024 or 304-771-6954.