Weirton Hall of Fame inducts ’17 class
WEIRTON — Four current and former residents joined the roll of honored Weirtonians Sunday, as the Weirton Hall of Fame inducted its Class of 2017.
Joined by family, friends and other guests at the Holiday Inn, Juginder K. Luthra, Marvin Levendorf, Markos “Mike” Apesos and the late Norman Ferrari Jr. joined almost 60 individuals who have been honored since the Hall of Fame was created in 2009.
Apesos and Ferrari were inducted under the category of public service, with Levendorf inducted under the category of philanthropy and Luthra under the category of music and fine arts.
Mayor Harold Miller welcomed the inductees and guests, expressing his appreciation for all they have done.
“Thank you for your service to the community,” Miller said, also thanking the Hall of Fame committee for their work to select the induction class.
Committee member John Sorrenti served as master of ceremonies.
Apesos thanked those who have been a part of his life, inspiring and assisting him over the years.
“I appreciate all those who have helped along the way,” he said, while expressing his wish more community organizations were in existence in the community today.
Apesos spent more than 30 years involved with the Boy Scouts of America, guiding 20 boys to the Eagle rank. He also is a recipient of the Silver Beaver award. Through his work as an electrician at Weirton Steel, he spent many years assisting to install Christmas lights in downtown Weirton, and through his time at All Saints Greek Orthodox Church, he is among the founders of the church’s annual Greek Festival.
He continues to be active as a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion Honor Guard.
Ferrari’s award was accepted by his wife, Helen, who thanked the hall of fame committee, family and friends for their support.
“I am so proud and honored to accept this award in memory of my husband,” she said. “This is for you Norm.”
An Air Force veteran, Ferrari operated a family law practice in Weirton, and also served as an assistant prosecuting attorney and magistrate judge in Hancock County and a Weirton municipal judge.
As an Air Force Academy liaison officer, he recruited more than 50 Ohio Valley students into the Air Force. Ferrari also was active in numerous local organizations, and founded a charitable fund to benefit St. Joseph the Worker Grade School and Weirton Madonna High School.
Levendorf said he was surprised by the honor, noting he had been curious when his daughter began asking him questions about his life as part of the nomination process.
“I had no idea what she was doing,” he said. “I thought she was preparing my obituary.”
Levendorf served in the Army, returning to Weirton in 1956 to help with the family insurance business. He also spent two years hosting a weekly radio show on WEIR, and spent many years serving on the boards of directors for Weirton Medical Center, the Weirton Christian Center, the International Food and Art Festival and many other organizations.
He explained while he no longer lives in Weirton, he often visits the city and has been impressed by the many changes in recent years.
Luthra, who has been an ophthalmologist in Weirton since 1976, expressed his appreciation to many for their support, including his parents, his wife and others in Weirton.
“All this feels unreal, and, sometimes, it feels undeserved,” he said, explaining he felt as if there were others who should have been honored.
Luthra was born in India, and moved to Weirton in 1975. Through his life, he has been active in establishing the Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center, worked with the Starvaggi Memorial Park Civic Association and is a member of the Rotary Club of Weirton Heights.
“Being a first-generation immigrant was much easier than I thought because of the people of Weirton,” Luthra said.
A plaque listing the names of this year’s inductees has been placed alongside those of other classes in the Weirton Room of the Millsop Community Center.
The Weirton Hall of Fame was established to honor current and former city residents for their outstanding accomplishments in the categories of business, industry and professionals; education; music and fine arts; philanthropy; public service; and sports and athletics.
To qualify, a nominee must have lived in the city for a minimum of five years since Weirton’s incorporation in 1947.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)