There is always grief with the death of any individual. It may only be experienced by a few people, or even a large group, but it is not often grief is felt by an entire community.
That is the kind of grief Weirton has been dealing with in the last several days following the loss of Louis Serra, who died July 6.
Mr. Serra was one of those unique individuals who somehow found a way to not only grow a family and a business, but also make a significant contribution to the surrounding community during his lifetime.
We are sure he will be remembered for years to come for his dedication to not only building a thriving business but also his constant - if often quiet - contributions to Weirton and the surrounding communities.
Serra originally built the Weirton Convalescent Center in 1970. What started as a 100-bed facility more than 40 years ago has since grown into a complex of care centers and other facilities available to assist some of our area's elderly residents with various levels of needs.
Now known as Serra Village Retirement Community, the facility provides space for independent living, assisted living, nursing care of varying levels and even assistance for those with conditions such as Alzheimer's.
Beyond that, however, he was a true philanthropist, finding many ways to give back to the community which had given him so much, and often doing so without seeking publicity for his contributions.
As was stated by several officials earlier this week, his donations to the Weirton United Way, Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Seeing Beyond Foundation and various other groups were many.
The Serra Foundation also provides grants for scholarships to local high schools, helping to make sure many of our younger residents are able to continue to their education. He was honored by numerous organizations, and two West Virginia governors, and deservedly so.
He continued the mentality we are certain he learned in his youth where you worked hard and remembered from where you came, giving back to your community and especially to those who were in need.
Weirton truly was a better place for having Lou Serra as one of its residents, and there will be a large part of our community spirit missing with him gone.