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Stead honored for 48 years of service

RECOGNIZED — During their meeting Thursday, the Weirton Board of Parks and Recreation honored the career of Marilyn Stead, who retired in September following 48 years of employment, including time as executive director of the city’s recreation system. (Photo by Craig Howell)

WEIRTON — Members of the Weirton Board of Parks and Recreation took time during their meeting Thursday to honor a longtime staff member.

Marilyn Stead retired last month following 48 years of service to the city’s recreation department, beginning in September 1972.

Stead began her career working in customer service at the Millsop Community Center, filling in various positions and rising to the post of executive director. After retiring as the director, she opted to stay on, returning to the customer service job where she began.

“This is really an honor for all of us,” board Chair Edwin J. Bowman said.

In addition to recognizing Stead’s contributions over almost five decades, the board announced the lower-floor meeting room, often known as the “Blue Room,” would now be named the Marilyn Stead Meeting Room in her honor, with a plaque hanging in tribute.

After accepting the plaque, Stead noted the importance of the Millsop Community Center in the community.

“The center was a big part of my life,” she said. “I just love it.”

Current executive director, Coty Shingle, noted for some of her years working at the Millsop Center, Stead also was working a full-time position with the Weirton Police Department.

Board member Deb Witkowski told Stead she always felt welcomed when walking into the Millsop Center and seeing her behind the desk.

“I had a sense of belonging,” Witkowski said, adding she admired Stead’s dedication. “You never let us down.”

Board member William Curenton, who is a long-time member of the community center, said he has known Stead for many years. He noted he came into the center a couple of days before Stead’s retirement, and found her cleaning, saying she wanted to make sure the work was still done even though she was leaving.

“That’s the kind of person she is,” Curenton said.

Board member Doug Finton explained both of his children spent time working at Starvaggi Memorial Pool, learning from Stead.

“You had an impact on a lot of kids,” he said.

Mike Adams, board member and Ward 2 councilman, agreed, calling Stead a “steady hand,” and adding her dedication is not something found in many people these days.

(Howell can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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