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Simonetti remembered for dedication to community

Sue Simonetti

WELLSBURG — Sue Simonetti might have been the mayor of Wellsburg, but she never forgot about the area as a whole.

“She was a person who looked at things from a regional perspective,” said Mike Paprocki, executive director of the Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission while remembering Simonetti, who died Wednesday at the age of 75.

Simonetti, who was Wellsburg’s mayor for 12 years before announcing in November she would not seek re-election, also served as chair of the BHJ board.

“She cared deeply about everything that went on,” Paprocki added. “No one on the board gave me any better support, patience and respect.”

Steve Maguschak, Wellsburg’s city manager, agreed that Simonetti’s influence on and passion for the area were strong.

“She’s very well known around the state. She’s circulated with Sen. (Joe) Manchin and Congressman ( David) McKinley. And prior to that, you know, Sen. (Robert C.) Byrd,” Maguschak said. “She was very well respected in the state.”

Her ability to get along well with others came in handy during her career — she worked with three city managers and many members of council and other city officials.

No stranger to public service, Simonetti served as secretary-treasurer of Wellsburg’s water and sewer board for 22 years and was city clerk for two years. She was among the biggest proponents of the bridge currently under construction that will connect state Route 2 in Wellsburg with state Route 7 in Brilliant.

“She fought quite hard for the bridge — the Wellsburg bridge — and for development of the entire area,” Maguschak said.

That bridge is expected to open before the end of the year.

A native of Beech Bottom, Simonetti, a graduate of Wellsburg High School, announced her decision to step down as mayor during the Nov. 10 City Council meeting. After that meeting, she said the timing was right.

“I’ve been considering it for a while. Twelve years is enough. It’s time for me to step aside and let somebody with new ideas step in,” she said.

Simonetti pointed with pride to having been able to secure state grant money to landscape Central Park and add benches and lighting to create a central area where visitors were able to sit.

“She was very much involved with cancer survivors as well, and she is a loved and respected lady of Wellsburg,” Maguschak said. “She’s going to be sorely missed.”

Visitation for Simonetti will be held from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at the Mullenbach Funeral Home, 669 Main St. in Follansbee. The Rev. Arul Anthony will be the celebrant for a funeral Mass scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 1300 Charles St. in Wellsburg.

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