Givens lived to serve others

Roy Givens worked hard to improve the lives of residents of Brooke County and the Northern Panhandle.

From serving as an elected official through his efforts on many other fronts, Givens, who died Jan. 3 at the age of 89, always followed a simple philosophy of putting the interests of others first.

That was demonstrated in his service as a medic during the Korean War, through his time as a member of the Brooke County School Board and in the 26 years he spent as a member of the House of Delegates.

He accomplished much during that time, including working with other area legislators to bring about the widening of state Route 2 between Weirton and Follansbee, a project that many had said would never be completed.

It’s estimated that Givens had a hand in bringing more than $100 million of road work to the Northern Panhandle, as well as $400,000 for the expansion of the Brooke County Library. His work also was important to improvements in the Pioneer Trail, the Brooke County 4-H Camp, the Brooke Senior Center and local police and fire departments.

Givens made helping and recognizing veterans a priority, so much so that his first piece of legislation was providing free license plates for West Virginia residents who had been prisoners of war. He also helped to secure funds and authorization to build West Virginia’s first veterans nursing home in Clarksburg. He also was involved in the establishment of the West Virginia Woman’s Veterans Memorial at the State Capitol Complex.

He knew, as Brooke County Commissioner Tim Ennis said, “how to use his knowledge and wisdom to work the session to benefit the area.”

For all of his efforts, Givens was presented with numerous honors and awards, including being named Legislator of the Year and Citizen of the Year. He also was recognized for his work with those with disabilities and their families was well as adult literacy programs. And, in 2013, he received the Distinguished West Virginian Award from then-Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

As we wrote in an editorial shortly after he received that award, Givens truly had a lifetime of helping others, and a distinguished career of service.

His efforts made our area more vibrant, and he will be missed.

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