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The true spirit of service

Karen “Sue” Simonetti, by many accounts, was well-known and well-liked throughout the Northern Panhandle and much of the state of West Virginia.

Simonetti died last week at the age of 75, leaving a vacancy in Wellsburg’s government, but, more importantly, in the hearts and minds of the community she loved.

For 12 years she was the mayor of Wellsburg, working with the city’s council, officials and employees to lead the community through both good and bad times. Her career in community service began well before that, however, and was not limited to politics.

For 22 years, Simonetti was the secretary-treasurer for Wellsburg’s water-sewer board, with two years as city clerk before eventually deciding to seek office as the city’s top elected executive. For a short time, she also was acting city manager and had served as chair of the executive board of the Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission.

Through her leadership, Wellsburg’s Urban Redevelopment Authority was founded, improvements were undertaken in the city’s Central Park and a lane realignment project was completed on a portion of state Route 2 to allow for improved safety in an area with increased truck traffic.

She was among the main local supporters of the new bridge currently under construction along the Ohio River just south of Wellsburg.

Simonetti also was a cancer survivor, and a supporter of local Relay for Life efforts and other cancer charities.

Mayor Sue Simonetti was a true example of a public servant. She will be missed, but her example and influence will remain for years to come.

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