Judy Poe of Say Hay Farm, Fairmont, passed away November 16, 2021, after a short illness following surgery.
The daughter of Pauline Rosenmerkel and Russell Gross, she was born July 21, 1938, at Cook Hospital in Fairmont. A proud graduate of East Fairmont High School and West Virginia University, she received her bachelor’s degree in education.
In 1961, she married her high school sweetheart Ned Poe and soon became an Army spouse, as they served postings in Chicago and then at Fort Richardson in Alaska, where they survived the 1964 Good Friday earthquake, enjoyed dog sled racing, and made lifelong friends who visited back and forth for years.
Returning to the Mountain State, she lived in Union, New Martinsville and Morgantown while Ned worked for Farmers Home Administration of the USDA. They built a home on the family farm in Marion County in 1990 for retirement.
She was proud to be the first-grade teacher at Arnettsville Elementary from 1973 to 1998, helping hundreds of children learn to read and get their first taste of the adventure of learning. She also taught at Scenic Park Elementary in Anchorage, Alaska, and the Lilly Kindergarten in New Martinsville, W.Va. The love of reading and sharing good books with others was a lifelong passion, as well as her encouragement of young teachers.
She had a talent for seeing the potential in people and she had the patience to nurture and encourage them until they reached it; many family and friends were blessed by her faith and fortitude.
With her family, she attended sporting events all over America, and was champion of her fantasy football league six times. She loved enlarging and cultivating her flower beds, holiday decorating, working as a hayfield boss, designing arts and crafts, hosting family dinners and driving her lawn tractor like a race car while mowing the lawn twice a week.
An active member of Gateway United Methodist in Fairmont and previously Spruce Street United Methodist in Morgantown, she enjoyed working on youth events and baking for church dinners, especially her double chocolate pound cake.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ned; her parents and their spouses, Richard Rosenmerkel and Ethel Gross; an infant brother, Terrance; and numerous close cousins.
She is survived by her best friends, her daughters Jill and Shelly; sisters Linda Hays and Bev (Gary) Laing; brother Richard (Kathy) Gross; brothers-in-law Daniel (Elizabeth) Poe and Steven (Susannah) Poe; traveling buddy and cousin Annette Talley and cousins Georgeann Grewe, Shirley Grewe, Jean Rexroad, Margo Hoffman, Steve Talley and families.
Most special to her were her nieces and nephews, many of whom made the farm a second home: Jan (Tammy) Poe, Allen (Rocio) Poe, Brenda Hays, Sandie (Sean) Turvin, Michael (Pauliina) Hays, Matthew Poe (David Leibowitz), Teresa Gross, Craig (Jessica) Laing, Kelly Young, Ken (Katie) Laing, Jessica (Jeremiah) Dunst, and Shawn (Sarah) Gross and their growing families.
She was especially close to family friends Greg and Valerie Hamilton, Gilboa Road neighbors and all the young people who worked in the hayfield over the summers.
The family requests memorial donations be made to the Arnettsville branch of the Morgantown Public Library, 373 Spruce St., Morgantown, WV 26505 (memo: Arnettsville – Judy Poe); or to the Mary Priscilla Circle, Gateway United Methodist Church, 301 Diamond Street, Fairmont, WV 26554.
The family will greet visitors Thursday, November 18, 2021 from 4-8 p.m. and Friday, November 19, 2021 from 10 a.m. until services begin at 11 a.m. at Ford Funeral Home, 201 Columbia St., Fairmont, WV 26554. Interment will follow at the Mt. Zion Cemetery in Fairmont, WV. Online condolences may be made to www.fordfuneralhomes.com.