George R. Ours, Jr. of Petersburg died peacefully on October 26, 2018 at the age of 86. Born April 18, 1932 in Petersburg, WV, son of the late G. Ralph and Freeda Lee (Reel) Ours. He attended Greenbrier Military School, graduated from Petersburg High School in 1950, from Potomac State College in 1952, and in 1954 graduated #1 in his class at the College of Commerce at West Virginia University cum laude.
His freshman year in college, Mr. Ours met fellow student Addie Noble (McLaughlin) who on July 10, 1953 would become his beloved and devoted wife of 65 years.
After graduating at the head of his class in Army Intelligence School at Fort Holabird, MD, Mr. Ours served in the US Army Intelligence Corps from 1955-1957. He, Addie and their 2 year old daughter returned to Petersburg where Mr. Ours joined his father at Petersburg Oil Company, retiring as President in 1988.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Mr. Ours served as a Director of Potomac Valley Bank from 1974 to 2001 and as Chairman of the Board from 1995 to 2001. He served as a Director and Vice Chairman of the Summit Financial Group from 2001 to 2014, and also served as a member of the Board’s Executive Committee. He was instrumental in the merger of South Branch Valley Bancorp (Summit Financial Group, Inc.) and Potomac Valley Bank.
Over the years, Mr. Ours served on numerous civic boards. When Mr. Ours learned that area landowners were not being offered fair prices for their homes and land being taken by eminent domain, he helped form The Grant County Land & Water Protective Association of Cabins, WV. He served as Vice President and testified successfully on their behalf before the US Senate Hearing under Senator Byrd to push for fair compensation.
After the devastating 1985 flood, Mr. Ours served as Chairman for the Flood Recovery Committee and was active in building the Flood Control Levee. He designed a more efficient and cost effective plan for the Water Intake for the city water supply.
Mr. Ours served as Vice Chairman of the Grant County Industrial Development Authority in its efforts to achieve redevelopment after the 1985 flood. In 1989, their efforts paid off when he and other community leaders met with Senator Byrd at the US Capital office for the announcement of the approval of a federal loan guarantee which helped finance a new wood products manufacturing plant in Petersburg.
Mr. Ours served on the Library Board for ten years and was Chairman of the Grant County Public Library Commission Board from 1993-1998, including its four year effort beginning in 1986 to fund-raise and build the Moomau-Grant County Public Library, dedicated in Petersburg October 1990. He served as Volunteer Clerk of the Works for the new library following its construction. He was a member of the Grove Street United Methodist Church.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Ours had a longtime interest in the arts, and community improvement projects. In 2007, they became major fund-raisers for the Landes Art Center in Petersburg, and encouraged others to donate with their gift matching pledges. Years earlier, the WV Governor’s office presented the couple with a distinguished West Virginian Award for donating land to help create the Petersburg Grove Street extension.
A lifetime hunter, fisherman, and outdoorsman, Mr. Ours relished spending time in the woods of his native West Virginia. He loved observing all flora and fauna, from the antics of his backyard pet squirrels to bird watching at his home and Mt. Storm cabin. He was a devoted gardener as well as a 32nd degree Mason. After earning his pilot’s license, he piloted a twin engine airplane. He and his wife enjoyed travel and skiing until over 70 years of age.
In addition to his wife Addie, Mr. Ours is survived by his daughter Mary Noble Ours, Washington, DC; son G. Ralph Ours, III, Potomac, MD; daughter Sally Ours Kern and husband Stephen G. Kern of Takoma Park, MD; granddaughter Madeleine Ours, Brooklyn, NY; grandsons Grayson Ours, Potomac MD; Garret and Larkin Kern, Takoma Park, MD; sister-in-law Margaret McLaughlin Grove, Charlottesville, VA; nephews John George Ours of Petersburg, Peter Shepherd McLaughlin, Tucson, AZ, David Wallace McLaughlin, Winchester, VA and John McLaughlin Grove, Needham, MA; nieces Jane Ours Bensenhaver of Petersburg; Judy Ours Cooper and Jenny Ours Harney of Fairmont, WV and Mary Moore Grove, Charlottesville, VA; numerous great nephews and nieces, and best friend Joe Waldman, Petersburg. Mr. Ours was preceded in death by his brother Jack Ruhr Ours, sisters-in-law Joann Harman Ours and Nancy Shepherd McLaughlin; brothers-in-law James Weldon Grove and William Lowndes McLaughlin, and nephew Jeff Ruhr Ours.
A private burial will be held for the family at The Lahmansville Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, November 24, 2018 at the Petersburg Presbyterian Church with Lutheran Vicar Lindsey Beukelman officiating. All will be welcome to attend.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Grant County Rehabilitation and Care Center, 127 Early Avenue, Petersburg, WV 26847 or the Landes Arts Center Endowment Fund, c/o Rosanne Glover, Treasurer P.O. Box 668, Petersburg, WV 26847.