Adelaide “Addie” Noble McLaughlin Ours passed away peacefully in her home in Petersburg, West Virginia, on November 2, 2020 at the age of 88. Born August 27, 1932 in Hamlet, North Carolina, daughter of the late John Calvin Brown McLaughlin and Fannie Dargan McLaughlin. Her father was one of nine children. Mrs. Ours recounted many fond memories spent with her grandparents and many cousins at Briar Hills in Virginia. “To be a part of this circle of family and friends gave me an enormous feeling of pride and security,” she said. Addie’s great grandmother was a first cousin of Ulysses S. Grant, for whom Grant County, WV is named.
Addie Noble spent her early years in Shepherdstown where she attended elementary school. Her family moved to Keyser in 1945. She graduated Keyser High School in 1950, Potomac State College in 1952, and after one year at Mary Baldwin College, graduated West Virginia University, cum laude in 1954, Phi Beta Kappa.
Her freshman year in college, Mrs. Ours met fellow student George Ralph Ours, Jr. who on July 10, 1953, would become her beloved and devoted husband for 65 years. They were married by Addie’s father, a minister, at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville. After graduation, the couple spent two years in Baltimore, Maryland, where Mr. Ours served in the U.S. Army Intelligence at Fort Holabird. They returned to Petersburg in 1956.
On May 1, 2009, Mrs. Ours was belatedly “knighted” as a West Virginia Golden Horseshoe recipient, 63 years after winning the West Virginia History contest in 1946. At that time, gasoline was in such short supply following World War II, that neither Mrs. Ours, nor her fellow KMS Golden Horseshoe Winners, were able to travel to the state capital for the ceremony, which included a ritual tap on the shoulder with a sword.
Mrs. Ours served as a community volunteer in Petersburg for 30 years. She was a member of the Grove Street United Methodist Church, serving as Sunday School Teacher and Chairman on the Board of Trustees. She served as Grant County Chairman and Volunteer Coordinator of the Grant County Interfaith Food Pantry, Grant County Chairman and Volunteer Coordinator of American Red Cross, Co-Chairman and Volunteer Coordinator of Grant Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, Secretary of American Field Service, and Chairman and Volunteer Coordinator of the Grant County Library Book Committee. She also served as Cub Scout Troop Leader.
Addie was a charter member and a 30-year participant of the Grant County Arts Council, serving as President and later Historian. In 2000, Addie was appointed by Governor Cecil Underwood to the first of three, three-year terms she served as a member of the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Ours shared an interest in the arts, and contributed to various community improvement projects. In 2007, they became major fund-raisers for the Landes Art Center in Petersburg, and encouraged others to donate by their matching gift pledge. Years earlier, the W.V. Governor’s office presented the couple with a Distinguished West Virginian Award, in recognition of their donation of land for the Petersburg Grove Street Extension.
Addie’s appreciation of the natural world was instilled early, through informal botany lessons on walks with her mother, a biologist by training. Mrs. Ours relished spending time with her husband in the West Virginia woodlands; favorite memories included foraging for morels and watercress, and once happening on a breathtaking multitude of pink lady slippers. The turn of the seasons gave her pleasure, keeping up with her husband’s garden abundance, sighting eagles above the lake from their Mt. Storm cabin, searching for arrowheads, and skiing out west with friends, which they were able to do through their 70’s.
Lifelong dreams were realized with travels to Africa, China, Japan, Europe, Mexico, Russia, and across the U.S. The couple loved spending time with their cherished circle of good friends. Mrs. Ours was a devoted mother and enthusiastically embraced the interests of her children—in music, photography, and the arts.
By the time she reached her 60’s, Mrs. Ours gave up water skiing; she did not want to risk an injury which would interfere with her favorite sport, golf. A member of the Valley View Ladies Golf Association, Mrs. Ours used an 8-iron to ace the No. 3 hole on July 24th, 2001; she was delighted to follow in her father’s footsteps and join the Hole-In-One-Club. Mrs. Ours also enjoyed a monthly bridge game with friends for decades. With her lifelong love of reading, meeting with her monthly reading group, “The Bookies,” gave her the greatest pleasure. She was known as a supportive friend who enriched the lives of others.
She is survived by her daughter Mary Noble Ours, Washington, DC; son G. Ralph Ours, III and wife Shelley Clucas Ours, Potomac, MD; daughter Sally Ours Kern and husband Stephen Kern, Takoma Park, MD; granddaughter Madeleine Ours, Brooklyn, NY; grandsons Grayson Ours, Tyson’s Corner, VA; Garret and Larkin Kern, Takoma Park, MD; sister 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, Petersburg; Judy Ours Cooper, Fairmont, WV and Mary Moore Grove, Charlottesville, VA and numerous great and grand nephews and nieces.
In addition to her husband, who passed away on October 26, 2018, Mrs. Ours was preceded in death by her brother William Lowndes McLaughlin; sisters-in-law, Joann Harman Ours and Nancy Shepherd McLaughlin; brothers-in-law, James Weldon Grove and Jack Ruhr Ours; nephew Jeff Ruhr Ours; and niece Jenny Lee (Ours) Harney.
Mrs. Ours and her family were grateful for the tender loving in-home care provided by her “Angel”, Norma Rader for four and a half years, as well as her more recent circle of caregivers: Lynn Lyons, Rebecca Rohrbaugh, Esther Franz and Beth Riggleman.
A private burial will be held for the family at The Lahmansville Cemetery. A memorial service will be announced at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Grant County Library Book Fund or the Landes Arts Center Endowment Fund, c/o Rosanne Glover, Treasurer, P.O. Box 668, Petersburg, W.V., 26847.
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