(Editor’s note: Following are short biographies of the remaining 12 individuals included in the inaugural class of the Fayette County Wall of Honor. The first honorees were printed in the July 1 edition of The Fayette Tribune.)
Born Charles Ray McCoy in Oak Hill in 1941, the musician most often known as “Charlie” has played with many notable musicians including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Ringo Starr and Bob Dylan. During his career, he has recorded nearly 40 albums and been awarded a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Performance. He has been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the West Virginia Musicians Hall of Fame. He is frequently a studio musician for numerous artists including his harmonica work for Roy Orbison; he has also been hired to work for Chet Atkins. For 19 years, he worked as music director for the popular television show “Hee Haw.” He has been awarded two Country Music Association Awards and seven Academy of Country Music Awards.
Marian McQuade was born in 1917 in the town of Caperton in Fayette County, a town now referred to as a “Gorge Ghost Town.” After she married her husband Joe, they had 15 children. She got interested in honoring senior citizens after she helped to organize a birthday party for people over 80. She was eventually appointed to the West Virginia Commission on Aging, and she constantly encouraged people to visit nursing homes and listen to the stories of senior citizens. She also got the idea to set aside a day to honor grandparents. Grandparents Day was first celebrated in West Virginia, and in 1978, President Jimmy Carter made it a national holiday. On the 10th anniversary of this special day, the Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp with a picture of McQuade, the founder of Grandparents Day.
Educator and civil rights supporter, Lucile Meadows also served in the West Virginia Legislature starting in 1990. While still a teen, Meadows became active in the NAACP. As an adult, she received the Martin Luther King “Living the Dream Award.” She organized the Fayette County Black Caucus, which sponsored the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Luncheon. This luncheon always attracted politicians who hoped to receive her blessing, but she always made sure young people attended and could receive savings bonds dedicated to their education. She earned many awards for her continued work to promote racial equality and education. This Fayetteville resident was also appointed to many state committees whose purpose was also equality and education. Former Governor Gaston Caperton also appointed her to the State Ethics Committee.