Eugene Lee “Pee Wee” McVicker, 63, a resident of Elk City community, passed away Friday, May 24, 2013, after a brief and courageous battle with cancer. His loving wife and daughter were by his side when he drifted off to be with the Lord.
Pee Wee was born April 18, 1950, at Philippi, the middle son of the late Ersel Lee McVicker and Wanda Hathaway McVicker.
At a very young age, due to his mother’s serious illness, he and his two brothers went to live with and were raised in a home filled with love by his aunt, Bertha McVicker Robinson, and her husband, Earl.
Growing up, he attended Barbour County Schools. At a young age, Pee Wee worked as a farm hand for some of Barbour County’s well-known citizens, among them G. Baughman and General Proudfoot. In the mid 1960s, he was hired by Ralph Thornhill at Thornhill’s Florist where he continued to work for several years. Around 1970, Pee Wee went to work for Bob Foltz, owner of the Big T Tastee Freeze. They became the very best friends, a friendship that would last until Bob’s death. In 1978, he began his 35-year career as a heavy equipment mechanic for Morgan “Buck” Lyons at McCoy Brothers Coal Co. Pee Wee had learned his mechanic skills firsthand from his good friends Farmer Thompson and Buster Brown. Over the years, anyone visiting the City Restaurant would sometimes see these three talking over difficult mechanical problems and sharing advice over a cup of coffee. During his career, he worked for several area coal companies including Atkins Brothers, C & W Coal for Bill Compton and Gold Resources for Jeff Goldizen, where he retired in June of 2012, after several years of mechanic work.
Pee Wee enjoyed riding snowmobiles, motorcycles and four-wheelers with many of his friends. In the late 1980s, he along with his wife and daughter began Civil War re-enacting. They traveled to many towns and historical battlefields in West Virginia and met countless re-enactors who became lifelong friends. Pee Wee became very well-known for his cannons and mortars that he built himself. His re-enactor unit was known as Lee’s Battery. One of Pee Wee’s greatest honors was being asked to fire his cannon at the Philippi Covered Bridge Dec. 31, 1999 at exactly midnight to bring in the new millennium. Each year with the help of his brother, Mac, Pee Wee would sound a single cannon blast at the Mt. Vernon Memorial Cemetery for the Barbour County American Legion Post 44 Memorial Day program in honor of all the veterans.
Pee Wee loved bluegrass music and working with his Kubota tractor, but greatest enjoyment was deer hunting. For more than 40 years, he hunted with the same group of hunting buddies on the Freeman farm on Route 92. He will be greatly missed by all his friends and loved ones.
On June 22, 1980, at the Elk City United Methodist Church, he was joined in marriage to the former Theresa McGee, who survives at their home.
Also left to cherish many happy memories are his daughter, Regina Lena McVicker Collette, and her husband, Jacob Collette, whom Pee Wee thought of as a son; and two grandchildren, Hannah and Preston Collette, both of whom served as excellent helpers for papaw as his health failed. They were the light of his life.
Also surviving are a son, Brian D. McVicker of Pennsylvania, and daughter, Rita D. McVicker of Virginia; one brother, Holly C. “Mac” McVicker and wife, Kathy, of Philippi; one sister, Delta A. Syslo and husband, Joe, of Mt. Clare; and several nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were one brother, David E. McVicker; and one infant sister, Sheryl.
Friends will be received at Wright Funeral Home, 216 N. Walnut St. in Philippi Sunday May 26, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Monday, May 27, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., the service hour with Pastor Pat Cassisy and Pastor Mike McAdams officiating. Interment will follow in Elk City Cemetery.
Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.wrightfuneralhomeservices.com.