Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone (CAEZ) provides this information as a tribute to some of the outstanding citizens who have made noteable contributions to the success of our communities.
KENNETH L. ESKEW (November 27, 1930 – November 2, 2010)
BENJAMIN G. MURPHY (October 22, 1941 – July 23, 2008)
LOGAN “SKIP” RHODES, JR. (June 25, 1941 – January 8, 1999)
JERRY RYAN SIZEMORE (January 11, 1944 – April 23, 2009)

Kenneth L. Eskew


Kenneth LeRoy “Kenny” Eskew Sr., 79, of Fayetteville, passed away Tuesday, November 2, 2010, at Plateau Medical Center, Oak Hill.Born on November 27, 1930, at Whitesville; he was the son of the late Chester and Martha Cadiz Arnold Eskew.

Kenny was a very active member of Fayetteville United Methodist Church where he was chairman of the board of trustees.

He was a retired Colonel in the US Army with 35 years of service. While serving during the Korean Conflict, he was injured and received a Purple Heart. He completed his basic training at Ft. Knox, Ky., War College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., and Officer Candidate School at Ft. Benning, Ga.; Kenny witnessed the first atomic bomb test at Yucca Flat, Nev. He was a member of the Presidential National Guard in Washington, DC.

Following his military retirement he returned home and worked and retired from AT&T with 30 years of service and was a communications consultant with the Department of Defense.

He was very active in many civic organizations and very instrumental with Wolf Creek Industrial Park and the Boy Scouts (The Summit).

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Barbara Branham.

Left to cherish many wonderful memories include his wife, Lita Alice Yon Eskew; son, Kenneth L. “Kenny” Eskew Jr.; daughters, Teresa K. Gentry and husband Barry L. and Denise A. Scalph and husband Matt; four granddaughters, Chelsea Pleasants, Emily C. Eskew, Sarah E. Eskew, and Heather M. Salyars; two stepgrandchildren, Todd Scalph and Jennifer Lightkep; three great-granddaughters, Jordan, Rachael, and Julie; one great-grandson, Aiden; and three step-great-grandchildren, Ashlyn, Nina, and Jacob.


(October 22, 1941 – July 23, 2008)

Benjamin Murphy was elected to the CAEZ Board in 2003 and contributed richly during his years of service. Obituary dated July 30, 2008

Benjamin G. (Ben) Murphy, 66, of Lizemores, entered into rest Monday, July 28, 2008, at CAMC-Memorial Division, with racing buddy and wonderful friend, Pastor John R. Osborne, by his side after a long battle with prostate cancer. Ben owned and operated Lizemores True Value Hardware in Lizemores. Born on October 22, 1941, he was the son of the late Paul Murphy and Nina Murphy of Lizemores. In addition to his mother, he is also survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Frank and Betty Murphy; niece, Bridga and husband, Glenn Neal; nephews, Joe and wife, Stacy, Murphy and Sam Murphy; step-son, Jason Bennett. Ben was on the board of CAEZ, and a member of Clay County Republican Executive Committee. He enjoyed politics and was an avid race car driver, builder and fan. His passion for over 40 years was the sport of stock car racing. A fierce competitor on the track, Ben took the checkered flag on dirt tracks up and down the East Coast from Florida to New York. Ben’s real love for the sport was revealed by how many others he encouraged and help to get started in racing. With an old school knowledge of building and setting up a race car, he could always get the most out of what he had to work with. Many racers today are indebted to Ben for the knowledge and involvement of the sport. Although Ben enjoyed many victories, his greatest came on Wednesday, July 23rd when he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. The family would like to extend a special thank you to CAMC and Pastor John R. Osborne. Funeral service will be 1 pm Thursday, July 31, 2008, at Wilson-Shamblin- Smith Funeral Home, Clay, with Rev. John Osborne officiating. Burial will follow in Clay Memorial Gardens, Clay. Family and friends may call from 6 to 8 pm on Wednesday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Hubbard Hospice House, 1001 Kennawa Drive, Charleston, WV 25311.


(June 25, 1941 – January 8, 1999)

Only child of Logan and Ollie Rhodes, Logan Rhodes, Jr. was born June 25, 1941 in Clay, West Virginia.

Mr. Rhodes graduated from Clay County High School in 1959. He graduated from WVU in January 1964 with a degree in Agronomy. He taught elementary school in Clay County, taught one semester at Nebo School, and a full term at Swandale. He was employed by USDA from August 1966 until his retirement after 29 years of service.

As one of the original Brushy Fork Associates from Clay County, Mr. Rhodes served on many volunteer boards, including the Steering Committee for CAEZ. He was elected to the Board of Directors representing Census Tract 9580 where he served until his death on January 8, 1999.

Mr. Rhodes positively impacted the lives of many people including troubled youth. He taught Sunday School and steadfastly lived what he taught.


(January 11, 1944 – April 23, 2009)

Jerry Sizemore served as Executive Director of CAEZ from 1999 to 2005. Since 2001 he was the owner of Jentree Forest Products, Inc. A teacher at Ansted High School for eight years, Mr. Sizemore continued his devotion to education with positions as a teacher and Basketball Coach at Midland Trail High School, Principal at Valley Vocational Center, Pre-Vocational Supervisor for Fayette County Schools, Director of Fayette Plateau Vocational Center, Director of Vocational Education for Fayette County Schools, Hearing Examiner for Employee Grievances for Fayette County Schools, and Career Specialist with the “Jobs for WV Graduates” program with statewide supervisory responsibility of 30 employees.

From 1969, Mr. Sizemore constructed homes as a building contractor on a part-time basis. His work earned recognition as Southern WV Homebuilder of the Year. He served as Project Engineer for Shelley and Sands of Zanesville, Ohio during construction on U. S. Route 19 from Hico to Summersville.

Mr. Sizemore was an Honors Graduate of Clay County High School who participated in Golden Gloves Boxing and Varsity Baseball. He obtained a Bachelors of Arts degree in Social Studies and English from WV Institute of Technology. He did post-graduate work at Marshall University, WV University and completed a Master of Arts Degree in Education from WV College of Graduate Studies. He studied Advanced Electrical Engineering Education at George Washington University, received advanced flight training at the Federal Aviation Administration, and studiced teamwork and managerial skills at Clemson University.

“Jerry Sizemore started his days at Mabel’s Diner (a truck stop diner in Mount Nebo, WV) with coffee, breakfast, and the Charleston Gazette. He was a teacher, a pilot, an engineer, a coach, a mechanic, a farmer, and a horse trader. He loved to tell a good story, and he was a firm believer in second chances. He will be missed by anyone who was fortunate enough to have known him,” said his daughter, Jenna Sizemore.

Register Herald Obituary dated April 25, 2009
SUMMERSVILLE – Jerry Ryan Sizemore, 65, of Summersville, passed away Thursday, April 23, 2009, at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, following a long illness.Jerry was born Jan. 11, 1944, in Fayette County, and was the son of the late William Sizemore and Opal Morton Sizemore. He was preceded in death by his son, Jeffery, in 1986; his parents, William and Opal Sizemore; a sister, Janet Maria Sizemore; and a brother, Guy Hayden Sizemore. He was beloved father and grandfather.

He was a Baptist and attended the Summersville Presbyterian Church. He also enjoyed being a talented carpenter and jack of all trades who loved to help others.

He was a graduate of Clay County High School where he excelled in many sports. He received a Master’s degree from Marshall Graduate College in Educational Administration and retired from Fayette County Schools where he served as a teacher, principal and director of vocational programs at Fayette Plateau Vo Tech Center in Oak Hill and Valley High School in Smithers. After his “retirement” he continued his career as an assistant director for the Jobs for America’s Graduate program (JAG) and administrator for the Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) in Summersville and Oak Hill.

He was a Golden Gloves State Champion and was invited to try out for the Cincinnati Reds baseball team. He coached the Midland Trail Girls Basketball Team to many W.Va. State Tournaments and spent many years as a volunteer coach for youth sports in Summersville.

He served as executive Director of the Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone (CAEZ) serving Clay County and portions of Fayette, Nicholas, Braxton and Roane counties. He was the owner of Jentree Forest Products and was a contractor for the Army Corps of Engineers for Sutton and Summersville Lakes. He was a Pilot.

He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Sizemore; four children, James and Denise Sizemore of Mount Hope, Jerri “Missy” and Tim Kirkland of Kesslers Cross Lanes, Jesse and Amy Sizemore of Dille and Jenna Sizemore of Kesslers Cross Lanes; a stepdaughter, Jillian Gaughan Nutter of Louisville, Ky.; a stepson, Jeremy Gaughan of Morgantown; three sisters, Rose Jone of Ohio, Margaret Belairs of Kimberly and Mildred Maynard of Fayetteville; seven brothers, William Sizemore of Guam, Hayden Sizemore of Scarbro, Austin Sizemore of Harrisonburg, Va., Henry Sizemore of Tennessee, Mitchell Sizemore of Louisville, Ky., Ray Sizemore of Ohio and Charles Sizemore of Dixie; a grandchild, Kelsiann Sizemore of Mount Hope; four stepgrandchildren, Andrew, Samuel, Phillip and Joshua Dickerson of Dille.

Graveside service will be 2 p.m. Sunday at Restlawn Memory Gardens Cemetery, Victor, with the Rev. Jim Crouch officiating. Burial will follow in the cemetery. Friends may call 6 to 8 p.m. today, Saturday, at the funeral home. Arrangements by Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home, Ansted.