Featured, Local History, The Centennial History of Hurricane

Centennial History of Hurricane: Richard Edwin Wilkes

In 1988, The Centennial History of Hurricane, WV was published to commemorate the town’s 100th anniversary. Since the Centennial History is now out of print, the Breeze is reprinting articles from the book as space allows. This week’s selection will be the 242nd installment of the Centennial History.


Submitted by Beverly G. Wilkes

Richard Edwin Wilkes was born in Chesapeake, Ohio, in 1940. In 1964, he married Beverly Gayle Chapman, born in 1942, of Raceland, Kentucky. Dick, as he is known to friends, and Beverly moved to Hurricane in June, 1967, when he went to work for the West Virginia State Department of Education as a mathematics supervisor. Dick received a BS Degree in Engineering from Lincoln Memorial University in 1962, a Master’s Degree from Marshall University in 1966, did his Doctoral work at West Virginia University, and has done Bible studies at Toledo Bible College and Seminary of Tennyson, Indiana.

Three days after moving to Hurricane, they adopted a six­week-old baby whom they named Deron Edwin. They later adopted five-day-old Joy Suzanne (1969) and twelve-day­old Richard Neil (1972). In 1976, they adopted a six-month­old Korean girl, Julie Keum-Gayle (1975), and then in 1979, they adopted two Korean boys who were natural brothers, Corey Sae Jin (1973) and Daniel Sae Yun (1974).

After twelve years with the department of education, Dick returned to the classroom to teach mathematics at Dunbar High School. He presently teaches Computer Science and mathematics at Nitro High School. He also teaches fast-paced mathematics to the mathematically-gifted students of Kanawha County. His first love is the work of the Lord as pastor of Naomi Missionary Baptist Church at Quincy, WV where he has been for eleven years.

Beverly has stayed busy raising their family and encouraging the children in their academic and personal development. She loves to sew, cook, crochet, knit, and garden.

Deron is licensed paramedic and works for the Putnam County Emergency Service. He is also a volunteer fireman in Hurricane.

Joy is a freshman at Marshall University and is a Speech Pathology major. She is a talented pianist and vocalist and uses her talents in her church and school activities.

Deron, Corey, and Daniel have all been very active in Boy Scouting. Corey plays the baritone in the Middle School Band, and Daniel is an avid soccer player. Neil was on the Middle School basketball team and plans to play on the team at the high school where he is a freshman.

Though Julie was the fourth child to arrive in the family, she is actually the youngest child. She aspires to be best in everything she attempts and is an excellent student, as have been all of the children.

Dick was the first president of Lakeside Elementary PTA and he and Beverly were very active in that organization while their children were in school there. They have also been deeply involved in the Hurricane High School Band Boosters Organization of which Dick has been vice-president the past two years.

They built a home at Lake Washington in 1969 and have lived there ever since. Dick and Beverly have put their roots down in West Virginia soil and consider Hurricane to be the only home they ever want on this earth.

Julie became a naturalized American citizen on November 19, 1979, and Corey and Daniel became citizens on May 26, 1982.


A digital copy of the Centennial History can be obtained from the Hurricane City Hall for a small donation. For more information, call the City of Hurricane at (304) 562-5896.

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