Wallace R. Oref
Wallace R. "Wally" Oref, age 82, of Philippi, died Sunday, March 6, 2011, at his home.
Born in 1929, at Triadelphia, he was a son of the late Constantine and Pauline Bobick Oref.
The son of Russian immigrants, Wally, also known as "Doc," was a West Virginia All-Star running back in football and State Champion in shot-put at Triadelphia High School. He attended Washington and Lee University on a football scholarship, where he played in the Gator Bowl and graduated with a BS in Geology. He was a veteran of the Korean War.
He married Dorothea A. Snedeker in 1954, and in 1957, he moved his growing family to Salmon, Idaho, where he worked as an exploration geologist and a high school math and chemistry teacher. While there, he also panned gold, fished for salmon and explored the mountain of Idaho. He remembered his Idaho days as some of the best experiences in his life.
Wally became the Public Education Officer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank in 1961, a position he held for 28 years until retirement in 1991.
He was a master gardener, winemaker, tinkerer, innovator, naturalist and teacher. He was as much at home with he stars are as was digging for fossils. His quick wit and sense of humor were a source of laughter for all who knew him. Most of all, he passed on much of his vast knowledge of how to be self sufficient in life, as well as his love for reading and learning, to his children and grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Dorothea "Dort" Oref; children, Cheryl Rapp, and fiance?, Jeff Saunders, of Independence, Mary Jane Oref, and husband, Bob Kane, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Richard Oref, of Easly, South Carolina, and Polly Fitts, of Roanoke, Virginia; a sister, Pauline V. Philpot, of Grafton, Ohio; four grandchildren, Jason Steele, and wife, Jenessa, of Radford, Virgiia, Catelin Fitts, of Greensboro, North Carolina, Lcpl Christopher Fitts, U. S. Marines Corps, and McKenzie Oref, of Easley, South Carolina; and three great-grandchildren, Vance Wallace Steele, Eleanor Dorothea Steele and William Lee Steele.
A memorial service at Green Bank will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to Mountain Hospice, 1600 Crim Avenue, Belington, WV 26250.