Allison R. and Opal J. Neely Family

By Wade Neely

My parents Allison and Opal Neely moved to Arthurdale in 1941 from Reedsville where I was born, September 29, 1940.  They had four children:  Patricia Joann Bjorkman (deceased), William “Bill”, Richard Lance, and myself, Wade A.  All children attended Arthurdale schools.  My mother was a cook at the school.  We lived at CR-1 and were the second family to live in that homestead house.  My brother-in-law, Dick Bjorkman, still resides in the family home.

I am married to Elizabeth “Liz” Goldstrom, originally from Masontown and a granddaughter of original Arthurdale homesteaders, Andrew and Alice Goldstrom.  My wife, Liz, after graduating from West Virginia University in 1964, taught first and fifth grades at Arthurdale in 1965 and 1966.

I attended Arthurdale schools, beginning in first grade in 1947, and continuing through 10th grade in 1956 when Arthurdale and Masontown were consolidated into Valley High School.  I graduated from Valley High in 1958.

I didn’t go to college right after high school.  I started my career as a clerk typist in 1960 in Washington, D.C. with the federal government.  In Washington, I attended Benjamin Franklin University at night and worked a full time job.  I never received a degree but my higher educational experience was a valuable tool in progressing up life’s ladder.  My major was financial management. I had a very successful career as a budget analyst.  I retired on May 31, 1996 with 36 years of federal service.

I think that my parents would be proud of all the accomplishments and/or success that their children have attained coming from such a small town in West Virginia.  That says something for the values instilled in young people by their parents.  I thank them for that.

I have a lot of good memories of growing up in Arthurdale.  I will always remember my first grade teacher, Ms. Liston from Kingwood.  Another memory is when they put a new floor in the gym and installed glass backboards.  There were a lot of good standing-room-only games played in the gym by some VERY GOOD Arthurdale High School basketball teams.  I will always remember those events and also playing on some good basketball teams as a freshman and sophomore.  I am glad that AHI acquired the school buildings and are in the process of restoration.

Arthurdale will always be a place I am proud of.

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