MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A bridge near Martinsburg’s baseball fields at Oatesdale Park was dedicated Friday to former Berkeley County Sheriff and Commissioner William N. “Shug” Kisner.
It was a fitting tribute, according to several who spoke, including those who were part of Martinsburg’s Little League, which Kisner was credited with getting started and fundraising enthusiastically for.
Those who knew him from his time as a gas station owner, county sheriff, and county commissioner spoke warmly of his work ethic, his dedication, and his love for the community.
His pastors from Airborne Church, Kevin and Beth Green talked about his integrity and his station as official church greeter.
Retired Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Wilson remembered how Kisner would take time to visit his deputies at the Academy and how he provided them with what they needed to get the job done. He also recalled how Kisner, as the county’s chief tax collector would visit the homes of those struggling to pay off their property taxes and work out a payment plan so they wouldn’t lose their homes.
Berkeley County Councilmember Steve Catlett, who was the long-time director of the Martinsburg/Berkeley County Parks and Recreation Department remarked how Kisner made sure area athletes could get a charter bus to a state competition and was part of the County Commission vote that gave ownership of the Poor House Farm property to Parks and Rec.
When the remarks were over, Delegate Michael Hite (R-92 Berkeley) presented Kisner’s widow Jeannie and his children with copies of the memorial bridge sign.
Both sides of the bridge on Tavern Road near Oatesdale Park will bear that dedication to Kisner. His daughter Mary Beth Kisner Blair said she hopes those who see the sign will learn about her father and his life and be inspired. She remembered her parents’ work ethic and her father’s positivity. Even when he suffered a stroke which limited him to a wheelchair, she said he responded the same way anytime he was asked how he was doing. “I’ve never had a bad day.”
Among the honored guests who spoke about their memories of Shug Kisner –
Dr. Bill Queen (Martinsburg Little League President)
County Councilman Steve Catlett
Retired Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Wilson
Shug Sunoco’s Reflections – Dave, Mark & Jimmy Rogers
Airborne Church Pastors Kevin & Beth Green
The Resolution Approving the Bridge Dedication was read aloud, as well.
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 34
(By Delegates Hite, Horst, Reynolds, Storch, Hanna, Willis, and Barnhart)
February 13, 2023
Referred to the Committee on Technology and Infrastructure then the Committee on Rules
Requesting the Division of Highways name a bridge bearing the bridge number 02-010/01-001.07 () (02A167) in Berkeley County, as the “William N. “Shug” Kisner Memorial Bridge”.
Whereas, William Kisner was born on January 9, 1936, in Berkeley County, West Virginia; and
Whereas, William Kisner is the son of the late David Burr & Mary Virginia Kisner; and
Whereas, William Kisner went to Winchester Avenue Grade School, attended Martinsburg High School and received his GED in the United States Army Reserves; and
Whereas, William Kisner was a lineman for Potomac Edison, and the owner and operator of “Shug’s Sunoco”; and
Whereas, William Kisner was the Sheriff of Berkeley County from 1980-88, as well as a Berkeley County Commissioner from 1988-1994, the Maintenance Director of the Blue Ridge Outlet Center, and a salesman at the Wholesale Tire Company; and
Whereas, William Kisner was extremely active in the community all of his life, and received many recognitions, including receiving the 1st Berkeley County Citizen of the Year award in 1978; and
Whereas, William Kisner served on numerous boards, and was a member of many different civic and community organizations; and
Whereas, William Kisner was the President of the Martinsburg Little League from 1972-76, as well as District Administrator of Little League for 3 years; and
Whereas, William Kisner served as President of the Boys Club, Governor of the Moose Lodge 120, Board of Big Brothers, was the 1st Martinsburg High School Bulldog Mascot, and organized the 1st Optimist International Chapter in his area, as well as forming the first M.A.D.D (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) chapter in Berkeley County; and
Whereas, William Kisner attended The Living Room Church, where he served as head-greeter for many years; and
Whereas, William Kisner’s efforts to improve this community are too numerous to mention, as he dedicated his entire life to the betterment of the home-town he loved dearly; and
Whereas, It is fitting to honor William Kisner with naming a bridge in the community he grew up in and worked in throughout his life; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Division of Highways is hereby requested to name a bridge bearing the bridge number 02-010/01-001.07 () (02A167) in Berkeley County, as the “William N. “Shug” Kisner Memorial Bridge”; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Commissioner of the Division of Highways is hereby requested to erect signs at both ends of the portion of the bridge containing bold and prominent letters proclaiming the road as ” William N. “Shug” Kisner Memorial Bridge”