“Dynamic,” “fantastic” and a “true community servant” are some of the words used to describe the late Charles “Chuck” Hood, who died recently in Wheeling.
Hood, a long-time community servant who served with numerous civic organizations including the Ohio Valley Jaycees, the Wheeling Human Rights Commission and more, passed away on March 16.
Hood, 75, was born in Wheeling in 1947, a son of the late Victor and Mary Elizabeth Welshans Hood. He was a graduate of Triadelphia High School. He received degrees from West Virginia Northern Community College and West Liberty State College. Later he attended the West Virginia State Police Academy. Hood was also a Navy veteran and served on the USS Forrestal.
Hood is survived by his wife, Christine Lee Dailer Hood and children. Visitation for Hood is set for Wednesday, March 22, from 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. at Kepner Funeral Home, 900 National Road, Wheeling, where the funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 23. at 11 a.m.
Wheeling resident Paul Smith on Monday said Hood was his mentor when he first joined the Ohio Valley Jaycees. Hood, he said, was the group’s founding president.
After Hood “aged out” of the Jaycees, as members cannot be older than 41 years old, he continued to serve as an advisor.
Hood, he said, had a wealth of experience and knowledge and wasn’t afraid to be truthful about what was needed to be a strong leader.
“He would always give it to you straight,” Smith said. “That’s what I wanted to help me be a better leader.”
In a social media posting, Smith described Hood as a “dear friend and mentor.”
“I met Chuck 30 years ago when I joined the Ohio Valley Jaycees. As a young chapter president, I sat in his office at Red Jones Auto Mart countless times where he would give me advice and counsel on how to be a better leader, and a better man,” Smith wrote.
“One piece of advice he gave me, that I never forgot: when I was receiving pressure from the chapter members because of some needed changes I was trying to implement, he said, ‘if you’re not (ticking) ’em off, you’re not doing your job.’ He was a … man of great honor and integrity. I will miss him.”
In addition to the Jaycees, some of the other organizations Hood was involved with include the Muscular Dystrophy Association as its state telethon director; executive board member of the Ohio River Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America; cubmaster/chairman of Cub Scout Pack #13; and Fraternal Order of Police Wheeling Lodge #38.
Hood was also a member of the Warwood Veterans Association, the Ohio County Wildlife League, Warwood Lions Club, a past president of United Cerebral Palsy of Ohio Valley, board member with the Sexual Assault Help Center, a member of the West Virginia Human Rights Commission Hate Crimes Task Force, and chairman of the city of Wheeling Human Rights Commission.
“He was involved continuously in those organizations. He’s always been involved. … From my observation, he never stopped; he was a true community servant,” Smith said. “He was a fantastic person. … He was a dynamic guy.”
Smith said the Ohio Valley Jaycees dissolved in 2021, but Smith, Hood and others formed the Ohio Valley Jaycees Charitable Fund, which is being administered through the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley. The fund will make grants from the assets of the Jaycees, he said.
Doug Hennen, treasurer for the Circus Saints and Sinners, said Hood joined the group 10 years ago, “stepped right in, took the ball and ran with it.” With his knowledge and experience, Hood was able to help the Saints get its bylaws together and get the organization into shape, Hennen said.
Hood was always the first to step up and volunteer for fundraisers and other matters, even during the past five or so years when he had health issues, he noted.
“He helped us a lot,” Hennen said. “He was such an asset to the community, helping out in different ways.”
Outside of business matters, Hood also liked to have a good time, he noted.
“He was always there with us. We like to enjoy ourselves. He would sit down and have a beer with you and talk about stuff,” Hennen said. “He was a very happy-go-lucky kind of guy. I was happy to get to know him. He was a good guy. We’re going to miss him.”
On its social media, the Circus Saints and Sinners, announced that it had “lost a great man” in Hood. He was past president and was serving as its chairman.
Diana Bell, who served on the Wheeling Human Rights Commission with Hood for many years, said Hood was a strong believer in the work the commission did.
“One of the things Chuck always said was ‘local people serving local interests.’ By that he meant the human rights commission was made up of local people; you didn’t have to go to Charleston or other places to have someone hear your grievance,” Bell said.
“The important work of the Wheeling Human Rights Commission was never lost on Chuck. As the chairman for many years, he guided the Commission through many cases that benefited employers, businesses, and the community.
“For Chuck, community awareness was just as important as any of the cases that were adjudicated.
“During my years on the commission, we made a concerted effort to inform the community of not only their rights under the human rights act, but that they had the right to be represented by local people who understood their wants and needs.”