William “Pete” Thaw
William P. Thaw, a member and former President of the Kanawha County Board of Education since 1998 passed away with his wife, Patricia B. Thaw at his side, a few minutes before midnight on December 28, 2017.
He was born on January 5, 1931, in Akron, Ohio where his father Robert F. Thaw, an eye surgeon, and his mother Jeanette Rea Thawresided. Both of his parents predeceased him as did his only brother, Robert Harper Thaw, who died in 1981.
Mr. Thaw, a longtime public servant in West Virginia began his career in Sistersville, Tyler County, WV as an elected member of City Council in 1958. The same year he began the John F. Kennedy for President Campaign with Robert P. (Bob) McDonough in Parkersburg, WV.
He was reelected Mayor of Sistersville for four terms and in 1968 he was named the WV Chairman for the Robert F. Kennedy for President Campaign. In the same year, Mr. Thaw ran the Headquarters for the James Sprouse for Governor Campaign. Later in 1968 he became Administrative Assistant to John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, working on his private staff.
In 1969, Mr. Thaw was appointed Deputy Secretary of State by Jay Rockefeller and as such was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Secretary of State’s Office and fulfilled the Secretary of State’s duties on the WV State Building Commission. He served as the Director of Manpower Planning at Charleston Area Medical Center and performed political consulting for Matt Reese and Associates after Jay Rockefeller’s unsuccessful bid for Governor.
In 1977, Mr. Thaw was appointed Executive Assistant in the Governor’s Office of Economic and Community Development. In 1980, he was subsequently appointed State Director of the CETA and JTPA federal employment and job training programs which were so out of compliance at the time they were about to lose all federal funding in West Virginia. Once he had brought those programs into compliance and had again secured federal funding for West Virginia, he was appointed to the position of State Presiding Judge for the WV State Racing Commission, by Governor Arch A. Moore, Jr. in 1985.
Mr. Thaw retired from the position of State Presiding Judge and from work with the State Government after 11 years.
In 1997 Mr. Thaw established a grassroots community group known as WASTE (WORKER’S AGAINST SCHOOL TAX EXCESSES). This group successfully defeated a $98-million dollar bond issue and he became interested in the activities of the Kanawha County Board of Education.
Mr. Thaw ran successfully and was elected to a four year term on the Kanawha County Board of Education, leading the ticket in that election. In 2002, 2006 and 2010 he was reelected to serve on the Kanawha County School Board, each time leading the ticket. He served a total of 19 years on the Kanawha County Board of Education.
Mr. Thaw is survived by his wife of 42 years, Patricia B. Thaw of Charleston; his son Robert F. Thaw, daughter-in-law Laura Bly Thaw, both of Charleston; and two grandchildren: Carly Rea Thaw a senior at American University in Washington, DC and Rob Thaw, a senior at George Washington High School in Charleston; and his adopted shelter dog, Kady.
A Memorial Service to Honor the Life of William Peter Thaw will be held at 12:00 PM on Saturday, January 6, 2018 at Snodgrass Funeral Home in South Charleston with Pastor Robert K. Spradling officiating. A visitation for family and friends will be held two hours prior from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association Animal Shelter (1248 Greenbrier Street, Charleston, WV 25311 (304) 342-1576), the new spay-neuter Fix’Em Clinic (102 Dee Drive, Charleston, WV 25311 (866) 349-3698) and/ or Hubbard Hospice House (1001 Curtis Price Way, Charleston, WV 25311 (304) 926-6538).