Ralph Ice of New Martinsville, formerly of Jacksonburg, will be honored Saturday at noon with the presentation of a plaque naming the Jacksonburg Bridge after him.
Several political figures, townspeople, and friends will be there to help ice and his family celebrate this great day in his life. All are invited to attend. After the ceremony there will be refreshments served such as cake, pizza, and hot dogs.
Ice's life is a fine example of service to his family, community, and country. Born on March 31, 1921, in Smithfield, he was one of 12 children of Esten and Flossie Bell Ice. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1942 and was sent to fight in the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. He was a member of the 89th Infantry Division that liberated Ohrduf, the first Nazi concentration camp to be liberated by U.S. Troops in Germany, on April 4, 1945. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Combat Infantry Medal, and a medal for Service Behind Enemy Lines.
After his time in the military, his community service only widened its scope. He was hired as the postmaster of the Jacksonburg Post Office on July 15, 1948, holding that title until his retirement on Sept. 3, 1986. He was the longest serving postmaster in Jacksonburg. He was well thought of too. He would open the lobby for children to get in from adverse weather when waiting to go to school, he also opened as needed for the shipment of live poultry, and on Christmas Eve, taking time away from his family of six and two foster children, he handed out special Christmas packages to parents so Santa could visit their homes.
Always feeling responsible to participate in anything concerning Jacksonburg, Ice was "Leader of the Forum" when working to get the creeks dredged by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to prevent flooding. That project only brought on another cause he championed-the paving of Jacksonburg's streets. That ended in success as well.
Ice was the third person in Jacksonburg to own a television. Willis Derby had the cable franchise and an arrangement was made with the two that if Ice would help with maintenance of the cable on Owls Head, then he could have free cable. When Ice would come home from the post office, his home would be filled with children watching "Howdy Doody". It was like going to the theater with popcorn and refreshments.
In the evenings when there was important news or Presidential debates and elections, the house would be filled with adults eagerly watching and anticipating the outcome. They were always served coffee and desserts by Ice's wife, Fairy, and everyone there always felt at home.
No doubt that same kind of hospitality will be present Saturday during the special dedication ceremony when even more about Ralph Ice's life of service and caring will be shared and, ultimately, honored.