Three Former Blue Eagle Athletes To Be Enshrined
Three student-athletes who graduated in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s are among seven honorees at the 29th annual Magnolia Athletic Boosters Life Achievement Awards fete.
The honorees are David Mullett (1956 class) of Lake Charles, La.; James Burgbacher (1961) of Tucson, Ariz.; and Debby Book Stewart (1970) of Raleigh, N. C.
The public event will be held on Saturday, Aug. 2, at Magnolia High School. A social event starts at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at Witschey’s in New Martinsville or from banquet chairman Brent Gamble at 304-455-3234. Background on the honorees follow:
Mullett: At Magnolia, he was a four-year football player and three-year varsity letterman with the Blue Eagles, going 7-3 in his senior year.
He also competed in basketball for two years and was a member of the Letterman’s Club.
He joined PPG Industries in 1957 and retired in 2001. Included was a break to obtain a mechanical engineering degree from West Virginia University in 1965. Starting at PPG Natrium as a Research Technician, he was advanced to the purchasing area at Natrium, the PPG Pittsburgh General Office as Supervisor of Energy Supply, and two assignments at Lake Charles, La., where he retired as manager, procurement.
Active in community projects, he served as president of the New Martinsville Jaycees, which supported such projects as the Lincoln Theater, musical Carousel. New Martinsville Regatta, and Minstrel. He also was elected to state Jaycee office and the chapter was judged No. 1 in W.Va. He also was active in school booster clubs in New Martinsville, Upper St. Clair, Pa., and Sulphur, La., plus local scouts. At work, he was involved with United Way and charitable campaigns. He also volunteered for local church committees.
He and wife, Sandra, have been married 54 years and have two sons, Mark and Matt, with four granddaughters.
Burgbacher: As a Blue Eagle, he was a four-year basketball player and a member of the school’s first state championship team, the 1961 Class-AA boys’ squad. He also competed two years in track and one year in baseball. A top student, he was a two-year National Honor Society member.
He graduated from WVU with a B.A. Degree in 1965 and received a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1969 from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. After an internship at Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital in Johnstown, Pa., and a residency in psychiatry at the Medical College of Virginia, he returned to Johnstown for a private practice from 1973-94.
During that period, he served on staff at Conemaugh, including positions as chairman and vice-chairman of the department of psychiatry.
During that period, he also served on staff from 1984-94 at Good Samaritan Medical Center and worked with the Community Mental Health Center and Hiram Andrews Rehabilitation Center.
From 1994-2007, he worked in private practice in Danville, Va., and also served as a staff member and medical director of the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program at Danville Regional Medical Center. He also was a consulting psychiatrist at five Danville facilities.
From 2007-12, he worked as medical director at Southern Arizona VA Health Care Systems in Tucson and taught students at the University of Arizona School of Medicine.
In Johnstown, Danville and Tucson, he has been involved with several community projects, including Museum of Art, Community Arts Center, Symphony Orchestra, Lady Astor Foundation, Humane Society, Community Food Bank, Desert Museum, Indian School, Boy Scouts, and homeless programs.
He also provided free psychiatric clinics and has been active in local church projects.
He and wife, Patricia, have been married for 46 years with three sons, David, Jason, and James and four granddaughters.
Stewart: At Magnolia, she was a four-year Blue Eagle cheerleader and active in school projects. She graduated from WVU in marketing in 1974, having served four years as a Mountaineer cheerleader. She was the team captain in her senior year, 1973-74.
She continued her interest in cheerleading by serving as a competition judge in West Virginia, Ohio and New Jersey.
Active in various fund-raising projects, she has volunteered for work with St. Jude Children’s Hospital, M.S. Society, Cancer Society and Performing Arts for Children. She has worked as a Boy and Girl Scout leader and her church’s Vacation Bible School.
Professionally, she has worked in retail sales and customer service, as well as teaching.
Married to Ted Stewart, a former Award honoree, they are parents of three children, Billy, Corey, and Mackenzie and have five grandchildren.