Remembering Marty Healy
When Hall of Fame Coach Henry Healy took over at Paden City, in the late 1950’s, son Marty was just a toddler following behind and hanging out with some of the Wildcats finest athletes. Where ever Coach was you would normally find Marty hanging on his coat tail. As a result he picked up a lot of sports knowledge and later carried it over into his own career.
As a sophomore on the Wildcat football team Marty often had the opportunity to spell the starters for a while and pick up valuable playing experience. Back then Paden City had more than enough kids to field teams and if you were a freshman or sophomore, chances are you played reserve ball or were on the freshman team.
My history with Marty goes back a ways as well. He was one of the regulars on the outdoor basketball court, where we often had some highly contested games. I recall one in particular where some boys from another town showed up. That didn’t happen very often and when it did it usually spelled trouble. The game which we agreed too, would be played to 21 win by two, but it didn’t make it that far. As it got a little rough and trouble soon broke out. “Game over,” Marty screamed and down the river the visitors headed.
Marty played a pretty good game of basketball and started his junior and senior seasons for coach Burton. As I recall he was a pretty good ball handler, had a nice outside shot, and was a tough as nails defender. Football was his game however, and he earned several accolades including first team OVAC, and was an All-State selection. He helped lead the Wildcats to an undefeated season in 1966 and the OVAC Football Championship.
His skill as a linebacker led him to Virginia Military Institute where he started as a freshman. He later became a Semi-Pro linebacker with the Wheeling Ironmen. Marty was a true Wildcat at heart and followed local sports for many years before transferring from Mobay Corp. in New Martinsville to the Charleston, South Carolina plant. Just as he was in sports, he became successful in his career with Bayer as Plant Manager and as Chief Operating Officer for Coopers River Partners.
In 1968, 1969 and 1970, Marty was right there supporting his dad, who led the Wildcat football team to the state championship games. In 1973 when Paden City won the state Class A basketball title under coach Burton, Marty was there with the rest of us cheering them on. He was an avid supporter of Wildcat sports. At Paden City we are proud of our athletes and our scholars. We are very proud to have known Marty Healy and all of his family. They left good memories and set good standards for future generations to follow.
Marty passed away on April 30, this year at his home in Summerville, S.C., leaving behind his wife Lois of 45 years ; three sons, Matthew Francis Healy of Simpsonville, Jeffrey Martin Healy of Goose Creek, and Gregory Michael Healy of Goose Creek; daughter, Jaclyn Mercedes Prabhu (Pramod) of Charlotte, NC; grandson, Peyton Martin Healy; and three sisters: Marliss Barzcak of Carolina Beach, NC, Patty Anderson of Raleigh, NC, and Linda Alexander of Bradenton, FL.
In his senior year at Paden City, Marty led the OVAC with 137 tackles, six fumble recoveries, four interceptions and nine quarterback sacks. He was touted by several different schools, but decided on VMI before later transferring to West Liberty College. His senior basketball season in High School he averaged 10.9 points per game on a team that went 13-7 and had five players average in twin-figures, including seniors Alan Cooper, Jim Hickman, Denny Price, and junior Mike Alexander. He will be missed by many, but he will not be forgotten.