From advocating for special causes to recognizing the sacrifice of families who lost a son or daughter in battle, John Nanny gave his all to ensure the service provided by the Ohio Valley’s veterans would not be forgotten.
Nanny, 79, died Sunday. A Marine, Nanny’s life exemplified a passion for helping others and promoting worthwhile causes. He was a common sight at our office, where he would regularly stop for a chat, always passing along information about his latest project or sharing with us the names of the young men from the Northern Panhandle selected for American Legion Boys State.
It was his work with veterans service organizations that stood out. He was a former commandant of the Marine Corps League, was a member and past Commander of American Legion Post 1 in Wheeling, a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4442 and also served as chairman of the Hershel “Woody” Williams Scholarship Foundation. He also worked for years to coordinate the local Marine Toys for Tots drive.
“John was a great one for organizing the veteran community, getting them to recognize themselves and help each other out,” said John Looney, director of the Wheeling Vet Center. “He was good at organizing the Marine Corps League for the county and for the state, and really supported the veterans, and recognized the veterans that did work within the community.
“He was good about saying, ‘This is what America is about,’ and including everybody. … He’s certainly set an example for everybody to follow his lead. He demonstrated how people can work well with each other.”
Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott first met Nanny in 1989 at Boys State. He said working with Nanny on the Gold Star Memorial showed him Nanny’s passions for veterans.
“His passing will certainly leave a large void, not only in the community of veterans, but throughout the greater region,” Elliott said.
“… He was just a wonderful guy. I really enjoyed all my experiences with him, and it really hurts to hear.”
Nanny’s contributions to the Ohio Valley’s veterans community will long be remembered.
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