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Warren Buzzerd, West Virginia newspaper industry leader, dead at 83

James Warren Buzzerd


James Warren Buzzerd, 83, died Monday, March 7, 2016, under the care of Hospice of the Panhandle, Kearneysville.

Warren Buzzerd
Warren Buzzerd

The son of James Simeon Buzzerd and Margaret duFief Buzzerd, he was born in Hagerstown, Md., on August 16, 1932.

He is survived by his wife, Linda Swaim Buzzerd; two sons, James David Buzzerd and wife, Sandra; Todd Carlson Buzzerd and wife, Beverly; one daughter, Elizabeth (Betsy) Lee Hovermale and husband, Rodney, all of Berkeley Springs; three step-children, Andrew Clark and partner, Michael McGough, Alexandria, Va.; Kimberly Brown and husband, Craig, Bedford, NH, and Travis Clark, Martinsburg.

He is also survived by six grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and one great granddaughter: Shelly Jean Buzzerd, Reston, Va.; Cassandra Buzzerd, North Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Allison Buzzerd, Morgan Buzzerd, Tiffany Hovermale, Derek Hovermale, all of Berkeley Springs; Kyra Brown, Liam Brown, Bedford, N.H. and Haylee Waugh, Berkeley Springs.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Audrey Jean Carlson Buzzerd; two grandchildren, Jeremy Warren Buzzerd and Lindsay Laine Buzzerd.

A graduate of Berkeley Springs High School and West Virginia University, he taught Industrial Arts for several years in Morgantown and Clear Spring, Md. He left teaching to join the family-owned newspaper, The Morgan Messenger in 1959 and became editor in 1962, following the retirement of his uncle Lewis Buzzerd. He purchased The Hancock News, Hancock, in 1966.

He was the grandson of S.S. Buzzerd, who founded The Morgan Messenger in 1893.

An active member of the West Virginia Press Association, he served in a leadership role for 38 consecutive years, starting first as a board member in 1978, then serving as president in 1988. He became a trustee of the WVPA Foundation in 1990 after his year as past president. He was still treasurer of the Foundation at the time of his death.

Locally, he was a founding member of Cowboy Action Shooting Sports (CASS), Great Cacapon; a proud founding member of The Chain Gang, an elite trail clearing club at Cacapon State Park. He was the proud founder of the Buzzerd Deer Gang, a group of 18 hunters he hosted each fall in his Up The River home.

An avid hunter and outdoorsman, he was happiest on his John Deere, in his deer stand, cutting firewood, or working in his shop.

He was a member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.

At his request, his body was donated to West Virginia University School of Medicine and at his request there will be no services or memorial gatherings.

Memorials may be made to West Virginia Press Association Foundation, 3422 Pensylvania Avenue, Charleston, WV 25302 or Cacapon State Park Foundation, 1772 Valley Road, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411.

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