PARKERSBURG - Hundreds gathered in the Parkersburg High School auditorium Saturday to say goodbye to former PHS principal and RESA V executive director Ralph Board.
"Ralph was a man of deep faith. He loved to laugh and he could make tough decisions," said the Rev. Dr. Thomas McDowell of St. Andrew's United Methodist Church. "We are here today to celebrate his life, a good life."
McDowell said Board's death caused everyone who knew him to grieve.
Photo by Jolene Craig
The Rev. Dr. Thomas McDowell, of St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, speaks behind the casket and a sketch of former Parkersburg High School principal and RESA V executive director Ralph Board on Saturday during the funeral for the man who passed away unexpectedly last Monday.
"Let us remember that if you want to make a difference in the lives of the people you lead, you need to walk beside them," he said. "Thank you, Ralph, for all that you've done; thank you doesn't say enough."
McDowell was the only person to speak during the half-hour long program on Saturday, which also included musical performances from the PHS A Cappella Choir and an instrumental trio.
"We come to celebrate the faithful life of a father, husband and man of all things," McDowell said. "In grief, we shall acknowledge human loss."
At A Glance
* Hundreds of family members, friends, community members and former students gathered to celebrate former Parkersburg High School principal and RESA V executive director Ralph Board.
* The funeral took place in the auditorium at PHS and was officiated by the Rev. Dr. Thomas McDowell of St. Andrew's United Methodist Church.
* Board died unexpectedly last Monday.
McDowell said he not only lost a member of a congregation, but a friend, as Board had served dutifully in the church.
"His leadership qualities gave those around him inspiration to do great things," McDowell said.
Board began working for Wood County Schools in 1984 and in 2003 became principal of PHS. A graduate of Parkersburg High, Board was the first alumni of Wood County Schools to take a principal's position at his alma mater.
"He was always ready to boast about being a 'Big Red,'" McDowell said of Board's school spirit. "He truly loved this school."
He retired from PHS in 2011 and until his death led RESA V, which provides support services and training for schools throughout Wood and surrounding counties.
Prior to 1984, Board served as the district executive for the Boy Scouts of America. He earned a master's degree from West Virginia University and an undergraduate degree from Glenville State College.
Board, 58, died suddenly on Monday.
Following the service in the auditorium, services continued at the burial service in Evergreen North Cemetery.