Past VFW National Commander Homan Dies at 87

Richard Wilson Homan, age 87, passed away on Monday, June 21, 2010 at his residence in Franklin, WV. Mr. Homan was born on January 14, 1923 in Sugar Grove, WV, the son of the late Dr. Virgil Ray Homan, Sr. and the late Leafy A. Mitchell Homan. On August 14, 1964, Richard married Jean Ann Simmons, who survives in Franklin. He worked for Kiser Roller Mill, Sugar Grove, and was elected to the Board of Directors at Pendleton County Bank, Franklin from 1952-2010, President from 1969-2010 and CEO from 1972-2000. Richard was a member of Francis Asbury United Methodist Church in Sugar Grove, where he was teacher and Sunday School Superintendent. He attended Sugar Grove Elementary School and graduated as Salutatorian from Franklin High School in 1941 and from Bridgewater College (VA) in 1950 with a BA in Math. He was the recipent of the Distinguished West Virginian Award.

Mr. Homan was a member/President of Pendleton County Board of Education, a member of Pendleton County Board of Health, Town Council of Franklin, Pendleton County Extension Service Committee, served four 6-year terms on Veterans Council of West Virginia Department of Veteran Affairs, and was a Corridor H supporter. He was a charter/life member of VFW Post 9666, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, West Virginia Bankers Association (Past President 91-92), Pendleton County Industrial Development Authority, Area Three Governor Caperton's Partnership for Progress, 32nd Degree Mason – Pendleton Lodge 144 AF & AM. 

Mr. Homan was a WW II US Army Veteran having been inducted into Company A, 220th Infantry Training Battalion, Camp Blanding, FL. He went overseas to Europe where he served with the 610th Tank Destroyer Battalion. He served in the Rhineland and Central Germany Campaigns and was promoted to Sergeant at the end of WW II. Richard was then assigned to the International Military Tribunal at Nuremburg, Germany, during trials of top Nazi leaders. He was a charter member of VFW Post 9666 at Sugar Grove, which he helped to organize and where he served through all the chairs to Commander (VFW Department 1957, Jr. Vice Commander-in-Chief 1966, Sr. Vice Commander-in-Chief 1967, Commander-in-Chief 1968). He served two terms as District Commander and served as Chairman of every major committee in the West Virginia Veterans Department and was then elected Deparment Commander in 1957, where he served six years on the National Council of Administration, National Legislative Committee, National Security Committee, National Awards and Citations Committee, National Budget and Finance Committee and as Chairman of the National Loyalty Day Committee. During his service in the National Chairs of the VFW, he traveled in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries in Europe and spent several weeks studying first hand the conditions in the Far East, where he visited Vietnam, Korea, Taiwan, the Island Fortress of Quemoy, Hong Kong, Okinawa, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Phillipines.

Mr. Homan was instrumental with the water-line extension to Entry Mountain, securing Hanover Shoe Company and Franklin Garment Company to the area through the original Pendleton Industries group (now Pendleton County Economic and Development Authority), and construction of the access road to Pendleton Community Building/Town Park. 

In addition to his wife, Mr. Homan is survived by: 3 Daughters, Amy Byrd DePoy of Harrisonburg, VA, Mary Carter Homan of San Diego, CA, Elizabeth Ann “Betsy” Sheets and Husband Kenny of Martinsburg, WV; 3 Brothers, Reid Homan of Sugar Grove, Virgil R. Homan, Jr. and Wife Jeanne of Sugar Grove, John F. Homan and Wife Loretta of Shepherdstown, WV; 2 Granddaughters, Hannah Byrd DePoy and Evelyn Carter DePoy, both of Harrisonburg, VA. In addition to his parents, Mr. Homan was preceded in death by: 2 Brothers, Morris M. Homan, Walter Byrd Homan; and a Son-in-Law, William Anderson “Andy” DePoy (May 21, 2010).

Family will receive friends on Wednesday, June 23, 2010, 2-3 PM and 6-8 PM at the Basagic Funeral Home in Franklin, WV. Rev. Susie Echols, Rev. Bill Blackwell, and Rev. Kevin Hand will officiate funeral services on Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 1:00 PM in the Funeral Home Chapel. Interment will be in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Franklin, WV. Military Graveside Services will be conducted by Pendleton County Veterans Honor Guard. Memorial donations may be made to Pendleton County Rescue Squad, Franklin Voluteer Fire Department, Mountain Hospice, or the VFW National Home for Widows and Orphans, Eaton Rapids, Michigan. Words of comfort and memories may be left at