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RAVENSWOOD, W.Va. (WV News) — Jackson County native Edmond Lawrence “Larry” Suek and his publisher, Liz Coursen, will be at the Ravenswood Library on August 5 to promote and share his book, Willow Grove, A Boy, A Family, A Farm. It is book one of two about his life growing up in Jackson County. The second book is titled “Silverton” and will be released in 2024.

Willow Grove focuses on Suek’s life growing up on a dairy farm in rural West Virginia.

“Jackson County has been and still is music to my ears,” Suek said. “I consider myself a very lucky man and want to honor Ravenswood and Jackson County by means of my books, Willow Grove and Silverton.”

He began his life in Silverton on a farm on Wilding Road and moved to Willow Grove when he was seven years old. His grandfather, father and uncles were all dairy farmers and although he loved farm life, he wanted to become a veterinarian.

Suek’s Jackson County life in Willow Grove ended in 1955 when his family sold their farm to Henry J. Kaiser and moved to a farm in Wood County.

Willow Grove, a site of several dairy farms in the area, would eventually become the location for Kaiser Aluminum.

Following his move to Parkersburg in 1955, Suek attended Parkersburg High School where he graduated in 1957.

“I was used to the Ravenswood schools, one of my favorite parts of living in Jackson County,” Suek said. “I left a sophomore class of 52 students and went to a junior class of 1,000. I was not happy.”

Suek said his life in Ravenswood was wonderful. He enjoyed great friendships and schooling. He loved having classes with family, 17 first cousins to be exact.

Following graduation from Parkersburg High School, Suek went on to college to become a veterinarian, but changed his major to Chemistry and attended Ohio University. He also took several night courses at Marietta College.

Suek became a chemist and worked at Marbon Chemicals in Washington Bottom. After several years at Marbon, he moved to Connecticut in 1977.

Suek took a position as a marketing specialist with Uniroyal Chemical in Connecticut and then with US Steel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Following that he was relocated to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and later joined Mobil Chemical in Edison, New Jersey. He worked for Mobil Chemical and BASF as a technical sales specialist that took him to Albany, New York where he ended up retiring in December of 2000.

Following retirement, he and his wife Peggy moved to Florida in 2001.

During all of his travels for work, he would daydream of his life growing up in Ravenswood.

“I had such a wonderful, marvelous childhood in Ravenswood,” he said. “My mind continued to draw me back home.”

With the encouragement of his mother, from their long phone conversations about the family history, he decided to write Willow Grove.

Suek is excited to be coming back to Ravenswood after all these years. He is hoping to reconnect with some family and friends.

To see Suek in person and to learn more about Willow Grove, stop in at the Ravenswood Library at 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 5.