Long-time subscriber recounts a life well lived

BUCKHANNON The Record Delta recently requested readers to submit their best West Virginia scenic photos for our complementary 2021 wall calendar. One reader, Philip D. Miles submitted his photo of the West Virginia Capitol building lined with tulips, which was selected for the month of March.

When contacted with the news that his photo had been selected, Philip informed The Record Delta that his local 96-year-old grandma, Marjorie Miles would be thrilled, as she has been a subscriber of the newspaper for over 70 years! Marjorie grew up in Tallmansville, but as an adult, she has lived in the same house in town for nearly 73 years now. Her parents reportedly made a down payment on the home shortly after she and her husband were married, which has been remodeled on three different occasions during her inhabitance.

Marjorie’s love for the paper began long ago—for as long as she can remember, actually. “My grandfather always took it and I remember reading that newspaper from the time I was old enough to read. He took the newspaper all the time, and then of course, my family took it,” she explained. Come to find out, Marjorie also previously worked as a “type setter operator” for The Record Delta, while her husband, Philip’s grandpa, also worked there as a “printer” in the late 50s. During the time the two worked there, Herb Welch was the Publisher and the office was located on Spring Street. That building has since been torn down, but back then, Marjorie explained, “The circulation department would go up the street and go into the department stores and interview people; go to the courthouse and get the records. It was just a lot different then. It’s just the change of times.” 

Upon graduating from High School in 1941, when she was only 16, Marjorie went to the Business College in Clarksburg. By the age of 18, she decided to perform her civic duty to help with the WWII effort and moved to Washington D.C. to take a job as a “typist.” At the time, Marjorie lived very close to the Capitol. Unfortunately, D.C. was still experiencing segregation and Marjorie explained, “I was working in temporary buildings in the section over in the northeast. I had to walk to work and lots of times, the little kids would throw rocks at me.”

She worked there for approximately four years before returning home and getting a job at Adrian Bank, now First Community Bank. Her grandfather Reed was one of the Directors of the bank at the time and offered Marjorie a job because he feared for her safety in D.C., she explained. Success clearly running through their veins, Marjorie is also related to Buckhannon native Kimberly Reed, the current Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Shortly after returning to Buckhannon, Marjorie met the love of her life, Army Major Edgar Quentin Miles. The two were married three months later, at the young ages of 22 and 27, and were married for 54 years. When her husband proposed, he broke the news to Marjorie’s mother by using the ring that held a flour sac together.

However, when the couple first met, Marjorie said she was already engaged to a sailor in the Navy. “For some reason, I didn’t hear from him too often. My mother said to me one day, ‘I would not just sit around and wait on him.’ So, you know what? I took her up on her word. And about three months later, I was married,” Marjorie giggled. Her fiancé in the Navy came to visit her the night before she got married and the two sat in rocking chairs talking. Before he left, she said he asked, “I hear you’re going to get married?” And so, she returned his ring and the rest is history.

While working at the paper, the Miles couple had the opportunity to pull a business out of bankruptcy in Weston, which they named “Q&M Printers” for Quentin and Marjorie. The two operated this business for several years in a building that had formerly been an old garage, located on Main Street in the alley right behind the old JC Penney’s.

Following her job at the paper, Marjorie continued working full time at West Virginia Wesleyan College, where she was eventually promoted from Secretary to a position in Acquisitions. In this role, she reportedly ordered all the textbooks for the professors. Marjorie continued working at WVWC for approximately 26 years before retiring. She loved working at the WVWC library and out of her many jobs, she said this was probably her favorite.

The couple would visit their vacation home in Estero, Florida during Marjorie’s vacation days from the library. She jokingly told The Record Delta when they had an opportunity to sell their business in Weston, her husband told her if she did not retire then, he was selling their home in Florida. After retiring around the age of 59, the Miles family would then visit their vacation home from Christmas day until Spring. Marjorie sold the home four years ago, after the loss of her husband and son. Her late son, Eric, Philip’s father, was the one who continued to take her to Florida, so after he passed, she decided to sell the home they owned for approximately 34 years.

She and Major Edgar Quentin Miles raised three children in town—one son and two daughters. While raising them, Marjorie began her part-time job at The Record Delta.One of Marjorie’s daughters currently resides in Glenville and the other near Clarksburg. Marjorie’s husband served in the Army for 34 years and her son, Eric served for 38 years. Their banners proudly hang in Jawbone Park’s Walk of Valor.

After experiencing the loss of her husband 20 years ago, and then her son six years ago, Marjorie is still sharp minded and strong willed, her grandson explained. “She’s been able to take care of herself very well,” he proudly reported. While talking with Marjorie, she remembered her subscription was up and explained she had just missed the last Saturday paper. Fortunately, Philip was returning to Buckhannon the next day and happily renewed her subscription.

Marjorie said that although she does not do a whole lot anymore, she does read every edition of The Record Delta. She explained, “I grew up reading the paper, so that’s my favorite thing—reading those newspapers. That’s the first thing I do in the morning. I get the newspaper off the porch and sit down and read that paper before I have coffee or anything. That’s how much I love those papers!” In addition to the newspaper, Marjorie has enjoyed her life full of family, love, adventure, and hard work. The Record Deltacertainly appreciates her loyalty all these years and hopes she will continue to enjoy the paper for years to come. Thank you, Marjorie and Merry Christmas!


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