MARTINSBURG – On Sunday, a new Schulmerich carillon system was inaugurated in St. John’s Lutheran Church in Martinsburg in honor of his wife Ruth Ann, which generates bells and bells sounds throughout downtown Martinsburg.
Scott Widmeyer, the son of Douglas and Ruth Ann Widmeyer, said the inauguration of the bells was planned to be donated to St. John’s in memory of Ruth Ann, who passed away in 2011.
“(Sunday) was about realizing this and seeing what it is in St. John’s and the entire Martinsburg community, especially around Christmas time,” said Scott Widmeyer. “My father really wanted the carillon project to be completed so this week it was very powerful to unveil the tower and hear its wonderful music and carillon. What a legacy, and now it can do a lot for St. John’s Ministry and the continued revitalization of downtown. “
Several gathered outside St. John’s Lutheran Church on Sunday to hear the first ring of the chime and comments from Martinsburg’s Mayor Kevin Knowles, Rev. James Riley of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Robby Blair, Chief Executive Officer of Main. to hear Street Martinsburg and Jerry Olsen.
“Today, as he wanted, it is here. I wish he could be here, ”Riley said.
Olsen reiterated that the church carillon in memory of Doug Widmeyer was dedicated in honor of his wife, Ruth Ann.
“Doug’s father came here in 1925 and opened Widmeyer’s cleaning and tailoring business. His father ran it successfully until his death in 1960, when Doug and Ruth Ann took over the business and ran it successfully for over 31 years. Doug was very part of the community. He was’ Mr. Martinsburg ‘”, said Olsen.
Olsen said Doug was very concerned about the health services.
“He served on the City Hospital board of directors and was instrumental in joining City Hospital at West Virginia University Health Care. Education was also very important to him. He devoted his time and donations to West Virginia University and Shepherd University. He was very active in this church all his life, even until his death last spring at the age of 90, ”he said.
He added that Doug served the community and had a particular interest in Habitat for Humanity and the Martinsburg Union rescue mission.
“As you can see, Doug was a man who loved giving back,” said Olsen. “He wanted to improve the quality of life of the people he met. He will always be a part of this community. This carillon will not only be something for the Church of St. Johann, but also for the community of Martinsburg for many years to come. “
Knowles said he met Doug 18 years ago.
“I had a lot of good conversations with him. I am humble and honored to be here to witness this and hear the music every hour on the hour, ”he said.
Blair said he can’t imagine the life that the sounds of downtown are touching.
“I think of the children, visitors and locals who are touched by such a beautiful gesture,” said Blair. “I am pleased that this is contributing to the culture and quality of life in our inner city. Thank you for this project, thank you for the gift it makes to the community. “
Drew Catrow explained that there would be hymns and chimes at certain times of the day, and also songs the ward may recognize, including Christmas carols, that are being played.