I was extremely pleased that the Lou Holtz Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame has finally decided to recognize Carl “Pop” Werner. However, I feel the need to expand upon the biography that was recently printed in the paper about Pop. He was so important to many people of this community and touched many lives with his words and actions.
Pop taught us respect and the feeling of accomplishment. Do you remember the first time you climbed the rope to the top of the gym ceiling? He taught thousands of kids and adults to swim. He taught us pride. Do you remember swimming the length of the pool so you could swim in the deep end? He taught us teamwork, self-discipline and control through multiple sports and activities.
For many, going to Pine Ridge Camp was the first experience of being away from home. Pop fostered a safe place to grow. He was a father figure to many in the Tri-State area.
Pop was responsible for the Coin Club, Hi-Y, YMCA Annual Train Race and also the Bill Booth Award which is still awarded yearly. This humble man shaped and molded several generations of strong men and women who have built our community and beyond.
Hopefully this letter will bring back memories for many of you and introduce others to this truly special man I had the pleasure and honor of knowing.