The Hobbs Family
Landy, Marty and Ward Hobbs grew up in Shawnee Hills. Through lifetimes of summer camps, tennis, swimming, golf and early employment at Oglebay and Wheeling Park, the siblings developed an affinity for the parks that continues to this day.
As the children of the late Ron and Sally Hobbs, their Oglebay connections were pretty much preordained.
Sally was an accomplished equestrian, tennis player and skier. She was involved in Oglebay’s theater, music and cultural offerings. Sally and the three kids performed in many summer musicals in the amphitheater with dad cheering them on.
Ron’s affinity for the parks is better known as one of the longest-serving Wheeling Park Commissioners – for more than 41 years.
Eldest child Landy remembers, “As kids, we all had pool and tennis passes. Mom would drop us off in the park at 8 am with some money in our pockets for a hotdog lunch. We played tennis all day, swam in the afternoon. We knew to be ready to go at a certain time. Sometimes dad picked us up on his way home from work, sometimes we got rides from neighbors and we even walked a couple of times.”
All three identified a first summer job in the park, employment their dad probably had a hand in behind the scenes. Landy worked on construction projects at the Good Zoo, Marty worked at the tennis courts and Ward spent at least one summer painting the Mansion. These early jobs “taught us skills to have pride in our work, establishing a strong work ethic” that has served them all throughout their lives.
Ron’s incredible legacy (see page 14) as a Wheeling citizen, for which being a Park Commissioner was just one aspect, shaped Landy, Marty and Ward’s appreciation of and love for community. They lost Sally in 2016. When Ron passed away last May, the siblings knew they wanted to do something to honor the memory of their dad, but they weren’t sure what.
“Dad wasn’t the kind of guy who wanted his name on a building. He never sought that kind of recognition. When Marty, Ward and I started talking about honoring Dad we all wanted to do something that was important to him. We remember him saying, ‘Most people put their name on stuff without considering how it’s going to be maintained. No one gives money for maintenance, it’s not sexy.’ With this thought, the idea of the maintenance fund began to take shape,” Landy shared.