MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — John Dale “Jack” Twigg, 90, formerly of LaVale, died peacefully Aug. 19 at the VA Medical Center in Martinsburg, W.Va.
Born July 16, 1923, in Cumberland to John S. and Anna Mae Wegman Twigg, he grew up working on his family’s small farm and orchard on the Bedford Road, attending SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, and becoming an apprentice machinist at the B&O Railroad before joining the U.S. Navy during World War II. He married Genevieve Wolfe Twigg on March 13, 1944, shortly before he left for service as a radioman aboard the USS Braxton, the first ship to transport U.S. troops to Japan after the war. The Braxton had to navigate mines in Tokyo’s harbor to land troops and headed the clean-up detail in Nagasaki not long after the city was hit by one of the two atomic bombs dropped during the war.
Discharged from the Navy in 1946, Mr. Twigg finished his apprenticeship at the B&O and earned a mechanical engineering degree under the GI Bill. He was employed with the Celanese Corp. in Fort Mill, S.C., and in 1956 returned to Cumberland to take a job with the newly opened PPG plant. Following his retirement in 1982, he became active in real estate and owned Property Visuals Inc.
Mr. Twigg, who developed numerous patents for plate-glass production at PPG, maintained his inventive bent in retirement, spending hours in his machine shop at home, creating a versatile walker he and his wife dubbed “Angie,” and painting in watercolors and oils. Those included scenes in LaVale near his home on LaVale Court, where he and his wife moved in 1981 after many years in Ellerslie. His painting of an elk in the woods now hangs in the Elks Lodge in Portland, Maine, hometown of his youngest daughter. Other works decorate the homes of his daughters and friends in The Kensington-Algonquin on Baltimore Street, where he happily spent the last four years of his life.
Mr. Twigg was preceded in death in January 2012 by his wife of 67 years, Gennie. Also preceding him were his two siblings, eldest brother Charles R. Twigg, killed in France in 1944 during World War II, and youngest brother Robert D. Twigg of Cumberland, in 1998. Survivors include daughter Colee and husband Sig Splichal of Miami, Fla.; daughter Anne and husband Jeff Ertel of Portland, Maine; grandchildren Clark Splichal and fiancée Deborah Acosta, and Priya Lewis and husband Andrew Lewis; niece Sherell Shaffer of Cresaptown and her family, including another five nieces and his sister-in-law Helen Twigg of Cumberland; sister-in-law Sarah Anne Gardner of Sykesville; niece Beth Gardner and husband Rodney Tompkins of Alexandria, Va.; nephew John Gardner of Sykesville, Md.; great niece Emily Tompkins; and friends and supporters Ursula and Joseph Bowers of Martinsburg, W.Va., Harold Fike of Cumberland, the Rev. Tomislav Dosch of Hyndman, Pa., and dear friends at The Kensington in Cumberland.
The family extends special thanks to the caring staffs of The Kensington and The Lions Center in Cumberland and to the wonderful team in the palliative/hospice care unit of the Martinsburg VA. Services are being planned for a later time at Rocky Gap Veterans Cemetery.