By Steve Keenan
For The Fayette Tribune
For decades, Guy S. Dooley Jr. has been a bedrock of the greater Fayette County community in which he’s lived and worked.
He retired as president of United National Bank in Montgomery on Oct. 31, 1994, but has remained on the job at United since then.
Some of those who have crossed paths with Dooley over the years gathered at United Bank last Tuesday to celebrate his 50th year of working for United and its predecessors. He was presented gifts and sentiments from D.F. Mock, United’s Beckley-based market president for the South Market, and Betty Gilkerson, United’s assistant vice president/office manager in Montgomery.
Mock praised Dooley’s work with the bank as well as his community involvement, and he said Dooley has been “very helpful and instrumental” in maintaining loan and mortgage relationships.
Gilkerson told Dooley the presence of many former employees Tuesday “stands well for the leadership you’ve given us.”
Dooley said he was “flabbergasted” and “so humbled that you folks were here.”
Dooley, a veteran of World War II, was born March 8, 1925, in Page. A resident of Ansted and a longtime member of Ansted Baptist Church, he was married for 51 years to the former Anna Lee Dorsey, now deceased. He is the father of four and grandparent to many children.
Dooley began working as a trainee in different departments at Montgomery National Bank on Feb. 18, 1963. Stints as assistant cashier, vice president and trust officer and executive vice president followed before he was elected bank president June 30, 1972.
Sandy Huddleston, who succeeded Dooley as United’s Montgomery president, has nothing but praise for him.
“Guy came to the bank in 1963 and I came a year later,” said Huddleston, who was president until 2001. “It was a privilege to watch him become an excellent, well-respected bank administrator. He led by example. He was always on top of all the changing bank regulations, and, although that took a great deal of his time, he was never too busy to be compassionate and fair to his employees.
“He has certainly been my mentor, as well as a good friend to me and my family,” she continued. “I am sure many other employees will agree with this assessment.
“The fact that he continues to come to the bank four days a week attests to his loyalty and his caring for the bank, its employees and its customers.”
Dooley recalls bank officials telling him he could “come here and learn banking on the job.” The company has been “very nice to me. I’d like to thank the management of United for letting me stay involved,” he added. “I enjoy my work, I enjoy the team I work with; I enjoy the customers. It’s been a privilege.
“The banking industry has drastically changed,” Dooley added, primarily because of the expansion of electronic means of banking. “In likelihood over time there will continue to be drastic changes.”
In addition to his various chores in the banking industry, Dooley has also been an integral cog in moving Fayette County forward over the years. He has been president and member of the Upper Kanawha Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Upper Kanawha Valley Economic Development Corporation, as well as serving on other governing boards such as the Fayette County Planning Commission, the Fayette County Urban Renewal Authority and the Fayette County Transition Team.
In addition, he has been treasurer of Tech Foundation Inc. As a strong supporter of West Virginia Tech and WVU Tech, he joined with attorney Gordon Billheimer, dentist Carl Lee Kennedy and the late Tech basketball coaching legend Neal Baisi to help establish the Tech Athletic Scholarship Fund.
During their time in raising funds, the quartet played a pivotal role in securing more than $2 million for the school’s student-athletes. For their efforts, the men known collectively as “The Final Four” were inducted into the WVU Tech Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.
Dooley still joins with Ken-nedy and Billheimer for daily workouts at Tech.
His work with the local economic development organization, which was formed in 1985, was also integral in steering the Mount Olive Correctional Complex to the area. MOCC officials recently honored Dooley for 13 years of service on the institution’s citizens advisory board.
Also, Dooley and others on the UKVEDC helped oversee the construction of the UKV Technology Community on Third Avenue in Montgomery. The facility was built to serve as a catalyst for technical innovation and to provide a quality environment for business and industry. Dooley continues to serve on the UKVEDC board of directors.
He says he has no plans to slow down any time soon.
It means “having a reason to get up every morning,” he said. “I want to continue to work as long as I can and not become complacent.”
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