The Beckley Post Herald, Beckley, WV July 6, 1981:
John E. Faulconer
HINTON--The founder of Pipestem State Park and one of West Virginia's most esteemed historians died Saturday after a two-month illness. John Edward Faulconer, 78, of 502 Summers St., who served as a columnist for the Beckley Post-Herald since last November, was pronounced dead at Summers County Hospital. A native of Hinton, Mr. Faulconer managed to raise funds to "get Summers County noticed," including the Bluestone Center. His most noted achievement was the creation of Pipestem, acclaimed as one of the 10 best family vacation resorts in the nation. Hinton was the center of much of his fundraising activity, which included helping build the city hall, a 4-H Camp and city sewage system. Mr. Faulconer once said of his native Hinton: "We're probably the biggest little town in the state. We have everything we need". The former owner of the Hinton Daily News, Mr. Faulconer was honored in May at Pipestem with a portrait by Canadian artist David Holmes. The portrait of the resort's founding father - titled "The Mountain Man of West Virginia: - now hangs at the resort. Born April 20, 1903, in Hinton, he was a son of the late Dr. Edward Newman and Clyde Campbell Faulconer. He was graduated from Hinton High School in 1923, spent two years at West Virginia University as a pre-med student before returning to Hinton in 1926 to become managing editor of the Hinton Daily News where he held that position until 1937 when he left the paper to manage Hinton Insurance Agency and other business interests for 10 years. In 1947, Mr. Faulconer and his brother, Tom, purchased the Hinton newspaper where he served as publisher and editor until 1973 when the newspaper was sold. In 1974, he became public relations director of the Pipestem State Park and held that position at the time of his death. Mr. Faulconer had served his 17th year as a member of the advisory board of the state Department of Highways, was vice chairman of the board and a director of the National Bank of Summers. He helped organize the Mountaineer Travel Council and had served on its board of directors, organized the Summers County Boys Scout Council and the City/County Chamber of Commerce, had received countless awards and citations including a special award in 1973 by the West Virginia Department of Commerce for outstanding contributions to the development of tourism in West Virginia. He was a sport fan and an avid golfer. He had played 303 different golf courses during his lifetime, was a member of the Presbyterian Church in Hinton, Masonic Lodge, Loyal Order of the Moose, Hinton Elks Lodge, served as district deputy to the grand exalted ruler and a past exalted ruler and a member of Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity. Survivors include his wife, Eleanor Wilson Faulconer, a daughter, Mrs. Nancy Pettry of King George, VA.; two brothers, Dr. Newman Faulconer of Greenville, S.C., and Thomas Faulconer of Hinton, and a granddaughter, Jamie Pettry. Services will be Tuesday at 2:#0 p.m. in the First Presbyterian Church in Hinton with the Rev. Stewart McMurray officiating. Burial will be in Hilltop Cemetery. Friends may call today from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Ronald Meadows Funeral Parlors in Hinton and at the church one hour prior to services. The family will receive friends from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Any contributions of sympathy should be made to the Hinton High School scholarship fund in Faulconer's name at the National Bank of Summers. Pallbearers will be members of the board of directors of the National Bank of Summers.