He was larger than life. A man who could smooze with the best, pick a mean banjo, had a fine singing and speaking voice, was a high school drop-out, and a U.S. Army veteran who took advantage of the G. I. Bill to get a college degree and a law degree.
In addition to his field of law, Clyde See entered politics and was elected to 5 terms in the WV House of Delegates representing Hardy and Pendleton counties. Six of those years were spent as Speaker of the House. In this job he was both respected and admired, particularly for his ability to put down the opposition with a zinger. And probably, as with all good politicians, was disliked by some for his abilities as a leader.
In 1984 he threw his hat in the ring to run for governor and in the general election lost to former governor Arch Moore. In 1988 Clyde again ran for governor, but was defeated in the primary by Gaston Caperton.
He never gave up on politics, but neither did he run for office again. Instead he worked behind the scenes and probably had more fun doing that as he had running for office.
As much a public persona as Clyde was he still did a lot of things that were on the quiet and didn’t get a lot of publicity for doing them. He helped the 4-H program in various ways, probably because of his mother Minnie Crites See, who died when he was small, but who was one of the 4-H leaders and volunteers. He was a member of the Moorefield Volunteer Fire Company and gave of his time and energy to that organization.
Clyde was on the County Park Commission and was more than proud of the Brighton Park near the Buzzard’s Ford Bridge. He served on the county’s Public Service District and the list could go on.
For us, one of the best of Clyde’s accomplishments was getting a bill through the Legislature which gave the Hardy County Public Library a dedicated tax. This meant the Library board did not have to go begging to the county, the town or the board of education every year in order to receive public funds to help run the public library. Instead, the dedicated tax gave the Library an automatic and very small percentage of the general tax fund each year. It was a steady income for the Library and some years meant the difference between cutting services and not having to make that decision.
Clyde gave speeches on request whenever he could fit them in to his schedule and was a masterful master of ceremonies at many occasions, being both entertaining and insightful.
Through it all he never lost his sense of humor. Whenever we saw him, it meant a hug and reminiscing. He used to tease us about being older than he was (a whole five months!) and then he would talk about things political or local or family. He frequently would talk about our mother who would remember his mother with great admiration while the two of them enjoyed a small libation at the kitchen table.
Clyde was a proud father and grandfather. He had two daughters and two sons, and seven grandchildren. He loved them all and did his best to teach them about life his way.
We will miss our good friend Clyde See.