Frederick Egbert Black, Sr., 95, of Danville, WV went home to be with the Lord on September 26, 2020. He was born in Yawkey, WV on February 21, 1925. Fred Sr. was the son of the late Frederick Henry and Iva Augusta Black. He was also preceded in death by his daughter, Nancy Fran Barker, brother Paul Black, sisters Madge England, Marjorie Carney, and Ruth Sellers.
Fred, Sr. graduated from Duval High School, and was married to Pauline “Polly” Morrison Black on January 5, 1945. They were together for a total 66 loving years before her death in April 2011.
Fred, Sr. was a member of the Bible Baptist Church, Danville, WV where he loved his church family. He served in the U.S. Army, was a member of the Odd Fellows, and was involved in the Lions Club. From an early age, Fred, Sr. was involved in the family business and ultimately dedicated his entire life to serving his customers and community.
Fred, Sr.’s parents established F.H. Black & Son in the year 1916. It was a general store operated in Yawkey, WV. Fred, Sr. was born in a small room over that store in 1925, and later worked alongside his Mother and Father. Fred, Sr. actually drove a truck for the family business, beginning at the age of 12. This is where his strong work ethic took root and continued to be exhibited throughout his life.
Fred Henry and Fred, Sr. relocated the business in 1948 to Danville, WV, which is the current location of Byrnside Hardware. There, they initially established a feed store for the area. In subsequent years, they started adding groceries and hardware as well. The business was so successful, they expanded and remodeled the store many times. In 1981, Fred, Sr., along with his son Fred, Jr., recognized they had outgrown this particular location, and would need to move to an even larger space. They realized their customers wanted a larger selection of groceries, and in true form, they listened.
Therefore, in 1981, Fred, Sr. and Polly purchased a vacant Super Valu grocery store right across the railroad tracks. There, they established a much needed grocery store for the area and it was renamed Black's Foodland. The grocery store was wildly successful, and overwhelming accepted by the community. After 4 years of operation, growing pains began once again. Fred, Sr. started looking for another new location.
In early 1985, Fred, Sr. purchased a 6-acre tract of land between Danville and Madison. He constructed a state of the art 35,000 square foot new grocery store for his customers. This store opened in the late fall of 1985. Once again, this store was enthusiastically applauded and accepted by the public. The store was the focal point of the community, as were each of the ones before it. Fred, Sr. always made sure his customers came first, and customer service was the utmost priority. He treated his employees and customers like they were family, and they felt it. Fred, Sr. deeply believed in giving back to the community that he loved so much.
In the year 2000, Fred, Sr. sold the store to the Kroger Corporation. His lifelong retail career ended at age 75. Fred, Sr. was very successful throughout his long career and he accomplished many great things. For years to come, he talked about his intense appreciation for the great community, who accepted, embraced, and supported each of the Black Family locations throughout the decades.
Fred, Sr. may have started with humble beginnings in Yawkey, WV with his Mom and Dad, but in the end, he grew the family business to a nationally recognized grocery store with over 200 employees. This kind of endurance and success is a testament to his hard work, vision, and generous heart. Most importantly, he never forgot all the people who supported him along the way.
Fred, Sr. is survived by his two children, Patty Black Lafferty (Larry) in Madison, WV, Freddy Black, Jr. (Mary) in Lynchburg, VA, and his son-in-law Ronald Barker in Danville, WV. He is also survived by his grandchildren Russell Byrnside in Savannah, GA, Neil Byrnside (Brandy) in Madison, WV, Brandi Black Thacker (Bobby) in Forest, VA, Dustin Black (Lynn) in Richmond, VA, Greg Barker in Logan, WV, Rhonda Dangott (Rich) in Danville, WV, and Ryan Barker (Tina) in Danville, WV.
Fred, Sr. is also survived by his 12 great-grandchildren, Blair Byrnside, Lauren Byrnside, Lincoln Byrnside, Madeline Byrnside, Colton Thacker, Owen Black, Becca Black, Sydney Dangott, Dillon Barker, Collin Barker, Christopher Barker, Bradon Barker, and one great great-grandson, Luke Barker.
The family would like to express a heartfelt thank you to his caregivers, Judy Hall Asbury, Janie Meadows, and Melanie Martin with Kanawha Hospice Care.
A private family graveside service will be held to remember and honor Fred, Sr. In lieu of flowers, to honor his memory, the family requests any donations be directed to The Gideon’s International, P.O. Box 24, Madison, WV 25130, or Bible Baptist Church Ladies Helping Hands, P.O. Box 261, Danville, WV 25053.