D. Paul Friend of Akron, OH, died on Saturday April 15, at Pebble Creek Care Facility. He was born March 12, 1931 the firstborn son of Clarence and Mary Fitzwater Friend at Ivydale, WV. He married Arbutus Jewel McLaughlin on March 28, 1949 in Wallback, WV. She preceded him in death in June 1984. He was an army veteran, serving his country during the Korean Conflict. He retired in 1992 from the custodial department of Schrop Junior High School in Springfield Township. With the help of God and the AA organization, he was very thankful to overcome an alcohol addiction and was blessed with 41 years of sobriety. Before his declining health problems, he attended the Wilmot Baptist Church, Wilmot, OH and was well known for his Bluegrass Gospel Music and Bluegrass band, "The Whiteoak Gospel Singers". His band traveled around OH and to neighboring states for music festivals and also recorded several CDs. He was a 14 year member of the Southland Gospel Boys who broadcast on a Canton Radio Station. Paul will be remembered for his involvement in the Friday night Bluegrass Music Sessions at Randolph Community Center, his performances at the Annual Golden Delicious Apple Festival in his hometown, Clay, WV and his organization of the Clay County Reunions at Spread Park in Clay, WV.
He is survived by a son, Keith Friend; a granddaughter, Angel Friend; foster daughter, Jacqueline Largent all of Akron; 2 brothers, Marshall (Roann) Friend, of Wadsworth, Leo (Jackie) Friend, of Louisiana; 1 sister, Faye Baker, of Wooster, OH.; 3 great-grandchildren and lots of nieces and nephews. Caregivers Kathy Brown and Patricia Mollenauer. In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by 3 sons, Dean, Duane, Jerry and a grandson, Kevin Friend; 4 sisters, Ilo (Bryan) Griffith, Evalyn (Bonny) Murphy, Hazel (Clarence) Nicholson, Opal (Harold) Weiler.
Calling hours will be held on Wednesday April 19, 2017 from 4-8pm at Newcomer Funeral Home 131 N. Canton Rd. Akron, OH 44305. Funeral service will be held at Wilson Funeral Home in Clay, WV on Friday April 21, 2017 at 2pm. Family will receive friends from 12pm until the time of service. Burial will be in Moore Cemetery, Wallback, WV. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice 3515 Massillon Rd. Suite 270 Uniontown, OH 44685 or the charity of your choice.