|Posted:||July 10, 2017 09:36 AM|
|From:||Representative Tommy Sankey|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||LEGISLATION – MEMORIAL BRIDGE DEDICATION FOR RICHARD B WHITEHEAD|
|In the near future, I plan to re-introduce legislation (former HB1562) designating the bridges on Interstate 80 (known as the Viaduct Bridges) over the Moshannon Creek, Cooper Township, Clearfield County as the Richard B. Whitehead Memorial Bridges.
Richard Byrd Whitehead was born on April 15, 1930, in the small mountain community of Philipsburg, Pennsylvania. He was one of 10 children born to Mae and Leslie Whitehead who were lifetime residents of the town. Richard attended and graduated from the Philipsburg School District in 1949 where he participated in a number of sports including football and baseball. In 1951 after Richard's graduation, he entered the United States Air Force and attained the rank of Airman Second Class. He completed a successful tenure in the service including time spent in Japan. He returned on October 3, 1953 aboard the USMS James O'Hara. Upon his return home, he quickly secured a job with B&B (Bailey and Bragonier) Company of Philipsburg, Pennsylvania where he worked alongside his brothers.
He was happily married on June 6, 1959 to Virginia Gayle Pryde. He and his wife subsequently had two children: Richard Byrd, Jr. born in 1960 and Julie Kay born in 1962. Richard successfully moved on to work in the Ironworkers Local Union #772 (currently Local Union #3) of Clearfield, Pennsylvania. During this time, he was recruited to work on the Interstate 80 construction project. A part of which included the Viaduct Bridge construction project located just outside Kylertown, Pennsylvania. It was at this location that Richard's unfortunate and unexpected accident happened on July 29, 1966. Richard was tragically killed at age 36, after suffering a fall, leaving behind his beloved wife and two young children. He was a devoted husband, father, son, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend to so many in his close knit community.
Richard Whitehead’s legacy is profoundly important to his family. Most people have the benefit of living a full lifetime as they preserve their legacy. For Richard, his story ended before its time. The renaming of the current Viaduct Bridge to the "Richard B. Whitehead Memorial Bridges" will honor him along with all the fellow Ironworkers who worked by his side.
Thank you for your consideration.
Introduced as HB1695