Book recalls politician’s life

CHARLES TOWN – In her new book, “The Man from Springfield: William H. ‘Bill’ Loy,” Virginia Loy Michael examines the life of her husband, a political powerhouse in West Virginia for years until his unexpected death in 1985.

The 214-page book examines Loy’s life as recalled by his friends, colleagues and in correspondence.

Loy was born in 1931 Springfield in Hampshire County and graduated from Romney High School. He earned his law degree at West Virginia University College of Law and become practiced as a lawyer in Romney starting in 1959. Loy lost a bid for a seat in Congress in 1964 to Democrat Harley O. Staggers.

In 1967 he was selected as administrative assistant to then-Congressman Arch A. Moore Jr., the father of current Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, also a Republican.

Loy went on to serve as Moore’s chief administrative assistant when the Glen Dale politician became governor of West Virginia in 1969.

   Moore and Loy also faced public challenges during their time together. In 1976, the governor and Loy, who had served as Moore’s campaign manager during his 1972 re-election bid, both were acquitted after federal prosecutors accused the pair of extorting $25,000 from the president of a holding company seeking a state charter for a new bank.

   After his time in Charleston, Loy worked as an attorney in Martinsburg for the law firm of Loy, Shingleton and Caryl.

   He died April 20, 1985. “His death was such a shock,” Michael said. “He died while visiting a client in Florida. He was jogging on the beach and had a massive heart attack.”

Michael, a retired teacher, said she spent 10 years carefully putting together the book, which is for sale at South Berkeley Pharmacy in Inwood and also is available at some local libraries, including Charles Town Library.

   The book’s publisher is McClain Printing Co. of Parsons. It sells for $20 and also is available at

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