homepage logo

County magistrate earns Boy Scout recognition

By Staff | Apr 13, 2018

Toni Milbourne/Chronicle Jefferson County Magistrate Bill Senseney was named “Distinguished Citizen” by the Shenandoah Area Council of Boy Scouts of America on April 7.

The Shenandoah Area Council of Boy Scouts of America selected William “Bill” Senseny as the recipient of its Citizen of the Year for 2018. The honor was bestowed at a dinner at the Skyline Ballroom at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races on April 7.

Senseney, who has been serving as a magistrate for Jefferson County for 18 years, was previously sheriff of the county for two terms beginning in 1992.

Senseney began as member of Boy Scout troops 42 and 33 in his youth. He earned the rank of Eagle Scout and continues to remain active in scouting as an adult.

“I earned my first merit badge when I was 11,” Senseney said Saturday evening. “It was the personal fitness badge, and I didn’t know enough to be nervous about asking for help.”

Senseney said he approached Henry Davenport, a well-known county resident who was in attendance Saturday, and asked if he would time Senseney in the mile run.

Toni Milbourne/Chronicle Previous recipients of the Distinguished Citizen honor who attended the Boy Scouts of America banquet Saturday included, from left, Pete Dougherty; Roger Dailey; this year’s recipient, William Senseney; Eddie Hough; George Tabb; and Henry Davenport.

“Since that day, Henry has been inspirational to me,” Senseney said. “Never be afraid to ask for help.”

Senseney serves as a board member for Friends of Charles Washington’s Happy Retreat, Jefferson County Historical Preservation Society, Duffields Station Inc. and Jefferson County Youth Board. A graduate of Charles Town High School, Senseney earned a degree in business administration from West Virginia University.

Physically active, Senseney is also a member of the Shenandoah Valley Runners and the Panhandle Pedalers Cycling Club.

One of the speakers at the event was fellow Magistrate Mary Paul Rissler, who characterized Senseney as “one of the most intelligent people I know.”

She was joined by Charles Town resident Walter Washington, who said Senseney “is an all-around real nice guy.”

Washington shared tales of lunch gatherings at a local restaurant in Charles Town where he, Senseney and others, including Henry Morrow, Ralph Lorenzetti, Meade Dorsey and Ed Dockeney, would gather daily for discussions on issues.

“We sometimes disagreed,” Washington said, “but we always came and left as friends.”

Another speaker during the evening’s festivities was Senseney’s nine-year partner, Angie Sosdian, who said Senseney informed her that he was an Eagle Scout after their first or second date.

“I had kind of a thing for Eagle Scouts,” she said, drawing laughter from the crowded room.

“I learned Scouts played a very important role in Bill’s life,” she continued. “I also realized quickly that he was very involved in the community and wanted to give back.”

According to Sosdian, over the years she and Senseney have spent together, their dates have included road clean-ups, cleaning the lawns at Happy Retreat and attending endless pancake dinners during election season.

“The one quality that he has that is very important to me,” Sosdian said, “is kindness. He is a kind man with a very generous spirit.”

Senseney spoke of his careers, which included managing a Western Auto store in Jefferson County prior to his election to sheriff and subsequent election as magistrate.

“Each of these took me outside of my comfort zone,” Senseney said, adding that what he learned in Scouts helped him become successful.

Scouting “made me aware of how important it is to lend a helping hand,” Senseney said.