Charles Ray "Gus" Backus

April 11, 1936 ~ December 26, 2017 (age 81)


Charles Ray “Gus” Backus, 81, of Swiss, passed away peacefully at home December 26, 2017. He quietly fought a courageous battle with lung cancer, never complaining about any of the trials he faced, and making it clear that regardless of the outcome he would be “a winner either way.”

Gus was born April 11, 1936 in Crown Hill, WV to the late Arthur “Jack” and Radie Kiser Backus. In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by his brother Bob who passed just one day before him on Christmas Day, and nephews Jeff Keith and Warren Woodward.

 Gus is survived and will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 51 years, Martha; son, Tony; daughters, Julie Haller and Jennifer Crouch (husband John), grandchildren Tavia Hamon (husband Travis), Ryan Hanshaw, Caitlin and Zachary Haller, Elizabeth and Zachary Crouch, great-grandchildren Haley and Collin Williams, and Lily Hamon; sister, Norma Keith, and numerous sisters/brother-in-laws, nieces and nephews who all loved him and will miss him dearly.

Gus was retired from Elkem Metals.  He was a member of the Swiss Missionary Baptist Church where he attended services regularly and felt a close kinship to all who attended. He especially enjoyed Wednesday night Bible Study taught by Pastor Gene Truman, but also found great joy in playing with and doting on the smallest of members of the church, endearing him to the young and old alike.

Gus was registered with the Human Gift Registry, so his earthly shell was donated to health sciences education and research through WVU. He left to his family and friends the peace of knowing that he was ready to meet God when it was his time. A joint celebration of life memorial service for Gus and Bob will be held 2:00 P.M. Saturday, February 17, 2018 at the Simms Memorial United Methodist Church, Swiss, WV.

The family would like to thank everyone who helped Gus along his journey. He found great comfort in the care he received at the David Lee Cancer Center, and more recently from the amazing individuals who tended to him through the Hospice program.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Gus to Hospice Care, 1606 Kanawha Blvd. W, Charleston, WV 25387.

On-line condolences may be sent to the family at

Pennington Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Backus family.


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Memorial Service
February 17, 2018

2:00 PM
Simms United Methodist Church
35 Belva Road
Belva, WV

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