Law enforcement officers help carry Wyoming County man without family to his final resting place

PINEVILLE, WV (WOAY) –  The Evans-Calfee Funeral Home in Pineville received a call last week about a man who had died in a nursing home.

He had plans set up with the funeral home but when that time came, there were no living family members left in his records. The next call funeral director Michael Knotts made was to Wyoming County Chaplain Ray Toler.  

“When he told me the story behind it, it touched my heart. I said, ‘I got to go lead to this funereal.’ And then when we found out he had no family at all, I contacted Chief Deputy Ellison, and said, ‘I need you guys to come help me. This is not right,'” Toler said. 

For the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department, Chief Deputy Bradley Ellison took the call from the Toler and responded immediately. 

Chief Deputy Ellison along with Captain Blankenship and Pineville Police Chief Roger Snow joined Toler, Knotts and local pastor Silas Mullins gave the man a police escort and then carried him to his grave, each serving as a pallbearer. 

Although the pastor was the only one who knew the man personally, everyone was moved by the experience and the small service. 

“We had about a fifty-yard walk carrying, and you know, you look around and you see who all is there, and you realize it’s just y’all,” Ellison said. “And no family. No nothing. It just makes you reflect on, for me, how good I have it.” 

Funeral Director Knotts said he had no words when asked about what it was like to have this response from the law enforcement community, but he says it tells you all you need to know about the people who serve in Wyoming County. 

“Wyoming County’s a place if you need somebody, they’re there,” Knotts said. “It don’t matter what the situation. It don’t matter what the problem is. If you’re down, we’re going to get you back up. That’s what we do in Wyoming County.” 

Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.