BECKLEY — Not all of the dead have been identified. These are the stories of those who have been named so far, either by mine owner Massey Energy Co., the medical examiner, or family members and friends.
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Carl Acord shared a big Easter dinner with family on Sunday and doted on his infant grandsons, 9-month-old Chase and 3-month-old Cameron, said his sister Sherry Cline.
“He was looking forward to riding them around on the tractor this summer,” Cline said. “He kept talking about that at Easter dinner.”
Acord also enjoyed fishing with his two sons, 24-year-old Cody and 19-year-old Casey.
Even though he was about 6 feet tall, everyone called Acord “Pee Wee” — which he hated.
Acord, 52, had worked in mines for 34 years and liked the work, Cline said. But he told his family on Sunday that he was concerned about the mine’s roof and worried about going to work Monday.
Jason Matthew Atkins, 25, of Foster, was a first-team all-state football honoree and honorable mention in baseball at Sherman High School, from which he graduated in 2003.
Atkins, was a WVU sports fan and enjoyed playing golf with his brother.
He and his wife Amanda, whom he married in 2008, would have celebrated 10 years together on April 8.
Kenny Chapman was a roof bolter in the mines. His second job, it seemed, was making others laugh.
He’d have stories to tell about his hunting and four-wheeling excursions or his fishing trips to Indian Mills, Plum Orchard Lake or Burnsville Lake.
The 53-year-old Fairdale resident’s specialty was practical jokes.
“He always would be like he couldn’t hear you and he would come up and (grab) people or tell jokes that would always get a laugh,” said a nephew, Mike Chapman. “He was somebody that always had a good time.”
Chapman has a 13-year-old son, Mikey, with his wife, and three children from a previous marriage.
“He was really close with his family and his brothers,” Mike Chapman said.