Massey Energy, families of the victims and the state medical examiner's office have released some names of the miners killed in Monday's explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in Raleigh County:
Carl Acord enjoyed fishing with his two sons, 24-year-old Cody and 19-year-old Casey. On Easter Sunday, Acord joined family for dinner. His sister Sherry Cline said he was looking forward to taking his grandsons, Chase and Cameron for a ride on his tractor this summer.
Acord did not like his miss-matched nick name, "Pee Wee." He was about six feet tall. Cline says it was Acord's nickname since he "was a little tyke. It just stuck."
Cline says the 52-year-old had worked in mines for 34 years and liked the work, but on Sunday he told his family he worried about going back to work on Monday because of the mine’s roof.
Lifetime Boone County resident Jason Atkins enjoyed golfing. The 25-year-old miner married 28-year-old, Amanda. They met while attending West Virginia Tech and married 2 years ago. Amanda Atkins could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Atkins played high school and college baseball team, but left West Virginia Tech without graduating.
Robert E. Clark
Robert E. Clark's pastor says the 41-year-old recently became a born-again Christian at the Beckley Church of God.
Churchgoing friends say it provides a degree of comfort. He leaves behind his wife, Melissa, and a young son.
On Wednesday, Pastor Sexton said he remembered Clark's big smile as the miner left an Easter services. Friends say when Clark wasn't working, Clark was at church with his family and his in-laws.
Cory Davis was 20 years old from Dawes, West Virginia. He worked in the mine just as many of his family did. He played baseball in high school.
He worked with his father, Tommy Davis, and cousin Timmy Davis Junior at a surface mine, but all three were laid off in the past two years. All three found jobs with Massey.
Cory Davis loved often camped on a mountain to enjoy the outdoors. Timmy Davis Junior says they would run around, build a fire, ride four-wheelers.
Timmy Davis Sr.
Timmy Davis Senior loved coal mining. If he wasn’t mining he was hunting or fishing. His son, Timmy Davis Junior, says his dad bragged that he was the best in those sportsman activities.
Davis Junior says his uncle Tommy Davis and brother Cody Davis also were at the mine at the time and survived the blast. He says Cody Davis and his father were best friends. Cody Davis was on his way in at the time of the blast.
The younger Davis said of his father that he loved to work underground.
Steve Harrah's father-in-law, Jack Bowden Junior, says Harrah was a thoughtful man. His co-workers called him "Smiley."
Jack Bowden Junior says the 40-year-old Harrah enjoyed hunting deer in Pocahontas County
Harrah lived in Cool Ridge, West Virginia, with his kindergarten-age son, Zach, and wife of 10 years, Tammy.
His sister, Betty Harrah, said other workers thought of her brother as a good boss. She says: "He wouldn't ask them to do anything he wouldn't get down in there and do."
Bowden says Harrah was leaving the mine when the explosion happened. The mining company told the family that Harrah was killed instantly.
William R. Lynch
William Roosevelt Lynch played many roles during his life. The 59-year-old who went by Roosevelt was a teacher, coach, and grandfather.
He had more than 30 years of experience working in the mines. Melvin Lynch of Mount Hope says his brother was killed in the mine. Lynch got out.
Roosevelt Lynch was a longtime Oak Hill resident who coached basketball, football and track and taught on the high school and middle school levels.
Melvin Lynch says a lot of people around town called him 'coach.' He says: "He would substitute teach, then coach and then work in the mines. He used to have that rigorous schedule."
Oak Hill High basketball coach Fred Ferri said Roosevelt Lynch also competed in a summer basketball league in Beckley.
Ferri says he was in excellent condition. Ferri says: "He played last summer. He's out there running with kids. Roosevelt was a heck of an athlete."
Josh Napper was a bulky man who could bench press 500 pounds. Napper's cousin, Timmy Davis Junior, says that he loved to lift weights.
Davis says: "If there was any way he could, he could have moved half that mountain." He says his 25-year-old cousin left the health care industry in Rutland Ohio to work in the coal mines just two months ago.
"He made decent money in Ohio. He just knew it was more money underground. He came here for the money."
Howard "Boone" Payne
Howard "Boone" was considered a "gentle giant" in his early 50s with flaming red hair and broad shoulders.
Payne's brother-in-law, Terry Wright, says Payne was always helpful. Payne was quiet but he loved to have fun and love his family.
Wright says Payne began working as a coal miner shortly after graduating high school in 1977. He had worked for Massey Energy for eight to 10 years. Wright says Massey told Payne's wife, Debra, about his death at 2 a.m. Tuesday.
Wright says Payne never spoke about any concerns about his work.
Gary Quarles' life revolved around his wife and two children. The 33-year-old took his family on vacation every summer to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
He was from Naoma, West Virginia, and took trips every summer. His kids, are ages nine and 11. The family often went fishing along
the New River there.
Janice Quarles says he liked to hunt and spend time with his kids. She says he liked to hunt everything from raccoons and deer to wild boar, and he had wanted to stay home from work Monday because his children were still on Easter break.
Janice Quarles said people called her husband "Spanky." She says he was a quiet, laid-back man. Massey officials contacted her to break the news to her.
Quarles started coal mining when he was 18. She says he was among those finishing a 10.5-hour shift when the explosion happened.
Deward Scott and his wife love to go hunting together. He met his wife Crissie, when she was his karate student. The pair loved to go hunting together. They enjoyed spending time in the outdoors hiking, hunting, fishing or gardening.
The 58-year-old Montcoal resident had been a miner for 21 years and loved his job.
Crissie Scott says he also was kind and outgoing. "He was a Christian man who loved to help people. He's one of those people that once you met him, you wouldn't forget him."
The company notified Crissie Scott that her husband was among the miners killed in Monday's explosion.
Benny R. Willingham
Benny Willingham planned to retire in just a few weeks. He lived in Corinne, West Virginia, and had been a coal miner for 30 years. The 61-year-old spent the last 17 years working for Massey.
Willingham and his wife were supposed to go on a cruise next month to the Virgin Islands with family.
His brother-in-law and best friend Lonnie Prillaman says Willingham shared stories about the mine with him before he died.
"We talked about the ventilation problems they had been having; they had been having problems with the seals," Prillaman said. "The inspectors had to shut them down several times. I know he missed one week because of the ventilation problems down there. So they did have problems but all mines do, but evidently had a few more."