Benny Willingham was the type of person who would make sure you got home safely after he jumped your car battery. The kind of man who made sure to fix a leaky faucet or take out the trash at church. The grandpa who would never miss a grandson's ball game, even if he had to pull the first shift at a coal mine just hours later.
Willingham, 61, was laid to rest Friday, four days after a massive mine explosion at the Upper Big Branch coal mine in Naoma snatched his life and those of at least 24 others.
Hundreds filed into tiny mountain churches Friday to mourn four of their loved ones in southern West Virginia, where faith runs as rich and deep as the very coal seams that thousands risk their lives to extract.