Beckley's longest serving mayor laid to rest - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Beckley's longest serving mayor laid to rest


BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) Beckley's longest serving mayor was laid to rest. Friends and family gathered at the Raleigh County Convention Center on Tuesday for a stirring tribute to Emmett Pugh.

Serving as Mayor for 25 years, friends said Pugh was Beckley born and bred. 

"I suggest you take a mental stroll down Uptown and the surrounding areas and you'll see the brick and mortar accomplishments of Emmett," said current Mayor Rob Rappold during the service. 

While it was at the University of Alabama where Pugh found his love of government, it was in Beckley he found home. He was instrumental in the development of the Beckley Intermodal Gateway (BIG project), the Exhibition Coal Mine, Pinecrest Technology Park, and the Beckley Z-Way. 

"Emmett's trademark in my mind was the respect he paid councilmembers and every employee he worked with in the city," said Mayor Rappold. 

During the service, Pugh's son Charley described his dad as someone who loved his family, loved music, and loved to lead. "Please don't cry for me. Do not weep. For the king of Beckley now serves in the house of the lord with the king of kings. I love you dad. It was always an honor to be your son." 

He was a man, who friends and family said, will always be remembered as 'Mayor.' 

"This is not goodbye. It's simply see you again in heaven. We all love you," added Charley Pugh. 

Mayor Pugh also served as Beckley's Councilman-at-Large from 1979-1988.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Beckley Area Foundation, 129 Main St., Suite 301, Beckley, WV 25801.

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