WILLIAMSON - The City of Williamson suffered a great loss in the wee hours of Wednesday morning with the death of veteran Patrolman Darry Paige, who suffered an apparent heart attack at the home of his mother.
Paige, age 40, who had been off of work for the past few months for health related issues, had been employed with the Williamson Police Department since 1997. Prior to that, he had worked as the Chief of Police for the Town of Gilbert and also served with the Matewan Police Department.
“I loved him like a brother,” remarked David Rockel, the former Police Chief for the City of Williamson. “I knew he had been sick, but I had no idea he was this bad. The doctor’s had told him he needed heart valve replacement surgery and he kept delaying it, he was not a fan of going to the doctor.”
Rockel commented on what a remarkable man the officer was, in a professional state as well as in his personal life.
“He was the bright spot in the Williamson Police Department. He loved people, and they loved him. He will be greatly missed.”
“He was a great guy, I don’t know anyone who disliked him,” said Patrolman Jerrod Marcum. “He had such a good rapport with the public.”
Roby Pope, who served as the Chief for the Williamson Police Department for many years after retiring from the West Virginia State Police, hired Paige in 1997 and considered him a tremendous asset to the department.
“The best attribute that Darry possessed was his personality,” said Pope. “He had such a way with people. I’ve never seen anyone that got along with the public like Darry did. He could adapt to any situation and could fit in anywhere.”
“Darry and his siblings were raised by parents who instilled high morals and standards in their children, and taught them to always respect others. He never forgot those traits and displayed them every day of his life.”
“Although Darry was one of the easiest going people I’ve ever been around, he took his job as a policeman very serious. If I was in a situation where I needed someone to have my back -he was who I wanted.”
“Darry was my brother,” said WPD Lt. Grady Dotson. “There’s no other way I can word it. We were so close. As soon as we began working together we developed a very close bond, you rarely seen one of us without the other. I can’t imagine not having him in my life. Things will never be the same for any of us.”
“Darry watched me grow up, he knew my dad when he was a police officer with the Williamson Department,” remarked Patrolman Josh Tincher. “All the guys have been so good to me since I started working with them. I was really looking forward to Darry being able to come back to work. He was the type of guy that you could never be in a bad mood around. His laughter was contagious…he was always in an upbeat mood, he refused to allow you to be in a down mood.”
“He was a rare breed, a very special and unique type of person,” commented Williamson Police Chief Barry Blair. “If more people had the demeanor, personality and the heart that Darry had, this would be a much better place to live.”
“Darry was so supportive of me when I applied for the police chief’s position. He was happy that I was chose as the new chief and even though he was ill, he would stop by the station and talk to me and spend some time here and couldn’t wait to come back. There really are no words that could do him justice. He was the best.”
“My biggest regret is that we never got to work together as brothers from the same department.”
Although funeral arrangements have not been released yet for the officer, Chief Blair told the Williamson Daily News that if all goes as planned, Paige will be buried with full police rights. Although it is not widely known, the veteran police officer was also a former Army Ranger, and military services are also expected to be incorporated in the funeral service. Information will be released to the public as soon as it is made available.
Paige leaves behind his wife Ruby and three children, Maggie, Roman and Raven, and is also survived by his mother and two siblings, an extended family and a host of friends who loved him.