Joseph Michael �Joe� Cassell, 33, of Glen Daniels, formerly of Lynco, went home to be with Jesus Christ on Monday, June 27, 2011, of injuries sustained in a mining accident at Rhino Eastern Mine on Bolt Mountain, where he was a crew leader.
He was born March 25, 1978, in Man, the son of Richard Stephen �Steve� and Kathy Sheryl Brown Cassell of Lynco.
He was a proud coal miner who loved his work. Joe played football, basketball and baseball in high school and was the captain of each team his senior year. He loved to play golf, especially on Mondays, with his nephew, Chase. He was a 1997 graduate of Oceana High School and captain of the 1997 All-State Baseball team. Joe played college baseball at Fairmont State and three years at WVU Tech and was team captain his senior year. He was a 2001 graduate of WVU Tech with a physical education degree and served one year as a graduate assistant at WVU Tech. He was well respected as a basketball official, having worked mostly in Wyoming and Raleigh counties, officiating at all levels, and was loved greatly by the players.
He was a yearly participant in Relay for Life in memory of his aunt, Frances. He attended the Clear Fork Valley Baptist Church and was a member of the Black Diamond Basketball Board.
He was saved and ready to meet the Lord. His life verse was Philippians 4:13 �I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.�
He was preceded in death by his grandfathers, John Ken Brown and Richard Hillard Cassell; grandmother, Arthel Oma Daniels Cassell; uncle, Teddy Gibson; aunt, Frances Brown Kanott; stepgrandfather, Joe Lusk; and a special aunt, Lora Cline.
Survivors include his loving parents, Steve and Kathy Brown Cassell of Lynco; two sisters, Renee Lynn Cook and husband, Eugene, of Surveyor and Mary Beth Gray of Roanoke, Va.; grandmother, Nancy Lorine Brown Lusk of Lynco; nieces and nephews, Michael Chase Cook, Abigail Marie Cook, Samuel David Cook, Nicholas Tyler Gray and Jillianna Inez �Jill� Walker; special aunts and uncles, Teddy and Linda Toler of Kopperston and Rodney and Kathy Fernandez of Glen Daniels; aunts and uncles, Ron and Drema Grimmett of Huntington, Dennie Kanott of Cherokee, N.C., and Onia Gibson of Lynco; special neighbor, Jennifer Bradberry of Glen Daniels; four dogs, Sasha, Zoey, Scraps and Jake; many, many cousins; and a great host of other loving family and friends.
Funeral services will be held at noon Thursday, June 30, at Clear Fork Valley Baptist Church, Clear Fork, with Pastor Eugene Cook and Pastor Erwin Gregory officiating. Joe will be laid to rest in Palm Memorial Gardens, Matheny.
Friends may gather with the family from 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday at the church.
Pallbearers will be Teddy Toler, Trey Brunty, Tony Lester, Chase Cook, Rodney Fernandez, JR Carter, PJ Short, David Price Jr. and Shawn Gray.
Online letters of sympathy may be sent at www.staffordfamilyfuneralhome.com.
The family is being served by Stafford Family Funeral Home, Lynco.
A miner was crushed to death when part of a wall collapsed Monday at a mine operation in Bolt.
State Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training spokesperson Leslie Fitzwater confirmed crew leader Joseph M. Cassell, 33, of Glen Daniel, was killed at Rhino Eastern's Eagle No. 1 mine.
The accident occurred around 1:50 a.m. when "the miner (Cassell) was cleaning/shoveling along the rib to set timbers," said Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration Spokesperson Amy Louviere. The brow, which was 32 feet long and measured 100 inches high and 37 inches thick, fell and crushed the miner, she said.
A joint investigation is under way by representatives from MSHA, the State Office of Miners' Health and the mining company, said Fitzwater. Representatives from each party were on site in Raleigh County. The investigation will continue Tuesday.
"We want to stay vigilant about mining safety and make sure everyone is working as safely as possible," Delegate Daniel Hall, D-W.Va., said.
Hall was affected by this death, knowing the miner was close to his own age.
"My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. It is one of those horrible tragedies," he said.
According to MSHA, this marks the seventh coal mining fatality for 2011.
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