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Watch WTAP's Coverage Of Justice Albright's Funeral

By: Bruce Layman Email
By: Bruce Layman Email

Hundreds of people, including local dignitaries, First Lady Gayle Manchin and most of the members of the State Supreme Court, turned out to pay final respects for the late Justice Joseph Albright.

The funeral was held at St. Francis Xavier Church in downtown Parkersburg. The burial took place at Mt. Carmel Cemetery.

Justice Albright is probably the highest ranking state official from Parkersburg in about half a century.

Friday he died from complications of esophageal cancer and Wednesday officials, family, and friends said their last goodbyes.

The rain set the scene for a day where there was a sense of great loss among the hundreds of people who came to Justice Joseph Albright's funeral Wednesday.

West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Benjamin said "Justice Albright was just a giant of a man not only in physical stature he had a commanding presence."

Justice Albright served seven terms with the West Virginia House of Delegates, was the 52nd Speaker of the State House, was elected to the State Supreme Court in 2000, and served as Chief Justice in 2005.

"Justice Albright was always a man who cared about the people of West Virginia but he also, and a lot of people didn't know this, he cared so much about his faith and about his family," said Chief Justice Benjamin.

This is the Joe, Chief Justice Benjamin, said he got to know and so did West Virginia First Lady Gayle Manchin.

"I know that he was very proud of his family and I know his family is very very proud of him," said Gayle Manchin.

First Lady Gayle Manchin said it was an emotional service and everyone there had a special connection to Justice Albright.

The Rev. Eric Hall spoke of Justice Albright as a father, a husband, and a friend.

"The awesome thing about faith is that it gives us the ability to see beyond what is right here in front of us. That we don't begin truly any work. We continue what was started before us. We build on those things that have been given us and we never really finish anything. We leave to those who come after us a continuation of that same work," said the Rev. Hall.

The Rev. Hall challenged everyone there to continue Justice Albright's work that he did in his professional and personal parts of his life.

"But he was a commanding presence in the history of our state and we miss him very much," said Chief Justice Benjamin.

The family of Justice Albright granted WTAP-TV permission to broadcast the funeral live, which was shown live on My5 and also on WTAP.com. At the request of the West Virginia State Supreme Court, WTAP-TV also served as the pool camera from which all other television stations could obtain live coverage of the funeral in Parkersburg.


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