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 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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  • by Becky Belle Location: Parkersburg on Mar 25, 2009 at 07:30 PM
    The coverage was great!. I enjoyed the commentary/explanation. I've never been to a Catholic funeral so it was interesting from that point of view besides being a nice tribute to the Justice. Thanks for a good job.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 25, 2009 at 05:34 PM
    Will a recording of the service be posted on
  • by fellow Location: ohio on Mar 25, 2009 at 01:46 PM
    it really makes sense to honor the living people with their accomplishments but how often do we take the time to do it. He was a man that achieved alot in his life and at least the community respected him for that. YES MORE TIMES THAN ONE , one gets more respect than the other and it doesnot seem fair but dont take away from this man. I believe it an honor to have him lead our state and his family recieve all the respect from him. It is too bad that our newspaper does not take time to honor all but again who knows the reason behind their articles because at times you have to sift through the truth and the what is it,the want to know facts to actually tell what is the truth. This was a man well deserved and thank God they could do this
  • by Tim A Location: Charleston on Mar 25, 2009 at 11:51 AM
    I had the honor of knowing this good man and his family for years. While I was able to make a brief visit to pay my respects to the family, I was not able to attend the services. I appreciate the family for allowing this broadcast so that us that knew this great man and his family can share in their closure. Justice Joe has made this state and this world a better place. May he rest in peace and may his entire family have comfort in his peace. God bless.
  • by DeeAnn Location: Williamstown on Mar 25, 2009 at 10:07 AM
    Thank you for your kindness in allowing those of us who could not attend the funeral to show our respect by sharing at home the community sympathy and prayers. Also, thank you for the excellent coverage.
  • by Roger Sheppard Location: parkersburg on Mar 25, 2009 at 08:33 AM
    We LOVE comments from our viewers! That's why we do this. If someone wants to ask a question, I try to answer it. -- Roger Sheppard, WTAP
  • by really? Location: williamstown on Mar 25, 2009 at 07:43 AM
    Roger in Pburg...if you don't want "Comments" from your 'viewers' why not rename this section "Testimonials"?
  • by Roger Location: Parkersburg on Mar 25, 2009 at 06:47 AM
    Justice Albright was the most high-ranking elected official from Wood County and Parkerbsurg in the past 50 years, if not longer. As former Speaker of the House of Delegates and former Chief Justice of the WV Supreme Court, we felt this was only right. This is being done with the permission of the family and as a service to those who may live away from here who could not attend. That's why it's being carried on the internet, too.
  • by Mike Location: Parkersburg on Mar 25, 2009 at 06:43 AM
    I think it's great that WTAP will have live coverage of the funeral. Joe touched many peoples lives and some of us will not be able to attend the ceremony and would love to be able to see what will surely be a beautiful service and farwell to Joe.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 24, 2009 at 09:20 PM
    First, my sympathy goes to the family. Second,I was shocked when I read you were going to cover this LIVE. Seriously,I think this shows very poor judgement and poor taste. I certainly won't be watching and hopefully, noone else will either.
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