EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSREMEMBERING TROOPER WORKMAN
from Eyewitness News Online
Hundreds Gather To Honor Life Of Trooper Eric Workman
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Sep. 5, 2012 11:58 AM EDT
Updated: Sep. 5, 2012 11:08 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
One by one, they filed in...coming to terms with the harsh reality that today was the day they had to say goodbye.
"He was just one of those people that never knew a stranger," said West Virginia State Police Superintendent Col. Jay Smithers.
Those who knew Trooper Eric Workman best said he started slow, but always finished strong. A short life, that taught much.
"You could say his career picked him, he was born for law enforcement," said Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.
They spoke about his love for baseball, hunting, fishing, and his desire to serve and protect the people of his home county of Clay.
"The life of a man is measured not just by simple facts, simply told, as we've heard. It is measured by so much more. By his courage, his valor and his honor, his commitment, and his dedication and his selfless service to his fellow citizens," said Senator Joe Manchin.
His former baseball coach spoke of his love and respect for his family, and how he compared baseball to life.
"It's either fair or it's foul. It's a ball or it's a strike. Or you're out or you're safe. Baseball and life are not always fair," said Cal Bailey.
"Eric was willing to face the dangers for the greater need of the community. He never knew what lied behind the next door but he knew what he was doing as a state trooper was the greatest thing that he had ever done," said Cpl. Jim Mitchell.
"Eric believed that as he was in the arena of life, that he was the one person that could make a difference. Not only did he make a difference in the lives of fellow students, not only did he make a difference in the field of athletics, not only did he make a difference in the West Virginia State Police, but Eric made a difference in the lives of people. Even in his death to whom he didn't know because he had an attitude of giving and of sacrificing and of serving," said Mitchell.
Trooper Workman was also an organ donor. Bailey spoke at the service about how his organs have already helped several to start to live healthy, full lives.
Hundreds of people including law enforcement officers from across the country came out Wednesday afternoon to remember the life of a West Virginia state trooper taken too soon.
Trooper Eric Michael Workman was just 26 years old when he and Cpl. Marshall Lee Bailey were shot after responding to a call in Clay County eight days ago. Workman died in a Charleston hospital on Friday.
Wednesday, Workman's former baseball coach at West Virginia State University addressed the audience on behalf of the family, saying that Eric wanted to make a difference by serving with the West Virginia State Police. Bailey added that the first thing that he noticed about Eric was that he treated his family with the utmost respect.
Corp. Jay Smithers, superintendent with the West Virginia State Police, said that with time, the loss of Workman and Bailey will strengthen the bond of the West Virginia State Police.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and West Virginia's junior senator, Joe Manchin, also spoke at the service.
Hundreds of law enforcement cars led the procession to take Workman to his final resting place at the Workman Family Cemetery in Ivydale, located in Clay County.
The family asks that donations be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Association, ATTN: Tammy Owen, 2072 Crestwood Road, Charleston, WV 25302, or online at jdrfevents.donordrive.com/campaign/milesformadi.
You can leave online condolences at www.carlwilsonfuneralhome.com.
Tune into Eyewitness News tonight for a complete recap of today's memorial service.
Eyewitness News will broadcast the memorial service live on Fox 11 and on www.wchstv.com. You also can get updates by following us on Twitter @WCHS_WVAH.
We'll have complete coverage of the service tonight on Eyewitness News.
To watch livestream coverage, click here or watch the broadcast live on WVAH Fox11.
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