Hometown Hero: Frank Jarrell

KENOVA, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- While Hometown Heroes come in many forms, one man has spent decades helping another kind of hero -- our veterans.

From a simple holiday visit to even a final farewell, Frank Jarrell is continually making rounds of goodwill.

He helps perform military funerals – at last count 1,864 of them – rain or shine and sometimes several times each day.

"He's an outstanding veteran,” Tommy Hayes said. “Anything we've asked him to do, he's always been there. He stays busy all the time. He's chaplain of the honor guard. He's also over our membership; last year we had 1,104 members. He also goes out to the hospital to wherever and see the needy veteran that needs help."

Jarrell’s career in public service began involuntarily back in 1943 when he was drafted into the Army Air Corps, but it has inspired him ever since.

His service in the region doesn't stop there. Many Kenova residents may know him only through athletics.

"I have 53 years as a high school football ref, 33 years as a Babe Ruth and legion baseball coach,” Jarrell said. ”I've been around kids all my life, and that's the reason why I act like one."

But Jarrell quickly remembers his solemn duty and speaks with heartfelt sincerity when asked about it.

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