Staff and students remember longtime professor who died in car accident

Published: Dec. 5, 2021 at 9:22 PM EST
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LOGAN, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A longtime professor at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College passed away Saturday in a car accident in Logan.

“It’s heartbreaking that you have something so good one day and then the next day you find out that you’ve lost this individual and you’re never going to see them again,” said Pamela Alderman, president of the college.

Chuck Puckett died of injuries suffered in a vehicle accident during the weekend.

It was a somber day on campus Monday as students and staff returned for the final week of the semester.

“It’s a magnitude of loss I don’t think we can measure at this point. I don’t think anybody really realizes the voids that are going to be left but they are going to begin to surface because of his impact in so many areas,” said Professor Bill Alderman.

Puckett worked as a science professor for 22 years and was involved in the school’s Faculty Senate and served on numerous committees.

“The personality of individuals and the way they deliver instruction there will never be another Chuck Puckett,” Pamela said.

His students say they’ll remember him most for his sense of humor.

“He’d always try to throw in a little joke here and there, and it was great he made class fun. It wasn’t just one of these old boring classes; it was an exciting class,” said Trinity Dotson.

Dotson recalled one story, saying Puckett was demonstrating how to work the emergency show in the biology lab. He said it was broken, so he showed them how to work it.

“He goes and stands underneath the shower and pulls the chain down and soaks himself. He says, ‘Well I guess they fixed it. It would have been good to know,’” Dotson said.

His students say he was there for them every step of the way, and Southern will never feel the same.

“It didn’t seem real. It still doesn’t seem real. I kind of just needed to take a minute for myself and just take it all in like, is this really happening?” Dotson said. “When you think of Southern, he’s just one of those guys you put a face to this place is Chuck.”

In a post on social media, the school wrote:

“We grieve for his family, loved ones, students and colleagues. He was a brilliant man and was so devoted to Southern. He will be sadly missed by all of us.”

Support began pouring in from all corners of the state through posts on Facebook and in the comment sections of many forums and pages.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced yet.

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