It's never easy when a we lose someone who has played a big role in one of our local communities. It is more difficult when that person's impact can be seen every day.
Our area experienced such a loss last week with the death of Bill Furioli, a man who dedicated 26 years of his life as the director of the Brooke County Special Olympics.
One thing numerous people noted following the news of Furioli's passing was that he treated everyone as if they were family, especially the Special Olympians who became like children to him.
It all began for him when he was asked to coach a Special Olympics basketball team in a benefit game against the Brooke County Sheriff's Department.
At a time when the program was on a steep decline, Furioli's leadership was just what it needed, as, after becoming director, he began an expansion by introducing several new sports.
He worked to prepare the athletes for the World Games in 1999 and 2003, and was selected to serve as either a coach or assistant coach for the 1999, 2003 and 2007 World Games.
Bill Furioli will be remembered by many for his kindness and compassion for others, his hard work and his dedication to the programs and the people he loved. He was a great ambassador for the Special Olympics and for the people of Brooke County.
He will be missed.