Writer Jack Cawthon, who brought to life the times within the imaginary West Virginia village of Big Puf with Burvil and Granny Pratlow, has died in Morgantown at age 86.|
Cawthon's fanciful writing about their escapades sometimes resembled real life in his column for the Hur Herald, "Cawthon's Catharsis," for 20 years.
Cawthon sprung from the wilds of Barbecue Run in Gilmer County, and was a long-time columnist for The West Virginia Hillbilly, and a former friend and associate of its late founder Jim Comstock.
Cawthon was an accomplished and witty writer, having been published in many venues over the years. After obtaining a job at a Gilmer County weekly, he was the youngest editor in WV, and went on to be the editor of the West Virginia Conservation Magazine, a forerunner to Wild Wonderful West Virginia.
After getting that job, he always joked about getting a telegram from me congratulating him, saying "It was the only telegram I got in my lifetime."
He was a lifelong student of West Virginia history, once saying, "I won a Golden Horseshoe and never shoed a horse."
My life was made better by being his friend for over 63 years, first meeting him during his student teaching stint at Calhoun High School.
We were both longtime friends of the Rev. Glendon McKee, a longtime United Methodist minister from Calhoun.
I am reminded of the words of my father, well into his 80s, that grieving for the passing of his lifetime friends is sometimes difficult to bear, several of mine dying this year.
We pray he rests high on the mountain overlooking Big Puf.
Bob and Dianne Weaver
See complete obituary Â Jack D. Cawthon