"It's a big loss for the community," she said. "He's always done so much for the people in this community and the people of West Virginia.
"This state wouldn't be the same state without Senator Byrd," she said. "He fought for this state for many things, especially all the roads and bridges."
Cadle agreed that over his lengthy career, Byrd did a great deal of good for his home state.
"He knew the Constitution so I think he was able to keep 'em a little bit in line there in Washington," she said.
Larry Jones, who sat and talked with Coughlin at a gathering place for retired folks in Sophia, also graduated from Mark Twain High School.
"We're going to miss ol' Byrd," Jones said. "He was like our hero."
Rebecca Thompson of Stotesbury heard a lot of old-time stories about Byrd from her mother, Frances Copley, who died in 2002.
"He used to fiddle with my mama," Thompson said.
Years ago, she said, her mother's family and Byrd would move all the furniture to one side of the family home to allow for square dancing and fiddling.
"They all square-danced and ate chicken and biscuits," Thompson said.
After Byrd married Erma, Copley's family serenaded the newlyweds all night with pots and pans, Thompson said with a laugh.
"It's sad that he passed away," she said. "It's a sad day."
Stotesbury itself has changed greatly since Byrd was a young man in the 1940s. Bonds showed a picture from 1947 where she's standing in the foreground, with a sprawling coal camp behind her -- a stretch of land long since vacated. The town once had a movie theater, post office, coal company store and many homes.
Michael Angle, a disabled veteran who lives in Stotesbury, lowered his American flag to half-staff at about 12:30 p.m. He told Timothy Wampler, 10, and Dakota Bolen, 11, to remember June 28 as the day their U.S. senator passed on.
"Robert Byrd did what he wanted to do. He died in office," Bonds said. "I think that's what he wanted to do. And we will miss him. ... He will long be remembered."
Reach Davin White at davinwh...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1254.