Steve Harrah was "always thoughtful and would give you a hand," his father-in-law said.
The 40-year-old enjoyed hunting deer in Pocahontas County, said father-in-law Jack Bowden Junior, who also is director of the Raleigh County Emergency Operating Center. In a hometown obiruary it was said of Harrah: "Steve enjoyed hunting though he was never concerned with killing anything. Steve enjoyed fishing though he was never concerned with catching anything. Steve enjoyed playing poker though he was never concerned with winning anything. He simply wanted to be with his friends and family and they in return cherished every moment spent with him.
Harrah lived in Cool Ridge, West Virginia, with his 6-year-old son, Zach, and wife of 10 years, Tammy. "They went to the same high school, and they just knew each other and started dating," said Bowden, who choked up as he spoke. "It's pretty rough."
A 1988 graduate of Shady Spring High School, Harrah served in the US Army for six years, having held duty stations at Fort Drum, N.Y., Fort Stewart, Ga., and throughout Germany. Harrah had been employed for Massey Energy for the past 10 years.
Harrah was leaving the mine when the explosion happened. The mining company told the family that Harrah was killed instantly, Bowden said.