The Miner Memorial section of this website serves as a place honor and pay tribute to those miners whose lives have been lost.
Read about the brave men and women who dedicated their lives to powering us, or share memories of your loved one by clicking here.
A tribute to Ryan Thatcher Submitted by Chelsea Salyer of Prestonsburg, Kentucky about her boyfriend of 3 years.
Ryan K. Thatcher- 26 lost his life in 2011 in the mines. He worked in the mines for 6 years underground. On July 11, 2011 he left for work, his first day back from vacation. Ryan’s life was ended that evening not long after his first trip underground. I expected him home around 1 am like every other night. Instead, at 10:30 I received a phone call that totally changed my life. Last summer, Ryan bought his first Harley; a 2010 Fat Boy Lo. I had never seen him so passionate about a new found hobby. If he wasn’t working, you can bet, weather permitting, Ryan was out on the bike. I also loved riding with him, we had some of our best memories out on the road just riding and enjoying the scenery. Last October he traded his fat boy in on a 2011 street glide. We just didn’t have enough storage with the other one for as much as we rode. The weekend before his accident we had a wonderful, beautiful ride to Lexington, Ky and on to Cynthania, Ky. taking the back roads home!
I can’t express just how much he loved riding and loved his bike, always had it shining, always buying something new for it. He truly had just began living I do believe when he discovered his love of riding. It’s so sad to think how quickly life can be taken before we know. Ryan also loved his job. And he was proud to say he was a coal miner, he took great pride in meeting people out on a ride to tell him he was a coal miner. I can’t count the times we ended up talking with strangers and he never failed to say he was a coal miner. He knew he was a hard worker and proud to say he never missed a days work and like what he done. I am proud of him but miss him even more. I would just like to honor Ryan the way he would want to be honored and remembered for the greatness he gave in life, to anyone and all who loves him and misses him dearly.
Ryan Keith Thatcher November 09, 1984- July, 11th 2011 — His light still shines & a sound of a Harley brings bitter sweet memories to my ears.
Coal miners are the lifeblood of wild, wonderful West Virginia and the United States of America. Whether miles underground or on the surface, coal mining is our past, our present, and our future.