We have prepared this memorial to remember our colleagues in social work in West Virginia. In addition, each year at the opening session of the annual Spring Conference we recall the names of social workers and colleagues who have passed since the previous year’s conference was held. If you know of names to be added to this memorial, please contact us. Updated June 15, 2022

Samuel "Sam" Andrew Farley, July 30,2022

Dear Colleagues,

It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of Samuel "Sam" Andrew Farley, a loyal NASW member. (See obituary below)

Samuel Andrew “Sam” Farley, 75, of St. Albans, WV, died at Hubbard Hospice House in Charleston on Saturday, July 30, 2022, of cancer.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Ruth Farley. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Yvonne S. Farley; son, Luke Farley [Amanda] of Charleston; Grandchildren, Ellie, Parker and Gracie Pritt of Charleston; Brother, David Farley [Ellie] of Goldsboro, NC; and Sister, Sharon Farley of South Charleston; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Sam was born in Beckley and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School. He gained his B.S. in Appalachian Studies from Antioch College and obtained an MSW from West Virginia University. During his early years he worked as a coal miner and was secretary treasurer of his United Mine Workers of America Local in Stanaford.

He was a U.S. Army combat veteran serving two years in Viet Nam and upon return was active in Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Exposure to Agent Orange and cancer was too much for his body to overcome but his triumph was an anchor of stable love and family.

After 10 years in the coal mines, he found his vocation in family and youth support as a social worker who tried to make the system work better than it was designed to do. In 2007 The National Association of Social Workers, West Virginia Chapter, honored Sam with the Catalyst Award for Direct Social Work Practice.
Sam loved listening to music both live and recorded. His favorite genres were Jazz and Bluegrass which played daily in his last days. He was a voracious reader who when he died was reading James Baldwin.
His spirituality stemmed from a vital relationship to a power greater than himself. He was a man of gentle spirit and strong character open to all kinds of people and experiences. He was smart and funny.

Contributions to his memory may be made to West Virginia Free, 222 Capitol Street, Charleston WV 25301 or to Children’s Home Society, 1422 Kanawha Blvd. East, P.O. Box 2842, Charleston, WV 25330.

The family would like to thank all the neighbors who visited with Sam as he sat on the porch and who helped him when he fell. Many thanks to those who expressed condolences electronically and with cards, food and flowers. In addition, we thank the U.S. Veteran’s Administration; Tom and Donna Weisman of Tucson, AZ; Kanawha County Hospice; Lisa Johnson; Steve Lange; Barbara Freirson; Local 175 Teamsters; and Bartlett-Nichols Funeral -Home in St. Albans. For those not named, you know who you are and that the family is thankful to you. We could not have made it without your support.

Celebration of Sam’s life will take place at a later date.

You can visit Sam’s tribute page at to share condolences or memories with the family.


Dianna Kay Chapman, 3/25/54 - 6/9/22

Dear Colleagues,

It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of Dianna Kay Chapman. (See obituary below)

DIANNA KAY CHAPMAN, 68, of Duck passed away June 9, 2022 at her home.

She was born March 25, 1954, a daughter of the late Denzel Duffield and Joyce White. 

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by brother, Dale Duffield of Ivydale.

She was a social worker and worked for the the Department of Health and Human Resources. She was a Christian and attended Mount Olive Church. She enjoyed fishing with her family, farming, raising cattle, working in her flowerbeds, and especially loved spending time with her grandchildren. 

She is survived by her husband, Mickey Chapman; sons, Channing (Tashauna) Chapman of Servia, Chance (Emily) Chapman of Charleston, WV; grandchildren, Colden, Cooper, and Isla; brothers David (Judy) Duffield of Springfield, OH, Dwayna (Jo Ann) Duffield of Palestine, WV, Gary Duffield of Ivydale, WV; sister, Donna Wilmoth of Ivydale, WV, and many nieces and nephews. 

Funeral service will be 11am, Monday, June 13, 2022 at Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway with Pastor Joseph Truman officiating. Interment will be in the Chapman Family Cemetery, Servia, WV. 

Visitation will start at 6pm, Sunday, June, 12, 2022 at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to HospiceCare, 1606 Kanawha Blvd. West, Charleston, WV 25387.

Words of comfort and memories may be shared with the family at


Dr. Helen P. Hartnett, 11/27/62 - 1/21/22

Dear Colleagues, 

It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of Dr. Helen P. Hartnett of Morgantown, who passed away surrounded by the love of family after a brief illness. (See obituary below)

Dr. Helen P. Hartnett, 59, a distinguished and respected faculty member of the WVU Eberly College of Arts and Science, died Friday evening, January 21st, 2022 at her residence in Morgantown after a brief illness. Helen had been under hospice care in recent days and was surrounded with the love of her family when she passed.

Helen served in various positions at the Eberly College such as interim director of the School of Social Work, MSW program director, School of Social Work associate director, and interim director. She also served several years as an Administrative Fellow in the Eberly College Dean’s Office. Most recently, she was the Chair of the Anti-Racism, Equity and Justice Committee in the School of Social Work and was the leader of the Eberly College Healthy Community Research Collaborative.

Helen spent much of her career advocating for others. Prior to studying social work at The Ohio State University, Helen served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic in the early 1980’s as a health and nutrition specialist. She later became a social worker practicing community organizing and political advocacy. She was a fierce advocate for people experiencing homelessness and some of her work included shaping housing policies, income support and health care access.

Helen was also a beloved professor in the School of Social Work and a prolific researcher. Along with Dr. Carrie Rishel, she was co-investigator on the School of Social Work Rural Integrated Behavioral Health Training (RIBHT) Program. This program has supported student training and West Virginia behavioral health workforce development since 2012. Helen was also lead investigator for the National Job Accommodation Network Customer Evaluation Project.

Helen was an outstanding academician, practitioner, and scholar, but she was an even better person. She cared deeply for others, had a wonderful sense of humor, and was an incredibly grounded person. Her mere presence brought joy to those who knew her and had the benefit of working with her.

She was born November 27, 1962 in Cleveland, OH, and was a daughter of the late William F. & Mae Kidd Hartnett.

Survivors include her four siblings, Elizabeth Rossel & husband Rick of Arizona, Bill Hartnett & wife Deanna of Indianapolis, IN, Alec Hartnett & wife Kathy of Columbus, and Chris Hartnett & wife Margaret of Columbus; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother, Dan Hartnett.

At her request, Dr. Hartnett has been cremated. Details of a gathering to honor her life and legacy will be announced at a later time.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution in Dr. Hartnett's name to the WVU School of Social Work Fund at

Smith Funeral & Cremation Care of Westover / Morgantown, is providing care and guidance to the family.



Paula Jean (Simmons) Taylor, 11/23/56 - 6/16/21

Dear Colleagues,

It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of Paula Jean (Simmons) Taylor of Fairmont, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer. (See also the obituary below)

Paula served the NASW West Virginia Chapter, as well as the NASW national organization, in many leadership capacities culminating in her term as President of the WV Chapter Board of Directors from 2012 to 2014.

More than this, Paula was the epitome of excellence in social work and child welfare practice and participatory citizenship. She lived her professional values and strived to instill them in her many supervisees, students and colleagues. In short, Paula Taylor was among the best of us! She will be sorely missed.

Paula was celebrated as the 2011 Social Worker of the Year by NASW WV.

In addition to her vibrant life of volunteerism to her community and faith, she represented the NASW WV Chapter as a delegate to the 2014 Delegate Assembly, and was appointed to serve on national NASW planning committees.

A Mass of Christian Burial was Celebrated on Saturday, June 19, 2021 at 10:00 am at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Stonewood with Reverend Father Kumar Reddimasu as Celebrant.

Cards of sympathy and remembrance may be mailed to 104 Buffalo Avenue, Fairmont, WV 26554-1911

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