WAYNE – Wayne County Magistrate Teddy Mays died on May 21 of an apparent heart attack at the age of 48.
Mays was first elected to the Wayne County magistrate position in 2004. He was re-elected in 2007 and was running for re-election in November.
Kanawha County Magistrate Kim Aaron said the magistrate community in West Virginia is still in shock over Mays' death. Mays was supposed to be attending annual mandatory magistrate training in Bridgeport this week.
"Teddy was such a great guy," Aaron said. "He always told funny stories and had the best personality. He will truly be missed."
Aaron said Mays always did what was right and was an all-around good person.
"Teddy was great at his job, but he was an even better at being a great friend," Aaron said. "This is a sad day for everyone who knew him."
Janie Moore, director of Magistrate Court Services in the Supreme Court Administrative Office, said Mays was a dedicated public servant who cared deeply about the people of Wayne County and his children.
"He was popular among his fellow magistrates and was known as a fair jurist," Moore said. "His court family will miss him."
Wayne Chief Magistrate David Ferguson said Mays was a great magistrate as well as a great friend.
"Teddy was a hard worker and everybody loved him," Ferguson said. "He was a great guy to work with."
Ferguson said he and Mays usually go to the annual mandatory magistrate training together each year, but because one of Mays' sons was graduating from Wayne High School on May 22, Mays was going to meet him at the conference in Bridgeport.
"It's such a shock," Ferguson said. "Teddy was so full of life and we can't believe he's gone."
Wayne Circuit Clerk Jamie Ferguson said Mays was a people person and always had the ability to communicate and make the best decisions as a magistrate.
"The reality of his death is hard to accept," Jamie Ferguson said. "He was as tough as they come and was such a good person. He was a diamond in the rough."
Aaron said Mays was found at his home Monday at approximately 9 p.m. by a friend. He died sometime earlier in the afternoon.
Mays was a lifelong resident of Wayne County and graduated from Buffalo High School in 1982. He leaves behind four children: Dylan Mays, Macky Mays, Savanna Mays and Leah Mays.
Prior to being a magistrate, Mays was a brick and block layer and a member of Brick and Block Layers #5 for 20 years.
Mays was also involved with his children and his community through helping coach girls softball, midget league football, little league baseball and youth league basketball, according to the Wayne County Courthouse's Web site.
Morris Funeral Home in Wayne is in charge of arrangements, which are still incomplete.