The Transylvania Times -

Will Cathey, Commissioner, Lawyer, Passes Away-Rosman NC


Last updated 5/4/2020 at 2:01pm

Will Cathey

Will Cathey, Transylvania County Commissioner and long-time attorney in the community, died Thursday.

According to the Sheriff's Office, a friend found Cathey deceased in his home. EMS responded at roughly 4:45 p.m., Thursday, and his death was being attributed to a "medical issue."

"My thoughts and prayers go out to the Cathey family during this time, and I pray God comforts and gives them peace as only he can," Commissioner Jason Chappell said. "Will was a long-time and personal friend who had a long career serving the citizens of our community: a former mayor of Rosman, former assistant DA, to a fixture in our courthouse to a sitting county commissioner and attorney. He served this community in many different ways. He had a presence and wit that was unmatched. We shared a common love of Rosman football, history and a love for individual freedoms. In any conversation you had with Will, you would have been treated to a history lesson, instruction in Latin and, as someone said recently, a story that Mark Twain would have been proud of. I will miss our discussions, and I will miss my friend."

Transylvania County ordered flags to be flown at half staff.

"Will was one of those rare people who served the county for many years in many ways," Commission Chairman Mike Hawkins said. "He was a key part of making Rosman a better place and in his time as a county commissioner he continued his good work. On a personal level, I will remember that the last time I saw Will, which was following Monday's commissioner meeting, he was laughing and very positive. We will miss him."

Commission Vice Chair Page Lemel said she wanted to "lift up" Cathey's family at this time.

"I respected Will's passion for the history of this county and his commitment to maintaining the essence that makes this community unique," Lemel said. "Will was a man of high intellect, unlimited interests and a perpetual student. The lack of his presence on our board will leave a large hole."

Commissioner David Guice said he moved to Brevard more than 40 years ago and met Cathey shortly after, developing a strong working relationship with him through the court system.

"He will always be remembered as quite a character with his courtroom demeanor and a personality larger than life itself," Guice said. "More importantly, he will be remembered for his brilliant mind. Will was a true country lawyer, and it is my honor to have known and worked with him and serve alongside of him as a county commissioner."

Someone else who knew Cathey was Sheriff David Mahoney.

"I've had the opportunity to work with Will (Cathey) when he was an assistant DA and as a commissioner," Mahoney said. "He was always straight forward and fair with me and a great supporter of law enforcement."


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