LEON, WV (WOWK) — Communities in Mason and Putnam counties are grieving after a longtime resident and hero passed away, and then his mother died the very next day.

Darren Lee “Tank” Priddy, 57, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, after battling a “short illness,” according to his obituary.

Priddy graduated from Buffalo High School in 1984, and he was an auto mechanic.

Priddy’s obituary says he treasured serving his community as a member of the Leon Volunteer Fire Department (VFD). He was also a sportsman who loved fishing, archery, shooting guns, going outdoors, and riding motorcycles as a club member of the Regulators and Brothers of the Wheel.

Priddy’s obituary also says that “Most of all he loved his family, especially his grandkids, and will be sadly missed.”

Various local volunteer fire departments posted Facebook statements expressing their own grief as well as sympathy for Priddy’s family.

“Yesterday we lost one of our members and a great friend. Unit #330, Darren ‘Tank’ Priddy, you will be greatly missed around the fire station. Please keep his family in your thoughts & prayers at this time. … Our brother Tank, Unit 330. We will miss you brother. Rest In Peace.”

Leon VFD

“Rest In Peace Tank. We’ve got it from here brother. RIP 330. Please continue to keep the Priddy in your thoughts and prayers: not only did Tank pass, but his mother passed the day after he did. So much loss at one time. … Please say a prayer for our brothers and sisters [over] at Leon VFD as well as the family of this individual!”

Flatrock VFD

“Sending prayer to Leon Fire Department this morning at the passing of one of their own Darren ‘Tank’ Priddy.

Heavenly Father may you be with Mr. Priddy’s family and his fire department family in this difficult time.”

Point Pleasant VFD

“Keep Leon Volunteer Fire Department Inc. in your thoughts and prayers.”

Eleanor VFD

An Ohio Red Knights motorcycle club also posted a statement expressing sympathy for Leon VFD’s loss.

“Our thoughts go out to the Leon Volunteer Fire Department, on the loss of their brother Darren ‘Tank’ Priddy. RIP FD 330.”

Red Knights Ohio Chapter 17

Priddy is survived by his wife of 35 years, two children, four grandchildren, and two brothers, as well as other family members and friends, according to his obituary.

“Tank” Priddy was the son of his father, the late Tex A. Priddy, and his mother, Wilma Jean Priddy. Priddy’s mother passed away the day after her son died.

“Tank” Priddy’s funeral will be on Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Raynes Funeral Home in Eleanor, West Virginia, in Putnam County. Friends may visit one hour before the funeral service, Priddy’s obituary says.

To send the family flowers or plant a tree in memory of Priddy, visit the funeral home’s floral store.