NEW ALBANY, Ind. (AP) — Starr Pavey said her heart has been broken since her husband, Bill, died in June, but a wide smile appeared across her face as she spoke about his personality and gregarious nature.
Bill was a jokester who made everyone smile, even while he was battling cancer for the last five years of his life, Starr said.
“We laughed all of the time until the last month or so. He said it hurt him to laugh,” Starr said of her late husband.
Bill Pavey was well-known throughout southern Indiana for his service to the community. He worked for the New Albany-Floyd County Parks Department for over eight years as a park ranger before serving as a New Albany police officer for two decades.
It was the day of his death, June 3, when Starr said a friend who was at her house mentioned smelling gas. A few days later, she also noticed the smell, and upon further inspection, a serious gas leak was discovered under her home along with about five feet of standing water.
“It’s just been overwhelming stress since before he died. It’s been one nightmare after the other,” Starr said.
She knew some work was needed on the New Albany house, but said Bill didn’t want any interruptions during their last few months together.
But the impact Bill Pavey had on others during his life has been exemplified by what others have been willing to do in his honor after his death.
Pavey was one of the founding fathers of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at Indiana University Southeast. Over 40 years later, his fraternity brothers are in the midst of an extensive rehabilitation project of his house.
Mark Kruer and Mark Lawrence are co-coordinators of the effort, but it’s been a team