TUNNELTON \u2014 With his penchant for nicknames and one-liners, Okey Dalton, his friends said with love Monday, could be a little granddad-goofy at times.\r\n\r\nUntil emergency dispatchers toned out a house fire at 2 a.m., that is.\r\n\r\nUntil he got the report of a car down a ravine on Kingwood Pike with people trapped inside, that is.\r\n\r\nThen, it was serious business, as he rushed to the scene to render aid.\r\n\r\nThose friends packed the pews of Mount View Free Methodist Church shoulder-to-shoulder on the rainy, foggy day to pay their respects to Dalton, who died last week after a brief illness.\r\n\r\nHe was 78, and a lifelong resident of Kingwood Pike: \u201cThe Pike,\u201d as it is known by the people who live there.\r\n\r\nThey laughed, brushed tears and told stories that were seriously funny \u2014 and emergency-responder, life-and-death serious \u2014 at his funeral.\r\n\r\nDalton had joined up with the Cool Springs Volunteer Fire Department since before anyone could remember, really. He was fire chief for at least 15 years.\r\n\r\nHe was also a successful businessman who owned and operated logging and sawmill operations with his brother Orville, whom, in Okey-fashion, was christened, \u201cDill.\u201d\r\nWhich meant everybody else called him that, also.\r\n\r\n\u201cYeah, Dad and those nicknames,\u201d son Darrin said, as he threaded his way through the crowd at the church.\r\n\r\nYou know: Darrin. \u201cBulldog.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI was 2 when he started calling me that,\u201d his son said. \u201cAnd that was that.\u201d\r\n\r\nThere was also \u201cMammie,\u201d \u201cMonkey,\u201d \u201cLittle Monkey,\u201d \u201cDonna-boose\u201d and \u201cHammer\u201d \u2014 the nickname forged of pain for his grandson, Devon.\r\n\r\nAccording to family lore, Okey was catching a snooze in his recliner when Devon, then a toddler in possession of toy tool kit, leveled his grandfather with a plastic-hammer pound to a sensitive area on his person.\r\n\r\n<strong>Neighborly neighbor<\/strong>\r\n\u201cFirst Responder\u201d was as good a handle as any to pin on Okey, his son-in-law, Jimmy Lipscomb said.\r\n\r\nLipscomb is a veteran Morgantown city firefighter who also serves as chief of the Brookhaven Volunteer Fire Department. When he walked down the aisle to marry Okey\u2019s daughter, Tracy, he was wearing his full dress uniform.\r\n\r\nHe\u2019s seen his father-in-law on the scene of emergencies of every stripe, a critical presence in a rural place where the roads are hilly, narrow and winding, with an under-abundance of fire hydrants along the way.\r\n\r\n\u201cA lot of times in the snow, he\u2019d get out and plow the roads so the fire trucks could go,\u201d Lipscomb said.\r\n\r\nOkey\u2019s other daughter Lee Ann remembers the phone ringing at every hour of the day in the Dalton house when she was a kid.\r\n\r\n\u201cAll the emergency calls were routed to our line,\u201d she said.\r\n\r\nGenerally speaking, Okey was simply wired for activity, friends said, whether that meant being mischievous, knocking back a chimney fire, or saving a life on a medical call.\r\n\r\nIf you happened to be changing a flat when Okey tooled by, you had a new addition to your one-man pit crew, they said.\r\n\r\nIf you were planting shrubs or spreading mulch, you got an extra set of landscaper-hands when Okey stopped and rolled up his sleeves.\r\n\r\n<strong>\u2018We got ya, Okey\u2019<\/strong>\r\n\u201cI\u2019ll tell you what,\u201d said his lifelong friend, Hubert Art, who was parking cars in the rain at the church, \u201cOkey\u2019s just one of those guys who is gonna be missed. I don\u2019t know what else to say.\u201d\r\nExcept there was something else to say.\r\n\r\nAfter the hymns and the eulogies, Okey\u2019s casket, hewn with rough wood as a tribute to his logging career, was trundled onto the back of the giant trailer attached to the giant Kenworth truck \u2014 Bulldog Logging LLC, owned and operated by the Dalton son of the same nickname.\r\n\r\nDarrin-Bulldog was going to drive his dad to his final resting place at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery on the Pike, leading a procession of cars and fire trucks from across the region.\r\n\r\nPallbearers carried the casket to Bulldog\u2019s rig, where they hoisted it with the help of two Cool Springs volunteer firefighters who had shimmied onto the trailer to help.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe got ya, Okey,\u201d one of said, as he muscled the vessel carrying his friend. \u201cWe got ya.\u201d\r\n\r\nTWITTER @DominionPostWV.