A Carthage man was killed in a construction accident at the new home of the Carthage Masonic Lodge No. 197 on West Oak Street on Monday.
Toby Pauley, the Worshipful Master in the local Masonic Lodge, was working with other Masons and volunteers in the building, located at 1339 W. Oak St., when the accident happened.
Carthage Police Chief Greg Dagnan said Pauley fell from the rafters to a concrete floor.
“He was up in some rafters about 10 feet off the ground and they were jockeying to get stuff up in the rafters when it happened,” Dagnan said. “He fell headfirst and was unable to stop himself or cushion the fall. He died instantly.”
Mercy McCune-Brooks Hospital CEO Bob Copeland said Pauley was a well-respected employee of the hospital for 35 years before he retired shortly before the new hospital opened in 2008.
“He worked as maintenance tech,” Copeland said. ‘He was an outstanding person with an unbridled passion for the hospital. He put everything he had into it when he worked on special projects and repairs. He was a very kind individual.”
Pauley talked about working on the lodge in an article in The Carthage Press about the Nov. 5, 2011 ceremony laying the cornerstone of the new Lodge.
“It’s going nicely,” Pauley said at that time about construction on the building. “But it’s going to be a long process. We’re still meeting to decide where we go financially and which way we’re going to go to get the next phase started.”
Copeland said Pauley’s wife, Martha Pauley, still works in the accounting department in the hospital. Copeland said he took food over to the family Monday night after hearing about the tragic accident.
“Toby and Martha Pauley were a part of the fabric of the hospital,” Copeland said. “When you suffer a loss as tragic as this, it hits you hard.”