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Pastor who died of rattlesnake bite remembered

Wednesday - 2/19/2014, 5:40am  ET

MIDDLESBORO, Ky. (AP) -- A snake-handling pastor in Kentucky who died after being bitten by one of the serpents during a church service has been remembered fondly at a memorial service.

Jamie Coots was known for his role on the National Geographic television reality show "Snake Salvation." But a family friend remembered him Tuesday night for his "great faith" and tolerance of others. Bill Bisceglia (bih-SHEG'-lee-ah) of Middlesboro told Knoxville, Tenn., station WBIR-TV that the 42-year-old Coots didn't argue with people who didn't agree with him, but maintained his own beliefs until he died.

People parked blocks away from the funeral home where visitation and a funeral service were held. Visitors said afterward the funeral home was full and lines were long.

Coots was handling a rattlesnake when he was bitten Saturday night.


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