Pastor who died of rattlesnake bite remembered

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Associated Press

Posted on February 19, 2014 at 7:02 AM

MIDDLESBORO, Ky. (AP) — People in southeastern Kentucky have been lining up to pay their respects to a snake-handling pastor who died after being bitten by a snake during a church 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 reporter Jennifer Meckles of 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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