BLUEFIELD, WV (WVNS)– Playwright, actor, friend, husband, those are just some of the words used to describe Vain Colby.

He was a man who helped revitalize the theatre community in the Bluefield area. Colby died unexpectedly, on New Year’s Eve 2022 and now the community is left in shock and mourning.

Colby’s close associates Skip Crane, Julie Hurley, his husband Jim Jenks, Shawn Williams, and Thomas Lester joined 59News for an interview about what he meant to the community.

“He was gifted to us so that 4Pals could be what we are today. He could write plays, he was an entertainer he was the one that was the glue that kept us together,” Crane said.

“He was an instrument of peace and he made a difference in our community and in the world,” Hurley said.

Local musician and friend Matt Deal said he remembers being a teenager and going to see the shows at the Summit Theater at the Bluefield Arts Center.

He said his plays always held a captivating message.

“They put on these huge shows that just grew and grew, they were selling out, Bluefield, Chuck Mathena, Concord, and they not only made these plays but they actually had such a message to them,” Deal said.

Colby’s friends say his greatest love was helping people.

Thomas Lester talked about a post he saw on social media about who Colby was.

“She did not know Vain, Vain did not know her she came into the store and Vain looked at her and he could tell she was having a bad day and Vain went over to her, hugged her, held her hand and held her until she felt better…that was Vain,” Lester said.

“He defied labels, Vain was our friend, he was everybody’s friend and if you listened to what people were saying in the community are saying now and read what people are saying on social media I think there’s proof of that,” Williams said.

Vain Colby’s presence was a present and will continue to always be.

A public viewing is scheduled for this Thursday, January 5, 2023, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Granada Theater.

Vain was also once a part of Southern West Virginia’s television community and known by many of us here at 59News.

So, in honor of him, 59News would like to send our condolences out to the Colby family during this difficult time.