MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - "Uncle Johnny" - John K. Severt - was a favorite among his nephews, who are dealing with his death after Severt drowned Saturday at Sleepy Creek Lake outside of Hedgesville, W.Va., Severt's mother said Monday.
"He was kindhearted and he'd do anything for anybody," Peggy M. Severt said of her son.
John Severt, 44, of Martinsburg, was pronounced dead at the lake. Emergency personnel were notified at 4:55 p.m.
While swimming in the lake, which is prohibited, he started flailing his arms and yelling for help, causing two people he was with to believe he was joking, Peggy Severt said.
After Severt went under the water again, however, his friends realized he was in trouble and swam over to him. They pulled him to shore and performed CPR, but were unable to revive him, his mother said.