the online community where families and friends remember their loved ones  

Friends of the Smokies
PO Box 1660
Kodak, TN 37764-7660

Martin Funeral Home
& Crematory

Stuart, FL


Memories and Condolences
for the family of


Pat, Bob, Peg, and Bill
Jensen Beach Florida
November 24, 2009
 Greetings to Ed's friends,

This guestbook has been set up so that his friends can share thoughts regarding Ed's passing.

Thanks in advance for all that choose to share the ways that Ed touched your life.

Barry Kohler
savannah ga
November 24, 2009
 I am so sorry to hear of Ed's death I never got to hike with him but I did meet him in 2003 after I hiked he was such a nice guy and i love his websight. He will missed by all of us.My sorrow goes out to you.Barry

Tillroe & Jo Ann Smith
Moody, Al
November 24, 2009
I will miss my dear friend and hiking companion.


Joe Steele
Leeds, Al
November 24, 2009
 I was on LeConte Sat. the 20th and thought of Ed several times during the hike. I met some of his friends on the trail and told them that I didn't think Ed would be back. They all expressed their sorrow and wished him well. I will miss him and will always think of him when I climb "The Mountian".

Joe Steele

Harold and Gail Patton
Huntsville, Alabama
November 24, 2009
 We are so sorry to read of Ed's death. We were able to enjoy his company on several of our hikes up Mt LeConte. We enjoyed his web site and check it every day. He will be missed.

Harold and Gail Patton

Larry Wright
Cherryville, NC
November 25, 2009
 Ed Wright touched the lives and inspired so many people including me. He loved Mt. LeConte and Alum Cave trail.
He loved nature and God's creation!
You will be missed dearly my friend.
My prayers go out to your family.

Larry Wright
Cherryville, NC

Meg Waff
November 25, 2009
 I worked at LeConte Lodge as crew in '87 & '07 so I met him more recently. But I knew of his web page way before I went back in '07 & followed it afterward. I love all of the people's stories & photo's of the mountain on his site, I don't know where I will have that resource anymore...
I saw him many times in '07, but definitely had a fun day when I was working the office and got to sell him & his friends & family T-shirts. It was a fun type of chaos...
He will be missed.

Barbara Masterson & Family
Stuart, FL
November 25, 2009
 Our prayers are with you.

Paul Sanders
Tell City, Indiana
November 25, 2009
 I first hiked LeConte in 2004, and with that hike, and all my others, Ed was a friend and teacher to me. He gave me an education about our mountain that I will never forget. I just told a friend earlier that I drove poor Ed crazy when I would send in my photographs and hiking journal for him to post; I always made a mess of things, and he would try so hard to put my photos in their proper places. I know I tried his patience many times, but he never gave up on me or my story. He gave me much advice about the mountain, and all 5 trails. He also shared his life story with me, something that I treasure deeply.

I too checked his website nearly everyday, and loved all the hiking stories Ed would put on there. I hope someone carries on his LeConte website. Ed would like that, I think. He meant alot, to alot of people, and he will be missed. My heart goes out to all his family and friends.

Keith & Kathy Richburg
Enterprise, Alabama
November 25, 2009
 We're so sorry to hear about Ed's death. I wish I'd got to meet him before he died. I enjoyed our phone and email conversations last year when Kathy & I were taking our first hike up ACB to Leconte Lodge. He was so helpful & understanding with all the questions I ask. I told him in one of my emails that I would like to hike ACB trail with him one day and learn some of what he knew about the place he loved so much. I heard somewhere that when you die, your spirit goes back to where you were happiest on this earth. If that's the case, maybe we can still take that hike one day. Godbless!

Lucas Bohanan
Sevierville TN
November 25, 2009
 I only met Ed once, while hiking with him and his family in 2009 to Mt. Leconte and with that one meeting he has influenced my whole life. He showed me that age is just a number and as long as your mind is firm and made then you can do anything. My prayers and condolences go out to the family. The world is a dimmer place without his light, but we will all see him again in Heaven.

Judy and John Trowbridge
Kiln, Mississippi
November 25, 2009
 Our deepest sympathy to all the family, it was so evident from his words how much he loved each and everyone of you.

Ed Wright will be missed by so many of us that loved Mt. Leconte. I viewed his website many times when I just needed to feel connected to the mountains. I emailed Ed to thank him for the website and to let him know what a wonderful service it provided many of us low landers, he was so kind in his response. The family is in our prayers.

Tony Cope
New Palestine, IN
November 25, 2009
  I never had the privilege of meeting Ed. I never could make it down to TN when he came up from FL. My first hike up to the lodge I carried his map and trail description from his website. What a valuable resource those were. I still carry them in my briefcase. When my mind wanders to LeConte I re-read his description again and think of my next trip to the Smokies.

I am so sorry for his family's loss.

Mary Anne and Ken Sheffield
Dresden Ohio
November 25, 2009
 Thoughts and prayers to Ed's family and close friends. What an amazing man! His hiking journals and stories have inspired my family. We never got to hike with him and the last six years or so, he hiked the day we were leaving Tennessee. My husband and I would drive up and through the parking lot to see if we saw his vehicle, as close as we ever got to meeting the actual man. The last email I had with him was in July when he told me he would not be climbing LeConte again. Ed, may you hike glorious mountains in heaven.

Janet Dalton
Morristown, TN
November 25, 2009
 I am so saddened to hear of Ed's passing. I had the privilege of hiking Mt. LeConte with him on one occasion. I learned so much from him about our beloved mountain. Since meeting him, I've checked his website daily and eagerly anticipated his emails and pictures. I will miss this dear man. His spirit will continue to live through all of us who love and appreciate ACB to Mt. LeConte. My prayers are with his family as they bid goodbye to a wonderful daddy, grandfather and friend.

Barbara Davis
Newport, TN
November 25, 2009
 I am so sorry to hear of Ed's death. Jim and I hiked to Mt. LeConte with him several times. He was a true gentleman and a very knowledgeable man. I was always impressed with his memory of people he had met on the trail. I checked his website often and was concerned when he posted that he had been in the hospital. I hoped that he would recover and be back with his family. My sincerest sympathy to all of you who he loved so much.

George Herrschaft
Stuart, Fl
November 25, 2009
 Although I have never met your father Bob, I have sat a listen to the many stories of you and he on your hikes. I remember how you alwas looked forward to that time. In reading the thoughts of other I can only imangine the man. Sorry for your lost.

Juanell and Mark Godwin
Port St. Lucie, Fl.
November 25, 2009
 Dear Bob, Lisa and Family, I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. I know how much you loved and respected him and what a joy he was to you. Be thankful for the good times and wonderful memories you share. God Bless all of you during this very sad time.

frank umbdenstock
festus, mo
November 25, 2009
 to eds family, i am so, so sorry to hear of ed's passing. i have talked to him so many times via e-amil, and was supposed to hike with him on july 4, two yrs ago. due to family illness, did not get to.

i enjoyed talking to him, and looked forward to someday hiking with him. i know mt. leconte is surely missing him also.

my sincerest sympathies to his entire family.


frank umbdenstock

festus, mo

William Weiss
Stuart, FL
November 25, 2009
 Bob and family, you have my deepest sympathy in the loss of your father.

Patty Stevens
Dresden, Ohio
November 25, 2009
 Ed is an Icon. I emailed him when I first hiked to the bluffs. It was Ed that gave me the inspiration to hike to LeConte after losing my husband. After I did it I was hooked. I posted my story on his site with his help and he was always quick to answer my emails. Though I never got to hike with Ed as we kept missing him, through him and his many friends, I meet several of them on the trail and had a chance to say hello to them and I usually said Hey I seen your picture on Ed's web site. I owe Ed credit for my hiking and loving that trail and LeConte. As Ron Esq. said if mountains could weep then LeConte is in tears. I visited his web site daily and when I seen he was having problems I worried that he would not be hiking anymore. Ed left a legacy on that trail. He can now look down on our Mt LeConte and watch over us all as we hike his mountain. He was truly an inspiration and will never be forgotten. To Ed's family whom we know through his write ups, My heart aches for your loss.

Allyson Virden
Gatlinburg, Tennessee
November 25, 2009
 I would just like to say that it was a great pleasure knowing Ed. Being the site manager at LeConte Lodge, I was blessed with many visits from Ed. He always greeted me with a smile and hug. He will be deeply missed. Ed will hold a special place in our hearts and in part of the history of LeConte Lodge.

Ralph and Barbara Porcelli
Stuart, Fl
November 25, 2009
 Our deepest condolences in this time of loss and sorrow. Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.....

Al Smith and Janice Henderson
Maryville, TN
November 25, 2009
 Our hearts are saddened by Ed's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

We were privileged to have hiked with Ed, Lisa, Bob, Austin, Charlie and his many friends on hike number 1,305. We'll always remember those good times and especially think of him when we hike to Mt. LeConte.

The Coffey Family
Oak Ridge, TN
November 25, 2009
 Our prayers are with the family. To a well beloved friend that we will never forget.

Dawn Ferris
Stuart, FL
November 25, 2009
 Keeping the Wright family in our thoughts tonight. As it is diffucult to lose someone you love, the memories and times spent together will always be treasured.

Our Deepest Sympathy,

Bill and Dawn Ferris

Glen Weatherly
Pigeon Forge, TN
November 25, 2009
 Ed touched many of us in a way that will leave a lasting and meaningful impression. I will never set foot on Mt Leconte without inviting his spirit to accompany me on my hike! Goodbye Ed, and thank you for befriending me!

Sara Sawatzki
Lincoln, NE
November 25, 2009
 To Laura, Peggy, and all Haythorns and Wrights...

I was so sad to hear about your loss and I have been thinking about you guys ever since Laura called me yesterday.

I only ever met Ed once or twice in high school while hanging out with Laura over at her house during high school. And while I didn't know him well personally, I knew the fabled stories all too well!

What's more I could see the man from the stories, the man who climbed a mountain over a thousand times, reflected in his family's determination and sense of adventure.

What an inspiration to hear his stories from everyone who has written on this board and shared how much he meant to everyone.

I suppose the one thing that I have learned from him via Laura and her Family is that once you get to the top, you don't stop. You keep going, filled with determination, courage, and life.

A passage comes to my mind from Tennyson's Ulysses:

"Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."

So Laura, Peggy & Fam..I love you guys and continue to keep you in my thoughts!

Dennis Root
Stuart, Florida
November 25, 2009

My heart goes out to you and your family during this time. I never had the privilege of meeting your father, but I am sure if you are anything like him he was a very special person. If there is anything I can do for you, Lisa, or the kids, please do not hesitate to call upon me. God bless.

Jay West
Evansville IN
November 25, 2009
 Sorry to hear of Ed passing..I meet Ed about 20 years ago on the trail..and talk to him for a bit...and I was very impress about how much he knew about the trail..and I have ever forgot that meeting..I have talk to Ed thru e-mail a few times..he will be miss..

Vance Irick
Palm City Fla.
November 26, 2009
 So soory to hear of your families loss. Our hear felt sympathy to you and your's. God Bless...

Morgan Sprott
Palm City Fl
November 26, 2009
 I am so sorry to hear of your loss, My God bless each one of you through these hard times.

Mike Wright
United States
November 26, 2009
  I'm saddened by your loss & my prayers are with you.

I met Ed about 15 years ago, he was coming up Alum Cave trail & I was going down, we stopped and talked for some time, after that, he kept refereeing to me in his book and on his web site as his cousin from Florida. I met him on several occasion along the trail. On one particular trip I was hiking from Davenport gap to Newfound gap & decided to detour via the Boulevard trail then down Alum cave trail. I was making pretty good time coming down alum cave trail until I came across two men descending rather slowly, the man in the front turned around and noticed me & said Ed we need to let this man pass, All I said was thank you very much, the older man slowly moved over to a tree stump to set down and without looking back said, is that my cousin from Florida Mike? I then realized who it was,
Ed told me that this was his last trip and he was going to Florida for surgery. I talked with ED many times since then.
I will surely miss looking for Ed on the trail that he so loved, I will always be thinking of him while hiking the smokies, Ed you will be Missed

George and Maria Beckwith
Jensen Beach,Fl
November 26, 2009
Our condolences to you and your family. Will keep you in our prayers. God bless.

November 26, 2009
 My father and I met Ed many times on the Alum Cave Trail, he was a delight to talk to. Our condolences to his family.

John Hanson
November 26, 2009
 I can say that Ed Wright's history of hiking Mt. leconte inspired me to hike it for the first time June 30th 2009,after hiking it, I gained even more respect for a man who hiked this mountain over a thousand times.
Thankyou Ed Wright for sharing your memories even more precious now.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with the Wright family,my prayers are with you.
John Hanson

Revel Coffey
Lenoir city, TN
November 26, 2009
 i have known Ed my whole life every since i think i could realize who people were Im 21 now, when i was 13 years old he took me hiking with him. He showed me where my mom stopped at when she hiked with him. Im goin to really miss him. i think everybody that really knew him will miss him too.

James Murdock
Knoxville, Tennessee
November 26, 2009
 Pat, Bill, Peggy, Bob

My most sincere condolences for your loss; Ed will be missed by all who knew him both professionally and personally. His friendship was dear to me and his accomplishments inspiring and awesome.

Ed was one of the first with whom I interacted as a young AEC site representative in the late 1960s and the memories we shared continued through the Clinch River Breeder Project of the mid-1970s and his exploit in bicycling and later his hikes to Mt. LeConte.

There should be a memorial plaque placed in a prominent location at the lodge in recognition of his stellar achievements and his goodwill ambassadorship in matters related to Mt. LeConte.

Ricco Carter
November 26, 2009
 I met an older man climbing Mt.Leconte and he had a young child with him.They progressed slowly because the child was about 4 years old and and interested in everything from the rocks too the small streams along the trail. The the older man was very patient but persistant.Far be it for me to know this was the famous Ed Wright that I had read about and envied.
I found out who he was from another hiker who we had stopped and talked with while coming down, coming down we met and talked again and he was interested in my sweaty shirt that read "Hike Naked it Adds Color to Your Cheeks" he took a picture of it, gave me a card and that started our friendship.During ourcomunications I found out he was also a vet and we shared pictures and thoughts.Now my thoughts go out to his family and may God Bless and keep you all safe.He blessed you with a father,teacher and friend now may he also help you during your loss. May God Bless

tyler trent
Morristown, TN
November 26, 2009
 Charlie and Austin, I am sorry that your grandpa passed away. Tyler Trent

Paul Wright
Lewisville, Texas
November 26, 2009
 Ed was a man with strong convictions as to the way things should be. He lived his life in the manner of these convictions, but at the same time he loved his family very much, appreciated his friends, and certainly enjoyed Mt. Laconte. He will surely be missed. The prayers of my family are with Ed's family. Paul

Gerri Trent
Morristown, TN
November 26, 2009
  I am so sorry for your loss. I met Ed several times on the trail and eventually hiked with him a few times. He dearly loved to watch Charlie and Austin enjoy the wonders of nature on the "moutain". He kindly let me bring my grandson, Tyler on a hike. What a treat for a 6 year old. Ed had the ability to make everyone he met love Mt. LeConte the way he did. Thank you Ed for the memories!

Fred Adams
Auburn, Alabama
November 26, 2009
 Ed was 25 and I was 29 when the national guard unit we were members of was activated. I knew Ed from our work at Wolverine Tube. We served together in Korea. After the war we went different ways until I saw an article in an Auburn publication about Ed's love for the mountains. We renewed an old friendship and I was the receipent of many of his e-mails.

I'll miss him.

Jim Peck
Decatur, Al
November 26, 2009
 I am so sorry to hear of Ed's Passing. My memory of Ed goes back to our days at Wolverine Tube. I renewed our acquaintenance through mutual friends and enjoyed his write ups about his trips, hikes and beautiful pictures. This world will be a sader place without him but heaven will have something to be proud of.

We will miss him.

Naomi Wilkins
Springfield, TN
November 26, 2009
 We had the great pleasure of meeting Ed on his trip #1308. One of our hiking buddies always wanted to meet him, so was PLEASED when he got that opportunity. On that visit we got the map with all the spots that Ed named. I have used that map to make succeeding hikes more interesting, rather than just "how far to we have yet to go?". He will be missed.

Billy and Joyce Wright
Decatur, Alabama
November 26, 2009
 Uncle Ed will be missed by his family in Decatur, AL. Billy and I are saddened by his passing. We are so glad that he and all the others (Wright's) got to have that great reunion in August, 2009. It was great to meet people that we had not seen in years an to visit. It was always good to see Uncle Ed and hear his stories of his hikes. It was also great having email from him with all types of pictures such as Pat's flowers, Austin and Charlie, and especially things on his morning walks in Florida. Uncle Ed will be truly missed.
To Pat and the family our hearts are truly sadden with his passing. Our prayers are with you during this time.

In Deepest Sympathy,
Billy and Joyce Wright

SLC,Utah 84115
November 26, 2009
 Im so sorry about Eds passing he was a good man. I am his Great neice Liana and although i hardley new him i have met him a few times in my life and those are moments i will never forget. the day i found out he died i was so upset because i never even said goodbye or that i loved him. Now he is in heaven with my Grandpa John and his parents, i know he is watching over all of us and he sees how sad we are. But we should be happy because he is in a better place now he is up with God and everyone else he loves that has passed. he also passed 4 days after my 15th birthday. I LOVE YOU ED AND WE ALL MISS YOU.

SLC,Utah 84115
November 26, 2009
 Unlce Ed was good to me and my children, I'm thankful for his kindiness. He will be missed.


Elena Bradford
SLC,Utah 84115
November 26, 2009
 My name is Elena and I will miss my great uncle ED I last saw him when was 15 months old, but I kown he was a good man.
I do not know much about him but I do know he was nice,ioveing and great. He will be missed

Brian Tabor
Bayou L'Ourse, La
November 27, 2009
 My sincere condolences to all of Eds family and friends. I have never met Ed but have visited his web site regularly for several years. I have never felt closer to a man that I have never met. I just stumbled across his site by chance and was captivated by Ed and his mountain. So much so that I had to plan a trip to climb LeConte. After that first trip 4 years ago I was hooked on hiking and loved frequenting Eds site. Since then I have bought a cabin in Dandridge, Tn to serve as a staging post for hiking through out the mountains of Tn. & NC. Hiking and spending time outdoors in the mountains is now a great passion of mine, and has enriched my quality of life. If I had not fell upon Eds web site none of this would have happened. Ed, you have changed my life. Thanks man, For being the kind sharing person you were, hope to see you one day.

Connie Houk
Sevierville, Tn 37876
November 27, 2009
 To Eds Family-These memorials speak for the type of life that Ed lived. I know you must be very proud of him. He has helped me through many of my adventures with his source of knowledge of the park. I think he made each person he met and had the opportunity to talk to on the trail feel special. He had an extraordinary memory which always amazed me. Many years ago, my husband, Dennis who works for the GSMNHA, talked to Ed many mornings at the trailhead while filling the box with brochures. Ed once told me that he was one of his favorites to talk with. I am saddened with his passing but feel very blessed to have known him. To me-ED will always be king of "The Mountain".

Jeffrey & Jeslyn Snider
Palm City, Fl
November 27, 2009
 Bob and Bill, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your father. You and your families will be in our thoughts and prayers.

Bob Watson
November 27, 2009
 So sorry to hear of your loss. I only got to hike with Ed but
one time, but we emailed often about the TIDE & TIGERS.
From that one hike I learned he was as big of a man as the Mountain he so loved.

He didn't promise that I would never stumble,
But He did say He'd be there if I fall;
He didn't tell me He'd hear all things I whisper,
Oh, but He did say He'd hear me if I call.

Promises, promises and all of them true,
He's done exactly what He said He would do;
He didn't tell me my heart would not be broken,
Oh, but He did say He'd mend it again.

He didn't promise my cross would not be heavy,
Oh, but he did say that He my load would share;
He didn't tell me He'd grant my hopes and wishes,
Oh, but He did say He'd hear my earnest prayer.

Promises, promises and all of them true,
He's done exactly what He said He would do;
He didn't tell me my heart would not be broken,
Oh, but He did say He'd mend it again.

November 27, 2009
 So sorry to hear about your loss. Granddaddy is someone that always made me smile and I so enjoyed taking care of him. Heaven just got a new angel and I know he is smiling down at all of us. I'm glad I got a chance to know him. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Charles Ray
Eatonton, GA
November 27, 2009
 He will be missed by all that considered him as our link to "His Mountain." My prayers are with his family.

Salt Lake City, UT 84101
November 27, 2009
 Pat, Bob, Peg:

Words cannot express the loss you are suffering. Uncle Ed was the closest of my Father's Brothers to me.

I regret not having been able to go to Florida to visit with all of you in years past. I would like to be able to get there before any more family is lost. My Sister and I would have loved going to the Family Reunion this summer, but were unable to attend.

I will miss Ed's frequent e-mails. He often sent comical ones that would get a smile or a laugh.

Michael Jeff
Gainesville, Florida
November 27, 2009
  I'm sorry to hear that Ed passed away as I always hoped to meet him one day as I hiked to Mt. LeConte.

Ed's informative and entertaining website showed that he enjoyed hiking Mt. LeConte and that he liked to share that enjoyment with others.

Gatlinburg TN
November 27, 2009
 Rest in peace Ed, will think of you each time I am on the mountain.

Ronnie Holbert
Morristown TN
November 27, 2009
 It was a pleasure knowing Ed. We only hiked together a few times, but through my trip report postings, I felt like he was part of every hike. Through his website, of which, I hope his family continues, I have made several friendships that will be cherished forever. My prayers are with you all. I am saddened also because I had planned to hike with Ed next year. Never put off till tomorrow what can be done today.

Tom Pinner
Freeport, IL
November 27, 2009
 Sorry to hear this news. Ed and myself have been emailing back and forth for years. Only got to met him once on the trail. Was a short but nice visit. Sure going to miss our email chats.

Take care and God Bless


Mark Schanfein
Idaho Falls, Idaho
November 27, 2009
 Dear Wright family,

I was sad to hear that Ed passed away. I will miss him. He always seemed to be both ageless and indestructible.

Dear Ed,

No doubt you are looking down at us, wondering what all the fuss is about. You can only blame yourself for this attention. I remember meeting you for the first time at the AEC Germantown office in 1974, where, as a young man starting his very first job, I was introduced to a man with the largest barrel-chest and neck I had ever seen someone actually get a white shirt and tie around.

Besides your work ethic, what also stood out to me was how well you connected with us youngsters. It was effortless and comforting. I was pretty laid back in those days, not a care in the world. I remember when you called me a free spirit. I liked that. Not really sure what it meant, but it felt right, especially since it came from you. I also remember your love of photography, a love I had inherited from my father. This was another comforting connection and I so enjoyed seeing your prints. I was privileged to be in some of your spontaneous shots. Your last emails to me included photos you took of the beautiful birds, flowers, and sunsets on your daily strolls along the beach and, of course, technical details about your camera and lens. Most of all, I have to say that your sense of humor is what I liked the most about you. This was not a contrived or forced sense of humor, or one that picked on anyone who could not spar equally. Adding humor to the world struck me as very worthwhile and to be emulated.

The last time I hiked up Mt. LeConte with you, it was both hard to watch and yet inspiring. Your knees simply did not work anymore. Yet, you gave me the grand tour.. You told me that you were planning on having artificial knees installed fairly soon. This is where that great sense of humor hit me right between the eyes and, of course, I will never forget this conversation. You told me that your doctor recommended replacing both knees at the same time; the ordeal is so painful and unpleasant, you should go through it only once. But, you decided against that approach. After the first operation, you shared these words of wisdom: “Only get both knees replaced at the same time if you can fly!” You had no idea how anyone could tolerate having both knees fixed at the same time, as you are completely immobile and a total burden on others for even the simplest things. I will keep this advice in mind should I ever face this problem. You can also be sure that my doctor is going to be wondering why when I start laughing during the serious discussion about my knees.

How lucky can you get, as a young, impressionable young man, having you as a mentor and friend? It just does not get any better than that. I have no idea why I was so lucky, but I am forever thankful for it. So, until we meet again, hike on and snap a few photos along the way.

Your friend,

Ralph Reed
Madison, MS
November 28, 2009
 I was sad to find the news of Ed's death on his website tonight. My son and I had the privilege of hiking with him in May of 2005. Had it not been for Ed taking Austin and Charlie on the hike when they were six and four and posting the hike on his website I don't think my wife would have ever let me take Spencer. After I read Ed's posting about the boys' hike I called him to find out more. He talked to me as if he had known me all my life. He made everyone that he met feel that way.

I've never met anyone who loved God's creation as much as Ed. He practically knew every rock, tree and plant by name. I've always loved looking at the pictures he posted and reading about each of his hikes. He always took special care to mention the people that he met along the way.

My sympathy goes out to all his family and friends...and he had so many friends. It must have been a long time since he had hiked alone. There always seemed to be a large group with him every time he went.

No doubt, Ed is hiking Mt. Zion now and touching the lives of the people he meets along the way. That's just Ed's way.

Godspeed my friend! I am so blessed to have known you!

Pat and Jeanie Lawley
Mt Olive, Alabama
November 28, 2009
 We were so sorry to hear of Ed's passing. We met Ed on our first hike to Mt. LeConte in 1998. We "leap frogged" all the way up the mountain. He passed us then we would pass him as he was talking to someone he met along the way. He wrote our names down and included them in his hike for that day. We were excited to have been included. I(Jeanie) had my picture made with him on the porch then we sat down to eat our lunch. I will always treasure that picture. At that time he was hiking to the top every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We were fortunate to hike again with him the next year.

His love for the mountain was so evident. And that love made you want to love it as much. We do. We continue to hike at least once every year and spend the night at the top. We relied on his knowledge of Mt. LeConte when we first started hiking it. He gave us points to look for that made the hike very enjoyable. He made us feel at home on the mountain, his mountain.

We will truly miss him and his journaling. Thank you, family, for sharing him with us. We will be praying for you. We have very fond memories of Ed and will never forget him. God bless.

Scott Bryant
Salisbury, Md
November 28, 2009
 We are so sorry to hear about your loss. Ed will be missed by many including the Smokies which were so dear to him. I wish I could have met him. many were blessed to have walked with him on that mountain. Hopefully his love for the outdoors will be infectious to others. I pray for the family of Ed as they grieve this great loss. Jesus will have a great hiking companion now.
Scott bryant and family

norman medford
acworth, ga.
November 28, 2009
 Sorry to here of his passing!!

God bless you all.

Andy & Kristen Williamson
Chapel Hill, NC
November 29, 2009
 Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ed and his family. His website has been very helpful to us the past few years as we plan our hikes in the Smokies and to Leconte.

Andy & Kristen Williamson

Mark Haythorn
Chapel Hill, NC
November 29, 2009
 I had relationship with Ed for over 30 years as his son-in-law and in those years I can say we never had any conflict (except for the ribeye misunderstanding) and I never felt he was ever critical of my life's decisions. I knew him in many ways, as father-in-law, father to my wife, Mt LeConte hiker but I think his most significant role in my life was as my children's Granddad. As the family gathered to pay our respects and reminisce about the good times, it became very clear that my most significant memories of him were always related to that role. He embraced being Granddad and in this role he was always there for my children's significant events and even the insignificant ones, he planned outings to explore different areas of his world, he took them hiking to show them his mountain, and his generosity allowed our family to see things we would never have seen otherwise. Through my children's eyes, it is obvious that he was a significant part of our lives as our Granddad. And for that I will be eternally grateful. He will be missed.

Joe Fleming
Kingsport, Tn.
November 29, 2009
Thank you for all of the memories.
Your friend,
Joe Fleming

Tom Grubbs
Boaz, Alabama
November 29, 2009
 To the Wright family: I am so sorry to hear of Ed's passing.

He touched a lot of lives including mine. Thanks Ed, for allowing me to tag along on several hikes with You and your family.

ED will be sorely missed.'

God Bless!

Kent Bedenbaugh

November 29, 2009
 To Ed's family-
I had the pleasure to meet Ed on several occasions and to speak to him on th ACB trail.
I totally enjoyed reading of his and other's pursuits on hiking in the GSMNP.
My family's thoughts and prayers are with you.
Kent Bedenbaugh and family
Columbia SC

Mike Dallos
Wyandotte, Michigan (near Detroit)
November 29, 2009
 While I never had the good fortune to meet Ed on the trail up Mt. LeConte, it was his inspiring accounts that challenged me to make the effort. Ten years and several trips later up that most iconic of all peaks in the Smokies, I still think of my first sunset at Cliff Tops--an other worldly experience I would not have had without seeing Ed Wright's journal on the internet. God bless Ed and his family--he will be sorely missed. My sincere condolences.

Dennis Fritchie
Stuart, Florida
November 29, 2009
 The loss of a loved one, especially a parent is one of the hardest things we will ever have to endure in our lives. Although I didn't know him outside of a few lunches together, I found him to be a very interesting man, and enjoyed our limited time together. I'm sure you and your family and friends have many fond memories of him that you will share with each other during this sad time to help ease some of your pain.

Again, I am sorry for your loss.

Mike Williams
Stoney Creek, TN
November 30, 2009
 To all of Ed's family,

Thanks to all of you for being my friends. No one has done more for Mt Leconte and for friendship of those who hike it than Ed Wright. Ed was a great friend with a great family. God bless all of you.


Ed and Cindy Kirkpatrick
November 30, 2009
 Our deepest sympathy to you and all your family. You and your family our in prayers.

Betty Wooten
Raleigh, North Carolina
November 30, 2009

You and your family are in my thoughts and in my prayers. You were very fortunate to have shared your father's 84 years. "God bless you.

Joe Sesta
Palm City FL
November 30, 2009
 Bob and family, so sorry for your loss. It does get easier with time. Just think of all the trails he will get to hike in heaven. God bless your whole family.

Nina J Brown
Stuart, FL
November 30, 2009
 Bob & Lisa

My prayers are with you both during this hard time I did not know your Father but he had to be a wonderful man to raise such a wonderful Son. God Bless and if you need anything please call me. Nina (9a)

Nina J Brown
Stuart, FL
November 30, 2009
 Bob & Lisa

My prayers are with you both during this hard time I did not know your Father but he had to be a wonderful man to raise such a wonderful Son. God Bless and if you need anything please call me. Nina (9a)

Belinda Nix
Carrboro, NC
November 30, 2009

My prayers are with you and your family.

Barbara Costa
Stuart, FL
November 30, 2009
 Bob, Lisa and family,
I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your father. My thoughts and prayers are with you and you family at this time.

Eric & Renee Lee
Seymour, TN
November 30, 2009
 Our thoughts are with your family at this time. Ed was an inspiration to so many people. We read his hiking blog and got to meet him on one of our hikes to LeConte. He was a treasure.

JoAnn Muller
Stuart, FL
November 30, 2009
 My deepest sympathy to you and your family. My prayers are with you.

Steve Morrell
Knoxville, TN
November 30, 2009
 I was saddened to hear the news about Ed's passing and my condolences are with the family.

I worked with Ed at the Clinch River Breeder Reactor Plant and later at the Department of Energy in Oak Ridge. He was truly one of the most facinating persons that I have known and many times I have shared his exploits of his cross-country bike exploits and his hiking prowess. I used to marvel at the USA map on his wall that detailed his bike trips from Oak Ridge to California, Canada, and Florida.

The world is truly a richer place because Ed was in it.

CHAPIN, SC 29036
November 30, 2009


Liz Rowland
Pigeon Forge, TN
November 30, 2009
 To the Family; I was sad to hear of Ed passing. I hiked with Connie Houk, we hiked several times with Ed and his family and I will always have great memorys. He was a great person and knew the trail up the mountain better than anyone and could tell you anything you wanted to know about hiking. He will be saddly missed and I will think of him everytime I hike to Mt Leconte.

Karon McCravy
Mount Olive, Alabama
November 30, 2009
 I never met Ed, but learned to love Mt. LeConte through his wonderful website and his adventures he shared with all of us. Thanks Ed! You are truly loved.

Les Jones
Louisville, TN
November 30, 2009
 I knew Ed from the East Tennessee Macintosh Users Group.

The first time I ever hiked Mt LeConte was on my 30th birthday with my friend Eddie McGaha back in 1998. We met Ed coming down the mountain when we were on the way up.

I'll miss Ed and I'll think of him every time I hike to Mt LeConte or pass its trailheads.

Larry Heatherly
Farmersville, Ohio
December 1, 2009
 I am deeply sorry for your loss. I never had a chance to hike
with Ed, much to my regret. I think it would be great if a marker could be placed somewhere on Alum Cave trail
as a memorial to Ed. He loved the mountain and the trail
so much and was a real inspiration to so many.

Diane Simpson
December 1, 2009
 I am so saddened by this. I go to this site weekly. I had the great fortune of meeting Ed on the Trail. Will miss him & think of him on my next trip to Leconte.

Nadine & Jim Wallace
Urbana, IL
December 1, 2009
 We're so sorry to hear of your loss. We never met Ed, but were inspired by him and all the stories on his web site. We finally had an opportunity to hike to the lodge this year. We visited his web site so very often in anticipation of that trip. It was everything all his friends said, and more. His spirit will surely live on for so many of us.

Karl Gustafson
Chapel Hill, NC
December 1, 2009
 I will forever treasure my chance meeting with Ed on October 27, 2007 while he was on his way up Mt. LeConte and I on my way down. May the love of God abide with Ed for eternity. And may the peace of God abide with Ed's loved ones and friends who miss him.

Barbara&John Darby
December 1, 2009
 To the Wright family,
We send our deepest sympathy to you and your family.We hike Leconte every year and our favorite trail is via Alum cave! I have always enjoyed reading all the blogs on 1001 hikes.We were truly inspired by Ed and all the storys on his web site.Our prayers are with you.

Bobby & Chris Pendergrass
West Palm Beach, Florida
December 2, 2009
 We are so sorry to hear of your loss. We were honored to hike with Ed on #1299. Ed taught us to open our eyes and see the small things of beauty that we would have normaly walked by. Each time I hear the word Leconte The memery of Ed will will be there. God bless you all.

linda bowers
martin, tn
December 2, 2009
 I am so sorry to heard of Mr. Wright's passing. I check the website often and always wanted to meet him. The first day I typed in Mt. LeConte on the web I met Mr. Wright and learned to love his mountain as he did. I spent the night at the lodge twice with his encouragement that a old lady could make it up the mountain. I will miss his write ups.


John Carswell
Gainesville, FL
December 2, 2009
 Ed was an inspiration to all of us "old guys". I'll miss him and reading his blog. God bless.
John Carswell
Colonel, USMC, Ret

Bill Hanna
Madison, MS
December 2, 2009
 Ed was my grounding to Mt. LeConte through his website. I first understood my passion for the Smokies through his words. I came to rely on his words for my connection with Mt. LeConte. I really believe that Ed is on top of that rockpile tonight.

I'll miss you Ed.

Rodney Nickelson
Marengo, IN
December 3, 2009
 While recently deciding to hike to Mt. LeConte for the first time, I came across Ed's site. I've read everystory and very saddened that I will never get to make that trek with him. My first trip this March will be in his memory. Deepest sympathies to the family.

Diana & Gerry Strech
Sterling Heights, MI
December 4, 2009
 Ed was a GREAT man, a DEAR friend and a true gentleman. Our prayers and hearts go out to all the family, especially Pat who it was clearly plain to see, Ed loved dearly!!

Thanks Ed for sticking by us even though circumstances in our lives prevented us from coming down to hike with you as often as we would have liked (Gerry and I will always regret those missed opportunities, wish we could have spent more time with you)...for sending all those gorgeous bouquets showing off Pat's Orchids, which you were so proud of (I'll forever treasure each and every one of those lovely flowers you sent me...Pat you have a very special "touch"!! No wonder he loved you so much!), for taking time out of your busy day (or night, as the case may be) to send me all those wonderful full moon snapshots you took...JUST FOR ME, knowing how much I loved them, never questioning why...but especially for always treating my like a lady (I will try my best to live up to the nickname you had for me "Lady Diana", as it now holds special meaning for me). But MOST of all, and despite the long interval between never abandoned us or the friendship we shared.

Thanks for being the WONDERFUL and DEAR friend that you were to us....and to EVERYONE who ever had the good fortune to know you.

We will MISS you...until we meet again in Heaven...goodnight Ed!!!

Lynda Platone
North Port, FL
December 4, 2009
 To the Wright Family,

Please accept my most heart felt condolences for your loss.

Mere words cannot express what an influence Ed had on my life. I had been introduced to Ed's website a few years ago with the plan of meeting him on the trail one day with the friend who turned me on to it. While I was busy making those plans, life got in the way and things changed. When I was at a very low point in my life, I heard the calling of the Smoky Mountains and I had to go. I gathered the courage to make the drive...a long road trip, something I had never done follow through, alone, with the plans that had originally been made with my friend.

I met Ed for the first time on that trip...and accomplished something I didn't realize I had the physical or spiritual strength to accomplish. With Ed by my side, I hiked the ACB trail...up and down in one day!!!! I came off of Mt. LeConte that day with a renewed spirit and love for life...

I made several trips that year, and more the following year...hiking along side the "Master of Mt. LeConte." Ed became a hiking mentor to me, and more importantly, he became my friend. Through Ed, I've made lifetime friends, people who hold the love of the Smokies in their heart as much as I do.

Ed's physical presence in this life will be greatly missed, but his spirit will forever dwell on Mt. LeConte...and in my heart...

Until we next meet my friend, I bid you goodbye....


In the quiet of the gloaming
While your restless soul is roaming
It will come to you in knowing
It's alright to say goodbye.

With your head upon the pillows
You hear the whisper in the willows
As the breeze the curtain billows
It is time to say goodbye.

Your earthly journey may be ending
Past fears and pains now mending
Your spirit ready for ascending
It's alright to say goodbye.

Your loved ones will be grieving
But you will have them soon believing
It's just your body leaving
It is time to say goodbye.

Time will pass and hearts will heal
Love once shared still strong still real
Memories in their smiles reveal…

…It was alright to say goodbye.

Bella Lynda @copywrite
October 2008
Lynda Platone – Tidewell Hospice Volunteer

Ricky Yebba
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
December 4, 2009
  About nine years ago while my son and I were hiking the most fabulous trail this side of the Mississippi River we walked right into the path of a man who looked like he knew what he was doing. We were only about a quarter way up the trail when we met and I asked him if he was going all the way up. WOW, was I surprised to find out just how many times he had gone to the top. He let me and my son tag along with him that day and it was the most exhilerating and informative hike I have ever had in the Smokies to this day. I stayed in contact with the War Eagle for years until unexpected things in life take their toll.
I have been up ACB trail about 12 times and I think of Ed every time. I show my kids all the great spots that Ed showed me and my son that day. Some of my best memories I have to this day are of my son and I hiking to Mt. Leconte. As I hike this great trail again, and I hope to many more times, you better believe that Ed will be right there with me.

Rest in Peace my friend, Ricky..........

Suzi Forshey
Springfield, OH
December 4, 2009
 I think I read every hiking log on Ed's page and quickly became a fan of Ed and Mt. Leconte. I had the privilege of hikng with Ed in Oct 2008 and I'll never forget him. He had a way of making every person on that trail feel special. will be missed!

John & Diane Ritzman
Jensen Beaach, FL
December 5, 2009
 Dear Pat, Bob and Family:
We are so sorry to hear of Ed's passing, but he has left everyone with many wonderful memories. John and I so enjoyed every time we were able to sit and visit with Ed and all. We miss seeing him take his early morning walk down Jensen Beach Blvd he was no dought up with the sun. We have kept in touch with his life through Bob (This wonderful son of Ed, & Pat we feel is an extention to our family) jWe know how proud Ed & Pat are of their wonderful family and the wonderful people they have become. Our heart goes out to all of you. God Bless you with wonderful memories. Our Love John & Diane

Beth Ann W
Shelby Twp., Michigan
December 5, 2009
 From: Beth Ann Wendt <>
Subject: Re: Ed Wright, Mt. LeConte
To: "Cindy Wisnieski" <>
Date: Wednesday, November 25, 2009, 10:31 PM

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the family of Ed Wright in his loss. I know Ed has been such a dear friend of yours for so many years, as you have shared so many wonderful hiking experiences together. Even though I never met him, I learned so much from Ed by his kind words through shared e-mails and beautiful pictures of Mt.LeConte. I, too, am saddened by his passing. We will keep all of you in our prayers.
We love you!
love, Beth Ann

This is from Beth Ann W., one of mu friend's from Michigan in response to an email I sent regarding Ed. I shall be writing soon when I am feeling up to it.

Cindy Wisnieski

Johnson City, TN
December 5, 2009
 I was lucky enough to get to hike with Ed a few times. I will never forget his kindness nor his love of the Smokies.

Don, Marge and Kellie Tagert
Boca Raton, FL
December 6, 2009
 Dear Wright family and Ed's numerous friends,
We will greatly miss the man on the ACB trail. The man whose love of the mountain was contagious. He has inspired us as well as probably thousands of others who were fortunate enough to meet him or visit his website. We will never tread the trail again without expecting to see him. Knowing we won't, we will know that he is still there and in our thoughts and prayers


The Tagert Family

Brian&Janelle McCandless
Port Saint Lucie Fl
December 7, 2009
I guess in some part your dad is responsible for the McCandless adventures at Mt. Laconte. There are some memories that we have of those trips that will live on forever with my family. Thanks for the memories.

Rob Ware
Chattanooga, TN
December 7, 2009
 I'm so sorry to hear of Ed's passing. It was a shock to me at first, since Ed seemed to be larger than life. I never met Ed, but his website allowed me to connect to a man that shared my love for the mountain. Having hiked the mountain many times, I took delight in reading the many stories and viewing the many photos posted. Through his website, I was also able to recognize at chat with some of Ed's following that I ran into while hiking the mountain. Ed truly treasured one of God's grandest creations!

Mr. Loren Wire
Columbus, IN
December 7, 2009
 My sincerest condolences. I never hiked the Alum Cave Trail without taking along a copy of Mr. Wright's map printed from his website. His names of points of interest along the way showed his deep knowledge of the area along the trail and occaisonally his sense of humor. Ed Wright will now be forever a part of the lore of the Smokies.

Keith, Sandra & Cole (Songbird) Warren
Newhebron, MS
December 8, 2009
 We were so saddened to learn of Ed's death. As I sit here, I can not hold back the tears, not for his death but for my loss. He is in a much better place. We hiked with him several times (#1198 & others) and visited him in his home in Oak Ridge. He called my son Songbird because he was always singing on the trail. He was a very special man to us and to the mountain. He was such an inspiration to everyone. In his most recent email to me, he said that the CHF had just about put him down. I never dreamed that we would loose him so soon after our last email. He was such a devoted father and grandfather. Rest in the arms of God Ed as you "hike" the streets of gold.

Wally & Sharon Houston
Tampa, Fl
December 8, 2009
 Dear Wright Family,

So sorry to hear of Ed's passing. His legacy will live on from the top of Mt Leconte. My wife, Sharon and I met him several years ago, first by reputation, by email and then in person on the trail. It was our honor to have even met the man. He was the one who inspired us to conquer the mountain. Thanks Ed, for being the Legend and helping so many others to go on to new heights.

George, Nikhol and Alek Primm
Port St. Lucie, FL
December 9, 2009
 Dear Bob, Lisa , Austin and Charlie:
So sorry to hear of your father's passing, we really enjoyed being with your family on our occassional "Pizza" days. It was always nice to see his interaction with Austin and Charlie, it was very obvious how proud he was of them- and of you. Take Care and if you need anything, please do not hesitate to call!

Ann Jacobs
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
December 10, 2009
 I am so sorry to hear about Ed. I knew he was sick, but I didn't know he had died until just now when I looked at the Mt. Leconte website. I love to read about the hikes up the Mt. I know you will miss Ed and so will everyone that hikes the Mt. I hope I can do the memorial hike in the Spring. I will be looking for the posting.

Gerry Sturgeon
Indianapolis, Indiana
December 11, 2009
 I knew him for such a short time, but his energy, courage and love of nature have left a lasting imprint upon my life.

God bless you Ed Wright.

Dillon Murphy
December 11, 2009
 God Bless all the family, may you cherish the memories he placed in your heart for ever lasting. I never met Mr. Wright but have had the honor of working with his sons. If they are of his nature, then it is surely an honor for the Pearly Gates of Heaven to have him in their peers as he continues to watch over his family.

Jim Johnson
Jellico, TN
December 11, 2009
 My condolences to the family and friends. I never knew Mr. Wright prsonally, but we are no doubt kindred spirits. I considered his information about LeConte invaluable on my hikes there.

Vickki Howell
Athens, Tn
December 12, 2009
 I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I use to pass him on the trail, or should I say, he used to pass me!! I always enjoyed reading the entries on his website. I'm glad to hear you are going to continue that.

Again, may I say how sorry I am.
Vickki Howell

Elise Edwards
Livingston, Alabama
December 14, 2009
 I knew Ed only through reading his website. I was shocked to read today that he had passed away. I will miss him, but I plan to continue visiting the site. God bless the family and all of his friends. Happy trails, Ed.

Nancy Hoffman Miller
Knoxville, TN
December 21, 2009
 My deepest condolences on Ed's passing.
He was such a good friend of my dad's. He was so nice to my son Jason and they also hiked together when Jason was a child and teen. I made a hike with him after he had his episode with the P.E. years ago. He was such a dynamo. What a special blessing he was to so many people. He touched so many lives in a positive way. A long wonderful and exciting life. Great legacy to leave.
Peace to you all!
Nancy Hoffman Miller

Jim Hoffman
El Paso, TX
December 23, 2009
 To the Wright family,

My dad Gene, was good friends with Ed. I had the opportunity to go on a hike with Ed, to Mount Leconte, back in the 90's. What a blessing it was to meet him and to share that experience with him. My last time to hike Mount Leconte was May of 2008. I was thinking of Ed during that hike.

To his family, I send my condolences. His gentleness and kindness and love for the Smokies will be remembered. God Bless his family.

Nora Sturgeon
December 25, 2009
 I had just returned from hiking part of the ACB when I found out Ed had passed. Ed's website helped me overcome my fear of climbing LeConte the first time (with his website map in hand!) It has since helped me stay in contact with friends we've made during ACB hikes, several of which were with Ed and his wonderful family. He had such a love of life and did a great deal to help others develop a love of Mt LeConte. He was a giving, inspiring soul who during his well-lived life positively affected a lot of people.

jackie east
portage, MI
January 1, 2010

Bentley Leonard
January 8, 2010
 I met Ed only once on his first hike up Alum Cave Trail after his by-pass surgery. He showed me the scar to prove his recent surgery. We chatted briefly. I wish it had been longer. I will miss reading about his hikes.

Tony & Cindy Byerly
Louisville, Ky
January 9, 2010
 We are sorry for your loss. We never met Ed, but found his website by chance when looking up information on Mt LeConte. We have revisited the website over and over and found it to be very informative and enjoyable. We have only hiked Mt LeConte once and hope to do it yearly. Thanks so much for keeping the website going, we recommend it to people often. Once again our deepest condolences for you loss.

Dale Hunt
Alamance, NC
January 11, 2010
 I never got to meet Ed, but did exchange email before and after my first hike to LeConte. Ed was a terrific source of info and answered any questions I could come up, especially concerning hiking in the early Spring, when the weather is iffy. Without a doubt, he will be remembered when I make my annual hiking trek to the Smokies this Easter.

My family and I are very sorry for your loss.

Galen Bradley
Batavia, OH
January 11, 2010
 I had the honor of meeting and hiking with Ed on hike #1307. I will always have fond memories of that hike and and the meeting of some of Ed's other hiking friends.
His web site has provided hours of enjoyment and information.
My condolences to your family.
The Smokies has lost a true friend but heaven has gained a priceless jewel.

Dave Lyons
Glendale, Ohio
January 12, 2010
 The first time my wife and I met Ed was in June of 91 on our honeymoon. We crossed paths with him at least 2 more times on our treks to the top of LeConte. He was a joy to meet and an incredible resource.

We are sorry for your loss. He will be remembered every time we hike the smokies.

Jane Hatfield <><
January 13, 2010
 I met Ed in May of 2000. A group of us, who were not as fit as we thought, decided to hike to the top of Mt. LeConte and spend the night in the lodge to celebrate my sister's 60th birthday.

Long story, short....half the group made it to the top, and due to illness, my sister and I only made it 1/2 way and had to return to the bottom. Only problem, our ride wasn't scheduled to pick us up until the next there we stood with no ride and cellphones without coverage.

And then...a very nice man came down the mountain and offered us a ride into town -- yes, it was Ed Wright. What an interesting and true gentleman!

We were very saddened to hear of his passing, but know that his family and friends have wonderful memories to cling to.

Jane Hatfield <><

Marsh Wilkes
Perry Florida
January 14, 2010
 I am so sorry to learn of Ed's passing. I first met Ed on Alum Cave Bluff trail in 96 and have talked with him on LeConte many times since. What can I say, there just won't be another Ed, he was very special to me, it's difficult writing this. It's funny the little things you remember, for some reason he always referred to me on his website as "Marsh Wilkes from Perry Florida", he never forgot or cut it short. The last time I saw Ed was at airlift 08, what amazed me was that in all his trips to LeConte he never spent a night on the top. I plan to climb LeConte in April and I will be thinking about Ed. I offer my heartfelt condolences to Ed's family and friends
Marsh Wilkes Perry Florida

Adam Rauh
Florence, South Carolina
January 15, 2010
 My deepest condolences on Ed's passing. My grandfather hiked Leconte for years, but sadly passed away before I was ever able to do it with him. Last year I finally decided to do it as a memorial to my grandfather, and Ed's information was an inspiration to me.

I'm sure he's somewhere looking down now, wondering why more footsteps aren't being made into our own memories. Keep up the good work everyone, have hope, and remember your roots. God bless,

Adam Rauh

January 18, 2010


lOVE YOU ED................. HUGS, ROSE MARY

Greg DeWitt
Elizabeth, IN
January 19, 2010
 It really is something the way one person can touch the life of another. My wife, daughter and I met Ed on the trail up Mt. Le Conte over 10 years ago and have kept in contact ever since.

A great smile, a helping hand and good listener....Ed we will miss you.

Anthony Tart
Lebanon TN
January 19, 2010
 I just read the entire cross country bicycle trip narrative on the web site. What a great story. I am now 52 and just started hiking a year ago. I plan to start cycling this spring. I have really enjoyed the web site and feel like I know Ed. Sounds as if this man was a great person who touched many lives and is now going on big hikes in heaven. Thank you Ed.

Bob McCullough
Fayetteville, Ga.
January 24, 2010
 My condolences to the friends and family of an inspirational man. God Bless.

Lamar Thompson
Sharpsburg, Ga
January 25, 2010
 So sorry to hear about Ed. I hiked TO LeConte 5 times between 1994 and 2000. i remember meeting and talking with Ed several of those trips. He was an inspiration to me. My condolences to his family.

Lisa Duncan
January 27, 2010
 Ed will be missed. Over the years I have so enjoyed reading about each new trip to LeConte. I had no idea he'd passed in November until I saw it on Doug McFalls' blog. So sorry to learn the sad news and his legacy will live on for a long time.

JIm Sebree
Connersville, IN.
February 5, 2010
  I am very sorry to hear of Ed's passing. My prayers are with you and your family. It was because of his website that I first hiked to the lodge. It is the most beautiful hike that I have ever been on thanks to Ed's love of that ole mountain.
Ed's post made us feel like we were all a part of the family, and in away I guess we were. God blesses us in many ways and Ed was one of those blessings. Thank you for keeping the site up.
See you on the trail someday Ed.

Randy Ledbetter
Mobile, AL
February 10, 2010
 I heard of Mt Leconte and did a search on the net to get more info. I think the first site that I happened to stagger onto was Ed's. This had to be around 2002. I was interested in climbing Mt. Leconte but it was not within my reach since I was over weight and not physically cable of doing so. I had gastric bypass surgery in March of 2004 and set a goal that I would climb Mt. Leconte. Over the next six or so months I lost around 135 pounds. I e-mailed back and forth several times with Ed to get do's, don't and all around helpful hints. Ed was such a nice guy and was a huge help. I had lost close to 150 pounds but still weighed about 250 pounds. With all of the info that Ed had offered and a lot of doubts I conquered that mountain. Ed's bike trip log, hike logs and his overall spark for life was truly an inspiration on me. I have only hiked Mt. Leconte once but would love to do so again in the future.

My thoughts and prayers will be with your family as you press ahead during the upcoming trying months. Know that Ed will be missed and that I am sure he is hiking the GREAT MOUNTAIN in the sky.

Craig & Cathy Cowles
Cincinnati, Ohio
February 17, 2010
 We never met Ed in person, but did exchange emails before our first hike to the lodge in June of 2008. He made our trip all the more enjoyable with his advise and knowledge. We'll miss him. Our condolences to his family. God has a hiking buddy. Take it easy on him, Ed!

Laura Heffner
Wapakoneta, Ohio
February 25, 2010
 Ed Wright helped me change my entire life even though we never spoke nor met. I always wanted to hike to LeConte Lodge since a 1997 vacation to Pigeon Forge when I learned you could actually stay on the mountain. In 2007, after reading Ed's site, I decided not to let being overweight andd out of shape stop me from this adventure. He was my inspiration to stop sitting on the sidelines and get out and hike!

On March 25, 2008, I slowly hiked to the Lodge. It took me over 7 hours to hike a snowy and icy Rainbow Falls Trail. I was one of the last ones to arrive. The night was clear and as I stood out looking over the world below, I felt inspired to live my life to the fullest all the time. I figured if I could climb a mountain, I could do anything no matter how hard.

Fast forward to 2010, almost 2 years later. I found the courage to end an abusive marriage and start anew. By the grace of God, I found my current husband and we are planning our first hike to LeConte in November 2010. I can't wait.

Thanks Ed, for your insight and your stories and your inspiration that led me to a new, happier life. I wish we could have met, but you are in my heart. Little did you know, your passion and love for the mountains would change anothers life for the better.

Boyce Edwards Morris
Collierville, Tennessee
March 5, 2010
 I am so sad to hear of the death of Ed. He was a great cousin and was such a great help researching our families. Our lunch at the old Couch/Key home was a highlight of my never ending search for our ancestors. I know I will miss him, even though we only met one time, but tried to stay in touch over the years.
My heartfelt condolences to his family. Boyce

Jennifer Ringstaff
Louisville, Kentucky
March 29, 2010
 I am so sad to hear of Ed's death. He was a special person. When planning our first attempt to hike to the top of Mt. LeConte, I found Ed's website and read it from beginning to end. He had such a way of describing the beauty and joy of the trip that I was hooked. It just so happened that our first trip in 2002 coincided with one of his hikes and we met him just below the upper steps. I was holding his map in my hands and he encouraged us to keep going. He told me that the hard part was over and he was right! Since then, we have hiked to LeConte at least once per year and our son began hiking with us at age 4. Ed inspired our whole family. He was a great man. Thanks for keeping his website going and our prayers are with Ed's family.

Mary Garren
Chapel Hill, NC
June 11, 2010
 I just learned of Ed's death and I'm deeply saddened but appreciate so much the love he had for Mt. Leconte. Through his passion, many people discovered one of the most fabulous hikes on this continent. Being able to read the many hike logs helped me get an even deeper understanding and appreciation of the hikes I've enjoyed for the past 8 years. I'm so glad there was a place for Ron Metcalfe to post his outstanding photos. Most of all, one of my biggest thrills was actually meeting Ed on the Alum Cave trail one day in June several years ago as he was coming up and we were going down. I cherish that encounter and the photo I have with him. His spirit will remain on the Alum Cave Trail and at the lodge at the top of Mt. Leconte for an eternity.
Blessings to his family and friends.

Peggy Haythorn
Chapel Hill, NC
June 20, 2010
 Father's Day 2010

Thanks Daddy for always loving me, for believing in me, and for teaching me. Thanks for listening to me, for guiding me, and for forgiving me when I messed up. Thanks for your integrity, your sense of humor, your optimism and generosity. Thanks for your devotion to Laura and Michael and for loving Mark like he was one of your own. The lessons you taught the love you gave, endure.

Frank Ruane
Buford, Georgia
June 23, 2010
 I regret I never met Ed. We did, however, share an enthusiasm for the outdoors, hiking and Mt. LeConte. In that regard I would like to pass on my sincere condolences to his family. I look forward to meeting some of you at the trailhead in September.

Cindy Wisnieski
Columbus, Ohio
August 29, 2010
 I never did dream that when I became a family friend of Ed Wright and his family, the Wright's and Haythorn's, that we would all be mourning the loss of a loved one at the same time... Ed, and my brother-in-law, who both died within 4 days of each other during the most joyful time of the year, Thanksgiving of 2009. Ed went to Heaven 4 days before my brother-in-law, saved a place for Roger, where both met the Lord in a blaze of Glory! Ed, you know how much we all loved gave me the greatest gift of all, the love and loyalty of all the Wright's and Haythorn's. You shared your family with me from your heart......and I know I will always be a part of their lives. Sunday, September 5th, will be a challenge when we hike to the Lodge without you, but you will be so alive in all of our hearts. All of us miss you so, but the love and the memories you created will always be there.

I am blessed with Pat, Peggy, Mark, Bob, Lisa, Bill, and Sally. But most importantly, I have such love and great memories with your 4 grandchildren, Laura, Mike, Austin and Charlie. Thanks for sharing the gifts of family love and goods times, friendship and Mt. LeConte. My late Brother-in-law Roger, my sister Sandy, nephew Jason and his wife Kristiauna felt very blessed by knowing you and your family through our adventures of hiking, college graduations, salamander hunting on the hikes to the Lodge, and a wonderful Florida vacation!

I am looking forward to celebrating your life and memories on September 5th! I shall treasure and enjoy every minute with your family and fellow hikers! In the past I always waited eagerly for the caravan of the Wright's and Haythorns's to arrive to the trailhead at 7 a.m. on the morning of a hike. This time your spirit will be greeting us as we arrive together from Cherokee and start a memorable adventure to your beloved place, Mt. LeConte, in your Honor!!

Love Always, to You and Your Wonderful Family,

Cindy Wisnieski

Ron Shafer
Panama City FL
September 1, 2010
 I hiked the Mt. with Ed on his 1064 trip 11/26/97. We had a good talk and his insight and knowledge was appreciated. Im sure he is there now.

Ed Jones
Washington, DC
June 14, 2011
 Brother Wright,
While we have never met you will never be forgotten through the efforts of the SigEp Patriots Project. Thank you for your service to our great nation. God speed.

My prayers go out to the Wright family.

Fraternally and Respectfully,

Brother Ed Jones
Chief, US Navy

Ralpheal Coffey
Oak ridge
December 13, 2011
 May Ed rest in peace he was a great man who only wanted the best in people. Im goin to walk the trail in his memory

Sincerely, Ralpheal Coffey

Don and Myra Walker
December 23, 2011
 We met Mr. Wright several years ago when we first started hiking Mt LeConte. He was fun to talk with and shared his love of that mountain with us.

We purchased his book and enjoyed reading the many entries he had made over the years. Did not know that he was not still walkng those trails and actually felt his spirit of love for that mountain, when we were recently there.

May those trails be enjoyed by many for many, many more years.
The Walkers from Jackson, TN

Mike Bius
January 8, 2012
 I must have visited Ed's website a thousand times. Thoughts of hiking Mt. Leconte kept me going through many a boring, killer day in the flatlands of Illinois.

His trail descriptions accompanied me up the mountain each time and his hiking journal entries motivated me.

Nick Sansone
central Florida
August 9, 2014
 I hiked the Alum Cave Bluff Trail with Ed in 2004. As a novice hiker, Ed must have had a chuckle watching this Florida flatlander trekking up the mountain. I made it and it was one of the most memorable experiences which I've repeated twice since. Thank's Ed for sharing your love of hiking with not only myself but everyone you came in contact with on the trail. Ed enjoyed taking pictures as he hiked. A very special man indeed.

Barry F. Smith
Chattanooga, TN
November 10, 2015
 In the late 90's a friend loaned me his copy of Ed's book which was my inspiration to climb Mt. LeConte. I did get to meet Ed on that hike. He was a very nice man. Though I never became a dedicated hiker I have always loved the outdoors and I still spend a lot of time in the woods as a hunter and fisherman.

Ed, you were a great one. I am sure you are still greatly missed.

Don Honey
Bolivar, MO
September 16, 2016
 It was my and my children's great fortune to meet up with Ed on one of our hikes to Mt. LeConte and he was kind enough to include our names in one of his publications. I only recently learned of his passing and was saddened to hear he is no longer with us but I know he is enjoying the pleasures of heaven as he enjoyed the marvels of the Great Smokey Mtns. God Bless Ed Wright!.

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