September 19 Update: Oct. 14 event celebrating Larry Gibson
From September 9: We are in shock, mourning the passing today of Keeper of the Mountains Larry Gibson. We are holding his wife, daughter and sons close to our hearts. Update: Read some of his daughter’s thoughts here: Prominent W.Va. environmental activist Gibson dead at 66. Also see: Anti-mountaintop-removal activist Larry Gibson dies.
Larry Gibson was an OVEC board member for more than a decade. We have so many memories. The Walk for the Mountains… the tens of thousands of students he inspired… the first introduction to mountaintop removal for so many of us… the first national news story where Larry took Penny Loeb of U.S. News and World Report up to Kayford… so much more…
Here’s a notice from Keeper of the Mountains:
Larry Gibson, long-time environmental activist, died of a heart attack Sunday, September 10, while working on Kayford Mountain, the family home in Raleigh County which he spent the last decades of his life protecting from the coal mining practice known as mountaintop removal.
Kayford was the site of Larry’s birth, the final resting place of 300 ancestors stretching back to the 18th century, and the site of Larry’s annual 4th of July festival celebrating life in the mountains. As part of his effort to preserve the mountains, Larry traveled across the country, to schools, churches and a wide range of public gatherings where he spread his simple gospel about the mountains: “Love em or leave em; just don’t destroy em.”
A private funeral is planned, and Larry’s family has requested that persons wishing to express condolences make donations to Keeper of the Mountains Foundation, which Larry founded in 2004 to support mountain communities. A public memorial service will be announced at a later time. Larry is survived by his wife, Carol, two sons Cameron and Larry, Jr. and his daughter, Victoria. He was sixty-six years old.
Photos: Larry in action on Kayford Mountian, taken by Vivian Stockman.