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This tribute appeared in our September 2012 newsletter and was compiled by Sierra Hollister~

The world has lost a dedicated spirit and the sky has gained another shining star. We are sad to share that Larry Gibson died of a heart attack on Sunday, September 9. Larry was a long-time environmental activist, devoted to ending mountaintop removal. In a way, Larry really did work that was on behalf of all of us, on behalf of a cleaner, safer Appalachia.

At the time of Larry’s death, he was working on Kayford Mountain, the family home in Raleigh County, WV. The last decades of Larry’s life have been spent protecting the mountains that he calls home. 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.”

Larry’s family has requested that people wishing to express condolences make donations to Keeper of the Mountains Foundation, which Larry founded in 2004 to support mountain communities. A public memorial will be announced at a later time. Larry is survived by his wife, Carol, two sons Cameron and Larry, Jr and his daughter, Victoria. Larry was 66 years old.

You can learn more about Larry as well as share your memories of Larry at www.keeperofthemountains.com Photo credit for the above photo goes to Earth Justice.

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Solar panels from Sundance Power Systems

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