Ed Waggener, 78, of Columbia, passed away Monday, September 24 at TJ Samson Hospital in Glasgow due to complications from a heart attack.
A celebration to honor his life will be held Friday morning, September 28, 2018 at 10:30am CT at Grissom-Martin Funeral Home, 200 Campbellsville Street, Columbia. Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 4-7pm CT on Thursday evening and from 7-10:30am CT when the service begins. Burial will follow in the Columbia City Cemetery.
He was born on Jamestown Street in Columbia, KY on March 6, 1940, one of six children of E.P. and Audrey Lee Chelf Waggener. His father who said he’d tired of writing his own full name too many times in his life, insisted this child be given the single name of Ed with no middle name. In his childhood he was known as Eddie Waggener, but at age 26 when he became business owner of The Edmonton Herald-News, he chose to use his given name. He said the only time in his life this was a challenge was when he served in the National Guard. The military did not accept a person with only one name without explanation. In those documents he had to fill out forms as Ed NMN Waggener – the NMN designating ‘no middle name’.
His father urged him to become a doctor or a lawyer and he applied for and was accepted at colleges for both, however, he said he was only interested in the possibility of those careers because they’d provide the income to buy the newspaper and allow him to follow his true calling. He holds degrees from Lindsey Wilson College and Western Kentucky University but his education resulted from a lifetime of reading.
He wore many professional hats during his career – editor, publisher, salesman, recruiter, purveyor of used books, author and photographer. He was a leader, mentor, teacher, and visionary who was always thinking outside the box and both sons share his entrepreneurial spirit.
ColumbiaMagazine.com was Ed Waggener’s magnum opus. His driving force for the last decade of his life was keeping the town updated and amused with stories of its populace. He reported on everything, every day and night, to keep fellow citizens at home and abroad informed about what was happening. From government meetings and politics to bear sightings to food ways, to obituaries, and more, Ed chronicled them. So long as it was about or related to Columbia and Adair County, and the surrounding six counties, it was presented as news of the utmost importance. Because to Ed, it all was.
He is survived by
- His wife of 48 years and partner in writing and photography – Linda Reid Marcum Waggener
- His son – Edmund Pendleton ‘Pen’ Waggener and wife Amy and their children Jonathan Graham Waggener 17, Evan Smith Waggener 15, and Hailey Elizabeth Waggener 6, of Shelbyville, KY.
- His son – Thomas Marcum ‘Tom’ Waggener and daughter Matilda ‘Tillie’ Anne Waggener 7, of Shelbyville, KY.
- One brother – Ralph Roy Waggener (Glinda) of Columbia, KY
- Three sisters – Wilma Jean (Paul) Cravens of Indianapolis, IN; Helen Fay (LG/Peanut) McKinley of Columbia; Annette (Jim) Richards of Bowling Green, KY
- A host of nieces and nephews.
Expressions of sympathy are requested to be made to the Ed & Linda Marcum Waggener Writers Scholarship fund at his first college alma mater, Lindsey Wilson College, and may be left at the funeral home or mailed to 210 Lindsey Wilson Street, Columbia, KY 42728.