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 age 26 when he became business owner of the 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 with 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 for both, however, he said he 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.
Columbia Magazine.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 meeting 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, KY, and the surrounding six counties, it was presented as news of the utmost importance. Because to Ed, it all was.
It would be hard to find anyone who loved his town more than he did. He loved the people of Columbia and Adair County and the region. He knew family names and the communities the peopled. He knew every road and path and every bridge and celebrated every accomplishment that made this a better place.
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 his 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” Ann Waggener 7, of Shelbyville, KY
One brother – Ralph Roy (Glinda) Waggener of Columbia, KY
Three sisters – Wilma Jean (Paul) Cravens of Indianapolis, IN; Helen Fay (LG/Peanut) McKinley of Columbia, KY; Annette (Jim) Richards of Bowling Green, KY
A host of niece and nephews and all the Columbia Magazine.com family of readers, writers and photographers.
He was preceded in death by his parents and by one brother, Arthur Lee Waggener
A celebration to honor his life will be held Friday, September 28, 2018 at 10:30 A.M. at Grissom-Martin Funeral Home with burial following in Columbia Cemetery
Visitation on Thursday from 4-7pm and after 7am Friday until service time at the funeral home
Expressions of sympathy are requested to be made to the Ed and 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
Food gifts may be taken to Junior and Connie Stotts at Stotts Construction Company, 203 Burkesville Street.
Grissom-Martin Funeral Home in charge of arrangements