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Edwin Robertson's legacy lives on in East TN | News

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Edwin Robertson's legacy lives on in East TN


A Claiborne County man who is responsible for a big push against against drug abuse passed away this week.

Edwin Robertson died Monday after passing out at home. His passing is prompting those he's closest with to reflect on his vast impact.

He was considered a multifaceted man. Robertson was a veterinarian, but meant so much more to his community. He created ministries that helped make Harrogate prettier, and help fight drug abuse in the area.

The Pump Springs Baptist Church was a second home to Edwin, a man who dedicated his life to giving back.

"We as a church are fixing to find out all the voids that are there. Someone said yesterday that it will take 100 men to replace him," said Edwin's pastor Scott Cannon.

He was the director of ministry development in a town he lived his entire 65 years at. Always willing to lend a helping hand.

"When I first moved here, I was with my wife and my four children with no where to live. And he and his wife let us in. And we actually lived with him for a few months," said Cannon.

And inspire others to help make the world a better place.

"The best way for any of us to honor him is to pick up where he left off. Just pick up and go on," said Deb Rigsby.

Edwin was responsible for creating Stand in The Gap, an organization that fights against drug abuse and addiction.

"We started off with three counties, and now we're up to 11," said Rita Billman with Stand in the Gap.

This group organized marches bringing in thousands to stand against drug use. It also offered help to those who suffered from addiction.

"We are going to go on. We are going to continue. But we are going to continue with Edwin with us," said Billman.

He created a Harrogate Tree Board, a committee that helped bring a green-scape to the town.

"He would not only do the administrative stuff, the contractor contacts, but also when it came time to plant trees he was out there with a shovel planting trees. He did it all," said Steve Roark with the Harrogate Tree Board.

Another ministry he created was called Servolution. It provided free health services to those in need with the help of people he had known most of his life.

"I was raised in Claiborne County and he actually gave me my first job when I was 15 years old, and that's when I started learning from Edwin," said Deborah Chumley with Servolution.

Learning and carrying on for a man they say changed Claiborne County.

"I have known famous people and I have known people of influence. But I have known very few great men and Edwin is at the top of that list in great men that I have ever known," said friend Ben Dishner.

There will be a visitation service for friends and family Friday evening at Pump Springs Baptist Church, and Robertson's funeral will be held Saturday morning at 11 at that church.


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