By: Lisa Johnson
Wednesday, April 1st, author, former US Forestry Service worker and founder of the Red River Gorge Mountain Rescue, Don F. Fig passed away at his home here in Stanton. Born in 1937 in Big Stone Gap, Virginia Don graduated from the University of Florida at Gainsville. Don and many others created the Red River Gorge Mountain Rescue in 1962. He and his team members are responsible for more than 1,600 searches and rescues. Don received a Presidential Citation, a USDA Honors Award, a Congressional Award Of Merit, an award for Heroism and a Kentucky Senate Award of Merit. Don also authored six books one of our favorites is Tales Of The Red River Gorge, copyright 2016. Tim Eling US Forest Service states ” Don was an amazing man and dedicated public servant. Don and the Red River Mountain Rescue Team saved countless lives over his long distinguished career with the US Forest Service”. Don is survived by his loving wife Susie Fig, his brother Frank Fig and several nieces and nephews. Don and Susie deliver an example of a successful life and marriage at its best, through service to others. I will share with you our readers in review- words extracted from the Saga of an Arch found in Tales Of The Red River Gorge in Don’s own words. “After many years of being exposed to the elements, I am aging. I have grown old and I am in the winter of my life. A few rare times I am alone with my memories. During my final time, I can only hope that people will once again respect the land. So I am here, overlooking the valley below and the Red River. I am told the rivers sometimes rejuvenate themselves and become young again. I sometimes wish this could happen to me. I dimly remember someone saying one windy day, words over which I have pondered. ” As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone, and the place thereof shall know it no more. Is this all there is for man? Will it be thus for me? I Wonder,”. A memorial service is planned at a later time and a ribbon-cutting by Powell County Search and Rescue for the ‘Don F Fig” Aid Station in Natural Bridge in celebration of the life of a great man who has given so much of himself to others in their time of need. Thank you Don Fig, you will be missed.