Deceased May 26, 2021

View alumni profile (log in required)

In Memory

I’ve always thought that Ed Wesely lived better with less than anyone I’ve ever known. And to his dying day, May 26, he lived a life better than most.

A much-loved only child, he grew up in Chevy Chase, Md., and graduated from Georgetown Prep and Amherst before heading west to explore the world. He hitched rides, working here and there to earn his keep, including a tour of duty in the U.S. Army. He spent many days helping ranchers bring heifers into the world, running a summer camp for children and spending icy winters alone in the freezing Cascade Mountains. He found his way to Oregon and fell in love with the place. He would be there still if his ailing mother hadn’t called for help.

Back east, he found work he loved, teaching at Hood College and serving as seasonal park ranger for the National Park Service.

When we met through a mutual friend, I quickly learned of his passion for protecting the natural world and sharing his knowledge with others. We treasured the benefits of open spaces and the agricultural scene. He taught me how to speak to planning commissions and promote effective land-use measures.

We soon became a couple—a new life for us both—buying 12 acres along the Upper Delaware River; working to create the Delaware Highlands Conservancy, today protecting over 18,000 acres of land; building a nature center we called the Butterfly Barn; hosting monarch butterfly programs, rescuing thousands of these beautiful insects for safe annual migration; and mentoring children.

I miss Ed terribly. His voice will guide me and the rest of the world to help move it into a future of beauty and safety for all he has now left behind.

Barbara Yeaman