SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Ed Dupree, the long-time sportswriter for The Salisbury Post, passed away at the Kiser Hospice House in Salisbury on Tuesday, according to the paper.
Dupree was also known as an avid runner and golfer and a coach for many youth with the Faith Flyers running team and as assistant coach of girls basketball at Erwin Middle School. He was 76.
On Wednesday there several tributes being posted on social media.
"I will miss my friend and mentor Ed Dupree, who passed away tonight after battling leukemia. He taught me some of the ropes as far back as 1975. I'm so thankful that he was my partner in several 100-hole golf marathons because I had him to myself for the entire day," Dennis Davidson wrote. "He was a kind and gentle friend and "coach" to many and an inspiration to all who knew him. I send my thoughts and love to his family — wife Bitsy, daughter Allison, son Brett — and their families."
Dupree's daughter Allison posted these touching words:
"At 7:45 tonight I lost the first man I ever loved. He was my biggest fan and cheerleader, my coach, the mastermind behind most of our wins at Erwin, my first golfing buddy, my first running partner, my baseball card collecting buddy, a master statistician of middle school girls basketball, but most of all he was my hero. He was the most selfless person I've ever known - and he made an impact on every single person he met. In the past few days I have been so moved by each person who came to tell us how much they truly loved Coach Ed and what a difference he made in their life. He has fought MDS for the past 6.5 years and valiantly fought leukemia for the past 6 weeks. His faith in the Lord never wavered no matter how bad he felt throughout the chemo and the after effects, he kept the faith that he would be healed. Even though we are so very sad that he left us too soon; I know that he won his final race, made his final birdie and completed his perfect stat book tonight. I know he is running through the gates of heaven pain free and pursuing his next PR or even planning his next running streak. He's certainly a one of a kind person and I am so thankful to have had him as my father for the past 39 years. I have so many special memories and times I will never forget. I know in my heart he has been completely healed and I know that Starr met him with the biggest smile and hug when he entered those pearly gates. The Lord has been seeking out great coaches lately and tonight he needed one more. Rest easy tonight dad and fly high....well done good and faithful servant ??you have crossed the finish line a winner in everyone's eyes!
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
The Salisbury Post plans a detailed story on Dupree's life and the funeral arrangements. Look for that story in Thursday's edition of the newspaper.
Writer's note: Ed Dupree was a personal friend, mentor, and inspiration for more than thirty years. Broadcasting American Legion baseball games with Howard Platt, and having Ed sitting close by as the "official scorer" was always a lot of fun, and one from which I learned much. Thanks Ed. -David Whisenant