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News Alert : Earl Hamner, Jr Dead At Age 92 – Goodnight John Boy

[ 6 ] March 24, 2016 |
©2014-2016 Blue Ridge Life Magazine : Photo By Woody Greenberg : Schuyler, Virginia Native and Waltons TV Show creator Earl Hamner, Jr (right) passed away Thursday afternoon at 12:20 PDT in California. He's seen in this 2014 photo with Waltons' Mountain B & B owner David Pounds during a visit to his hometown in East Nelson County.

©2014-2016 Blue Ridge Life Magazine : Photo By Woody Greenberg : Schuyler, Virginia Native and Waltons TV Show creator Earl Hamner, Jr (right) passed away Thursday afternoon at 12:20 PDT in California. He’s seen in this 2014 photo with Waltons’ Mountain B & B owner David Pounds during a visit to his hometown in East Nelson County.

Studio City, California – Schuyler, Virginia
Nelson County, Native and Waltons TV show creator Earl Hamner, Jr. has died at age 92.

“I am very sorry to be the bearer of sad news. My father, Earl Hamner, passed away today at 12:20 PM Pacific time. Dad died peacefully in his sleep at Cedar Sinai Hospital. He was surrounded by family, and we were playing his favorite music, John Denver’s Rocky Mountain Collection. Dad took his last breath half way through Rocky Mountain High. I am sure many of you know Dad was ill, but his amazing tenacity and fight masked how seriously ill he has been over the last year and a half. He was diagnosed with cancer in June of 2014, and had surgery performed in July on his 91st birthday,” his son Scott wrote on Earl’s Facebook page around 8PM Eastern Time Thursday evening.

More thoughts from Earl’s friend and BRL writer, Woody Greenberg:

“Although I knew it was inevitable, this is a day I never wanted to see. Earl Hamner Jr. is gone. Earl’s journey through life took him from Nelson County’s Schuyler to exotic new places and new experiences, but he never lost touch with his roots – his family and the community in which they were born and raised. He taught me the value of those connections. The surviving members of the cast of “The Waltons” remain to this day connected to Earl – and they always will be. He nurtured them, made them better people. The late Ralph Waite, who played John-Boy’s father on “The Waltons,” said many times that the values the show celebrated, love of family, tolerance of differences, respect for others, true friendship, real kindness, made him a better person. Earl personified those values and they permeate his writing. Not that he didn’t have a sense of humor and a fondness for the bizarre and strange. The humor came up in an interview we did about the connection of the show to his actual life. As the oldest of the Hamner brood, he said, he sometimes felt like a mother duck, followed around by a flock of ducklings. But he loved those ducklings, and you can see that in any episode of “The Waltons.” And as for the strange? Check out the episodes he wrote for “The Twilight Zone” and you’ll see what I mean. Earl’s impact on American popular culture will be the subject of many an article and dissertation, but his impact on those of us who knew and loved him is his real legacy.”

Earl was no stranger to Blue Ridge Life Magazine. “Earl wrote for our charter publication, Nelson County Life Magazine in the early years,” said Blue Ridge LIfe Magazine Publisher, Tommy Stafford.

In September 2014, not long after Earl had surgery in California, our Woody Greenberg (a longtime personal friend of Earl’s) stopped by his home in Studio City to see how he was doing.

Photo By Woody Greenberg : Earl Hamner and his wife Jane at their home in California in September 2014.

In April of that year Earl had returned to his birth town of Schuyler in Nelson County as part of a documentary, Earl Hamner Storyteller, that was being filmed about his life.

©2014-2016 Blue Ridge Life Magazine : Photo By Tommy Stafford : In April 2014 Earl Hamner, Jr. (center) was back in his hometown of Schuyler, Virginia during the filming of a documentary on his life. He was joined in front of his old home place by Woody Greenberg (center front and BRL writer / photographer) along with his son Scott Hamner to the right.

©2014-2016 Blue Ridge Life Magazine : Photo By Tommy Stafford : In April 2014 Earl Hamner, Jr. (center) was back in his hometown of Schuyler, Virginia during the filming of a documentary on his life. He was joined in front of his old home place by Woody Greenberg (center front and BRL writer / photographer) along with his son Scott Hamner to the right.


Above Enjoy this December 2011 radio interview with Earl Hamner (creator of The Waltons & The Homecoming)as BRL Publisher Tommy Stafford and Memphis radio host Earle Farrell talks for over an hour as Earl reminisces about his career, life in the Virginia Blue Ridge and more. Toward the end he reads a special Christmas tribute remarking about the late Will Geer who played Grandpa Walton.

To read more about our coverage of Earl Hamner, Jr. during the past decade here in Nelson County, click here.

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Comments (6)

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  1. Rev. Bryan Garra says:

    As the creator of a very popular Facebook Walton fan site, with over 740 members, we grieve with the world on the passing of this amazing storyteller!

  2. Earl Hamner Jr.is a Legend I never met him but I DEARLY Love him he’s done so many Wonderful things I Love You Earl Rip..

  3. To me Mr. Hamner’s writing’s and shows were a spiritual experience. He clearly demonstrated how best to “Love thy Neighbor”, family and friends alike. My heartfelt condolences to Mr. Hamner’s wonderful son and family.

  4. Victoria A FORD says:

    Goodnight John Boy rest in peace.my prays and hart goes out to the family of Earl Hamner,i want to say thanks for the Waltons i grew up watching the show and still do watch it on channel insp.i wished i lived in the house and off the land like they did it head to be great growing up that way.

  5. Brad Penner says:

    Hello all as i, and all the friends and family mourn the loss of Earl i am just crushed . i started to email Earl abut 7 years ago and was so amazed when he answered me . I cannot believe this gentle kind and heartwarming gentleman has gone. I bet he’s climbing the mountains of Virginia now watching over the land
    he grew up in . I bet he can see all the colors and smells the feeling of home and he sees where he’s heart is, Blue Ridge. I never met him although we did email each a few times. He touched me so deeply just by taking the time to email me back. Tell me what person of his stature would take the time to email back a fan to encourage me to continue with my book. Nobody. Through our brief internet friendship i felt honoured that he would take time to help with my unfinished book. His works of TV and books are a memorial to a Kind and gentle and one hell of a nice guy. I will miss him deeply. The first time i set an email was after i had a long day at work it was late and i sent him an email just to see what would happen .As a fan of the WALTONS i thought why not try and see what happens. What god bless him he replied he said hi how are you. Man was i ever excited here is a man who achievements are so many yet he takes the time to answer some guy from Hamilton ontario Canada. His typing was horrible i think back now and he said forgive my typing i can’t see all the keys right on his computer. He left a lol sort of. He inspired me, he made me cry, now he’s gone and gods waiting for him with open arms which ever god he believes in. Baptist i believe lol. Thanks for the thing you have done to effect many people by your works. And on a personal note i thank you Earl for being a friend to me. I asked for a picture from him autographed and he said all books have been sold he said he can’t even get one lol. Well the time has come and you will say the same Goodnight Earl Hamner Godless and i hope to one day be a 1/100 of a writer as you.

    To the family of Earl I’m so sorry for the loss of your father, uncle ,neighbour or friend is gone but one day we shall all meet and look back on life and see he was an inspiration to so many. Ill miss him and I’m sure we are will. My condolences Brad Penner

  6. DEAR EARL HAMNER MAY YU REST IN PEACE AN NOW YUR WITH THE GOD YU SO LOVED HAPPY N HEALTHY AGAIN YUR SEEING YUR FAMY N FRIENDS WHO WERE ALREADY UP IN HEAVEN WAITING .WE WILL MISS YU SO BUT WE WILL ALWAYS SHE’D A TEAR WHEN WE WATCH THE WALTONS AN HEAR YUR. BEAUTIFUL VOICE YUR BOOKS MOVIES ECT WILL ALWAYS BE IN OUR HOMES I WATCH YUR SHOWS EVERY DAY N HAVE YUR BOOKS I WISH I COULD OF MET YU BUT GOD NEEDED YU HOME MORE YU HAVE CHANGED ALOT OF OUR LIVES AN TOUGH ON LIFE AN GOD WE THANK YU FOR THAT YUR A REAL GENTMEN N FATHER UNCLE SON ECT YU SHARED YUR LIFE IN THE BLUE RIDGE MT OF VA THANK YU I WILL BE GOING TO YUR HOME N TOWN IN JUNE LORD WILLING THE SECOND TIME N SEE ALL I CAN SEE BREATH THE FRESH AIR ECT N I.KNOW YU WILL BE WATCHING FROM THE TOP OF GRANPA MT DOWN YUR FAMILY NAME THE GIANNI AS WAS MY FAMILY NAME FROM SICKLY ITLIA TO SO WE COULD BE DISTANT COUSINS WISH WE COULD OF SPOKE TOGEATHER AN WENT THRU FAMILY TREE S GOOD NITE MR HAMNER AN TO YU PRECIOUS WIFE N SON AN FAMILY I’M SO SORRY OF YUR LOSS OF SUCH A LOVEING PERSON MAY GOD HEAL YUR BROKEN HEARTS

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