Cover photo for Thomas "Ed" Edward Damer's Obituary
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1937 Ed Damer 2024

Thomas "Ed" Edward Damer

August 16, 1937 — March 21, 2024

Glade Spring, VA

T. Edward Damer, Professor of Philosophy at Emory and Henry College for 45 years, passed away peacefully on March 21, 2024, after a long, courageous battle with esophageal cancer. Born in Joplin, Missouri in 1937, Ed graduated magna cum laude from William Jewell College in 1959, earned an MDiv from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1963 and a PhD from Boston University in 1970. Ed held many leadership positions at Emory and Henry including Chair of the Division of Visual and Performing Arts, during which time he shepherded the development and construction of the McGlothlin Center for the Arts. He was a frequent speaker at conferences on critical thinking and was the author of the authoritative textbook on building fallacy-free arguments, “Attacking Faulty Reasoning.” Winner of several teaching awards, Damer was named Professor of the Year for the state of Virginia in 1988. The Board of Trustees at Emory and Henry honored him in 2009 with the DeFriece Medal for contributions to society. 

Active in civic life, Damer was a member of the Abingdon Rotary Club for more than 50 years and served on the board of the Lincoln Theatre in Marion and the Johnston Memorial Hospital Foundation Board. An accomplished performer and musician, Ed was the long-time director of the Rotary Frolics, the club’s annual variety show and charity event. He was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary for outstanding community service. More recently, Damer was a co-host of the weekly talk show, “Do the Right Thing” on the NPR affiliate WEHC-FM.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy Jean Bradford; four children: Diana Elaine Damer (husband Dan Malinowski), Cynthia Kay Damer (husband Scott Daigle), John Edward Damer (wife Laura Salas Damer,) and Taylor Bradford-Damer Stone; six grandchildren: Sela Damer-Daigle, Roman Damer-Daigle, Jolie Damer-Daigle, Dylan Damer-Malinowski Canyon, Sofia Salas Damer and Natalie Salas Damer; and sister-in-law, Lynn Bradford. 

In lieu of flowers, friends and family may make a contribution to the T. Edward Damer Rotary Scholarship at Emory & Henry College, P.O. Box 947, Emory, VA 24327. A Celebration of Ed’s life will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, May 18, 2024, at the McGlothlin Center for the Arts at Emory & Henry College Campus.   

The family of Thomas “Ed” Edward Damer is being cared for by Farris Funeral Service and Crematory - Main Street Location, 427 E. Main Street, Abingdon, VA 276-623-2700.


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