Beloved Gatlinburg reverend passed away in fires

Reverend Ed Taylor, a fixture in the Gatlinburg community who presided over more than 70,000 weddings, is presumed dead after being missing for three days. Dec. 1, 2016.

SEVIER COUNTY - UPDATE: Gatlinburg Police have notified family members that Rev. Dr. Ed Taylor, 85, died in the Sevier Co. fires. 

Rev. Taylor's son Eddie says officials believe Rev. Taylor died from smoke inhalation. 

Rev. Taylor pioneered the wedding industry in Gatlinburg starting in 1978 and presided over 70,000 weddings there. 

 

PREVIOUS: A man who has presided over 70,000 weddings in Gatlinburg is missing after the fire destroyed his home, according to his family.

Rev. Dr. Ed Taylor, 85, pioneered the wedding industry in Gatlinburg starting in 1978. 

RELATED: People missing after wildfires

On Monday evening between 8 and 9 p.m., he told a niece he was at home and was told he did not need to evacuate.

That was the last time anyone heard from him.

In the days that followed, his dog, BeBe, showed up at a vet's office in Pigeon Forge, then was taken back to the Rocky Top Sports Complex shelter in Gatlinburg. The family has no idea how the dog made it out, and Taylor did not.

"He would never have gone anywhere without that dog. It was like his kid," his son Eddie Taylor told 10News.

The family has seen pictures of Rev. Taylor's burned home and vehicle, and officers with the police department confirmed that.

They know that if was alive, he would have reached out to someone. They fear he is gone.

"We knew the worst when we heard the dog was found alive," his son said. The family wants to know. They want closure.

Eddie Taylor said his son has done so much for the area and for all of those couples he's married. He didn't just marry them, Eddie said. He also encouraged them to call him if they had any troubles in their marriage so he could help.

"I want them to be celebrating his life and the way he lived his life and all the good and funny things he ever did," said Eddie Taylor.

More stories:

Latest information about the fires and recovery

How to help fire victims

People searching for loved ones after fires

List: What's damaged, destroyed, or intact

 

(© 2016 WBIR)


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