Friday, August 29

WC grad lost while doing what he loved

Westminster Community Remembers Isaac

Thursday, August 28, 2008/

NEW WILMINGTON, Lawrence County-- Faculty, staff and Westminster College alumni are remembering 2004 graduate Isaac Ludwig after he died this week in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. Ludwig went missing on a river trip on Tuesday. The 27-year old experienced whitewater guide disappeared while on a kayak trek on the Little Pigeon River. Another group of kayakers discovered his body the next morning. Park officials say Ludwig, who worked in the area with a rafting company, was kayaking with friends when they couldn't find him. His companions pulled out of the river when the water became too rough. Ludwig had a degree in public relations while also studying broadcasting and political science and loved the outdoors and kayaking.

His friends continue to leave comforting messages and remembrances on his Facebook page.

"I will miss seeing pictures of your adventures and your travels," Westminster College PR instructor Dee Natale wrote. "It doesn't seem fair that someone with so much life leaves us all behind."

Ludwig worked for a paddle sports company called Rafting in the Smokies. His posts on his Facebook pages on Tuesday indicated he had returned to Tennessee after a river trip in Western Pennsylvania. The experienced kayaker's final Facebook entry has a timestamp of 11:43 Tuesday morning. It was a simple update status statement.

"Isaac Ludwig is back in the Smokies...with rain."

That rain may have contributed to the river conditions that day. On Wednesday morning some friends left what appear to be concerned messages. One came from friend Adam Bixby.

"Man, Isaac, send me a note when you get this please."

Then the bad news spread as people began posting their reaction as they learned that Ludwig's body had been found in the river. Steady streams of remembrances from friends continue to post on his Facebook wall.

Westminster alumnus Craig Carlin graduated with Ludwig. He has kept in touch with Ludwig via Facebook and reached out online to react to the tragic news.

"I remember watching from shore as Isaac kayaked down the creek at college and I thought to myself, "This guy is crazy" and later became good friends with him inside and outside of class," Carlin posted. "Isaac, if you had to go early, at least it was doing what you truly loved to do. We'll all miss ya, buddy."

Ludwig's whitewater adventures experiences took him to rivers across North and South America.

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