"The coal industry had never encountered anyone as ready for war was Larry Gibson," DePaulo said.
Gibson left the job of defending his birthplace to others, DePaulo said.
"We all have to ask that question," he said. "Will we become like Larry, a keeper?"
Gibson was influential in making mountaintop removal mining a priority issue for the Sierra Club, said Mary Anne Hitt, director of the agency's Beyond Coal Campaign. Gibson brought more people into the movement against mountaintop removal than anyone Hitt knew, she said.
Hitt said she always expected Gibson to be around when "the battle" against strip mining was won. Gibson will be there in spirit when that battle is won, she said.
"I can think of no greater tribute to Larry Gibson, so I will see you all at the victory party," Hitt said.
Gibson was buried on Kayford Mountain.
The coal industry can't take him off the mountain now, Larry Gibson Jr. said. The younger Gibson encouraged people to continue the fight against strip mining.
"Keep fighting," Gibson said. "Don't lay down. Don't sit down and don't get pushed around."
Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.