View Full Version : R.I.P. Annie and the Salesman.

06-14-2005, 10:48
This is so incredibly tragic.... Annie and Larry not only hiked the AT but, the PCT, JMT, CT and much of the CDT. I don't think I've ever met a kinder, sweeter couple.

Hit-and-run kills popular cyclist

Larry McDuff dies in Fairhope nearly two years after
his wife also killed while riding bike

Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Staff Reporter

A hit-and-run driver killed bicyclist and
environmental enthusiast Larry McDuff, 65, as he was
riding in Fairhope on Monday, a little more than two
years after the victim's wife, Ann, was fatally struck
by a motorist while biking.

Larry McDuff was headed south on the western shoulder
of Greeno Road, about 200 yards south of Volanta
Avenue in Fairhope around 8:40 a.m., when he was hit
by a black Jeep Cherokee, according to Fairhope Police
Cpl. Craig Sawyer.

Investigators said they found a slightly damaged 1991
Cherokee parked in a wooded area near Young Street and
Kirkman Lane around 3 p.m. After matching the vehicle
to materials recovered from the crash site, police
said they believe the driver of that SUV struck

About four hours later, the owner of the Jeep came to
Fairhope Police Headquarters with her 17-year-old son
and investigators interviewed him about the collision,
police Cpl. Craig Sawyer said in a news release.

After being questioned, the teenager was released to
his mother's custody "in accordance with established
juvenile procedures" pending a formal charge of felony
leaving the scene of an accident, the release said.

The name of the youth, a Spanish Fort resident, was
withheld because of his juvenile status, Sawyer said.
The Baldwin County District Attorney's Office will
evaluate the case to determine whether he will be
prosecuted as a juvenile or adult, and whether there
will be additional charges, he said.

Investigators believe that when McDuff was hit he was
at least two feet from the closest traffic lane on
Greeno, which is also known as U.S. 98.

Crews had been working on a pedestrian and bicycle
trail on the side of the busy highway, but Sawyer said
McDuff had been riding several feet from the
construction site.

McDuff was wearing a long-sleeve, lime-green
reflective shirt and a helmet when he was clipped by
the vehicle, according to authorities. It was
initially unclear whether McDuff was knocked from his
bicycle or run over, Sawyer said.

A longtime nature lover, gospel musician and
vegetarian, and now-retired salesman, Larry McDuff's
cycling procedures changed dramatically when Ann
McDuff was killed in 2003 while riding on Baldwin
County 27 (now Alabama 181), friends and relatives
said Monday.

He avoided two-lane roads like the rural thoroughfare
on which his wife died. He bought the reflective shirt
that he wore whenever he rode, no matter the hour.

McDuff promoted bicycle safety and awareness
throughout Baldwin County. But he never stopped

"He didn't let fear rule his life," his daughter,
Margaret Lewis of Atlanta, said in a telephone

Bicycle enthusiast Jim Kellen said he rides regularly
with a group in Mobile.

He cautioned street bikers to travel with others
because a crowd of bicyclists is more visible than a
solo rider and others in the group can warn fellow
riders of the surroundings. But Kellen also urged
motorists to be aware of bicyclists on the road.

After Ann was killed, McDuff and his family said they
forgave the driver, who was not charged. Lewis said
she felt the same about her father's death.

"I know that this accident was a hit and run, but I
feel the same way," Lewis said of Monday's incident.
"My dad would want immediate forgiveness for whoever
was involved."

Mark Johnson regularly played with McDuff in a
bluegrass gospel band and knew him for about 25 years.

"He enjoyed playing that music, and he always made a
joyful noise," Johnson said.

For the majority of his 30-year career, McDuff worked
as a salesman in Mobile for IBM, according to his
daughter. Upon retirement, he took on a less busy

On Monday, McDuff was headed about eight miles to the
Bee Natural Farm just south of Fairhope, where he
worked in exchange for food, according to Phil
Strniste, the farm's owner.

Among many tasks, he would milk goats, feed chickens
and pull weeds, Strniste said. For that, he'd receive
5 pounds of tomatoes, some squash, cucumbers, corn,
bell peppers, apples and lettuce.

Strniste drove McDuff to the hospital the day his wife
was killed. He remembered McDuff saying she "lived a
happy life."

"Outside of Larry missing his wife, which he did
dearly, I think he was the same way," Strniste said.

The couple met at a church camp when Ann was 16 and
Larry was 20. The two fell in love and were married
for 38 years. Throughout their marriage, the couple
grew closer to each other and to nature, Lewis said.

They hiked the Appalachian Trail, they biked
throughout Europe and lived a "minimalists'"

"I know how very much connected my dad was to my mom,
even after her death," Lewis said. "He was still
married to her in every sense of the word."

McDuff's active spirit enraptured many in the
community where he lived. Christina Speck, a yoga
instructor in Fairhope, taught the McDuffs for several

"He was one of the most wonderful people you can
imagine," Speck said. "Such an inspiration to all of
us how he continued living -- even after Ann died. He
just didn't let life get him down, and always kept up
her memory."

Larry McDuff is survived by his children, Wilson
McDuff of Fairhope; Mallory McDuff of Asheville, N.C.;
Lawrence McDuff of Birmingham; and Lewis of Atlanta;
and seven grandchildren.

A funeral is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Thursday at St.
Paul's Episcopal Church in Daphne. Visitation was
planned for 1:30 p.m. at the church.

© 2005 The Mobile Register
© 2005 al.com All Rights Reserved.

TJ aka Teej
06-14-2005, 11:31
Thank you for sharing this Sly. Annie and the Salesman are together again, just hiking a Higher trail now.

edit: www.ALDHA.org (http://www.ALDHA.org) has a great photo of them on the homepage.

06-14-2005, 11:56
More articles about or by Larry and Annie can also be found on the ALDHA site...

A Tribute to Ann McDuff (http://www.aldha.org/annie03.htm)

What Exactly is Springer Fever? (http://www.aldha.org/mcduff.htm)

Annie and the Salesmanís PCT Hike (http://www.aldha.org/pct99.htm)

06-14-2005, 19:20
I'm almost speechless. They were both great people. I remember when Annie was killed. I actually met them on the trail one year. They saw my AT and PCT pacthes and were in the middle of a snack. I went cruising through, they caught up to me in order to hike a little and make introductions. Evidently they had recognized me from the years I had coordinated ALDHA gatherings. I definatley cherished the few hours I had hiking with them. We met all agian before Annie's passing and it was like seeing long lost friends. This is very sad, I hope their spirits are together again. I will think of them both on my hike.

Lone Wolf
06-14-2005, 19:55
I always ride a bicycle against traffic. Not with it.

06-14-2005, 21:19
DebW and I met him and his buddy on Moose Mtn. All four of us where heading to Hanover/Gathering.

It was late in the evenning and they were out of water so we just spoke for a second and they continued on up the mtn. We didn't know at the time who he was. We later saw him at the Gathering speaking on stage about his wife.

06-14-2005, 22:36
that is so tragic,so sad:cool: neo

06-15-2005, 22:57

06-15-2005, 22:58
It's obviously a difficult decision to make, but if I were the prosecuter I'd respect the wishes of the family...

Spanish Fort 17-year-old appears in court today, could
be treated as an adult

Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Staff Reporter

BAY MINETTE -- A teenage motorist is slated to appear
in court today, accused of leaving the scene of a
crash that killed outdoors enthusiast and musician
Larry McDuff, who was struck while on his bicycle
Monday in Fairhope.

The incident occurred roughly two years after McDuff's
wife, Ann McDuff, was killed while riding her bicycle
less than five miles away.

The unidentified Spanish Fort 17-year-old was cited in
a juvenile petition late Monday night with felony
leaving the scene of an accident, according to
Fairhope police Chief Chris Browning.

The teen was set to appear in Baldwin County Juvenile
Court at 1 p.m. today in a closed hearing.

The charge could be upgraded to criminally negligent
homicide, manslaughter or even murder, according to
Baldwin County Assistant District Attorney Matt Green.

The teen would automatically be treated as an adult if
he were charged with a felony connected to a death,
according to state law. He could, however, face a
juvenile misdemeanor charge of criminally negligent

The youth was driving south on Greeno Road, which is
also U.S. 98, near Volanta Avenue when the front right
side of the sport utility vehicle he was driving
slammed into Larry McDuff, 64, the chief said.

The teen was in his mother's black 1991 Jeep Cherokee
when the 8:40 a.m. crash occurred, he said.

The biker was knocked off his Cannondale bicycle and
into the SUV's windshield, according to Browning.

As investigators analyzed the damaged vehicle at an
FBI lab in Mobile on Tuesday afternoon, the teen
remained in police custody and prosecutors were still
weighing evidence to decide whether to elevate the
charges, Browning and Green said.

McDuff's daughter, Margaret Lewis of Atlanta, told a
Mobile Register reporter that she forgave the driver
and would ask the district attorney's office not to
prosecute the case. When Ann McDuff was killed near
Baldwin County 27 (now Alabama 181) and Baldwin County
34 in 2003, the McDuffs urged prosecutors not to
charge the motorist, she said. No charges were ever
filed, according to court records and prosecutors.

"My parents' deaths speak more than any prosecution
can speak," Lewis said. "Nothing that happens to him
is going to bring back my dad."

Prosecutors would continue to pursue charges in Larry
McDuff's death, but may have difficulty without the
family's consent, Green acknowledged.

"It will have some bearing on the case, there's no
doubt," Green said. But he added that prosecutors were
also obligated to protect future victims from reckless

The teen worked in Fairhope, Browning said, but
investigators were still trying to determine where he
went after the crash. He was believed to have been
alone in the vehicle, but did not return straight
home, according to the chief.

Several hours after the crash, the youth walked into
the Fairhope police station with his mother and
admitted to striking McDuff, police said.

Both Ann and Larry McDuff had been longtime
bicyclists. After his wife's death, Larry McDuff
continued to promote biking as a way to help preserve
the environment.

In 2004, Baldwin County honored Larry McDuff with an
Environmental Responsibility Award. He also loved
playing bluegrass and gospel music, friends and
relatives said.

"Mr. McDuff is the epitome of an environmental
leader," the award stated. "This avid bicyclist,
kayaker and hiker has been a promoter of good
stewardship both by his words and actions."

Before Monday's crash, Baldwin County commissioners
had been expected to name a stretch of a pedestrian
and bicycle trail in honor of Ann McDuff, according to
Cara L. Stallman of the county's Planning and Zoning

That strip of the trail in Montrose along Scenic 98
runs less than two miles from the spot where Larry
McDuff was killed. The commission had not yet voted to
name the spot, and, given Larry McDuff's death, it
could choose to honor the husband and wife together,
Stallman said.

© 2005 The Mobile Register
© 2005 al.com All Rights Reserved.

Lone Wolf
06-16-2005, 00:01
Scofflaw not. Just a self preservationist. Ride against traffic. You'll live.

TJ aka Teej
06-16-2005, 08:58
"Mr. McDuff is the epitome of an environmental
leader," the award stated. "This avid bicyclist,
kayaker and hiker has been a promoter of good
stewardship both by his words and actions."


Miss Janet
06-16-2005, 14:25
I just heard about this tragedy! My heart goes out to Annie and the Salesmans family and to all of their hiking family as well. What are the chances of this happening to two such wonderful people!

06-17-2005, 20:01
To get to this article they ask for some survey information.


06-17-2005, 21:57
To get to this article they ask for some survey information.


Good article, thanks. They truly were an amazing couple.

06-18-2005, 18:41
I am floored. I have to sign off for now.

06-18-2005, 19:28
I first met the two of them at Fontana Dam. The Salesman retired from IBM as a salesman and my first job when I left the USAF was as an IBM salesman. The Salesman was 4 years older than I and I hiked with them pretty much through the Smokies. We had alot in common and the three of us enjoyed each others company, I thought the world of them except for the fact they had a mission to convert the entire trail to ultra lite and I love carrying my forge, anvil, and hammer and knocking off a few horseshoes after a hard day of hiking. They went on to Damascus that year and then got off the trail after Trail Days so we didn't meet again. I am shocked and saddened by the news. A lot of hikers that were on the trail in 2000 have gone on to hike the great trail in the sky. Annie, The Salesman, Just Plain Dave and Crash 60. I hope they are together, their days are clear, sunny and cool, there is water in every stream and there is a slight downhill grade on a smooth trail.

06-19-2005, 03:20
Okay, I'm back. This is a tragedy, and I'm starting to get used to that in my life, I guess. I met Annie and the Salesman way down South in 2000, and though I did not get a chance to know them as well as I would have liked, it's still a bit of a blow.

But they are , I hope, on a path together now, a better one than those offered to us. And that's that.