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Appalachian Funeral Services
Saturday February 6th, 2021

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Erica Suzanne Waldrop

Erica Suzanne Waldrop, 48, of Sylva, died Friday, January 29th.   

Erica was born August 22, 1972 in Sylva. She graduated from Smoky Mountain High School in 1990. Erica went on to graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1999 with a Major in Linguistics, and in 2005 earned a Masters in Communication Disorders from Western Carolina University. She passionately served families in Western North Carolina as a Speech Language Pathologist. She was admired not only for her tremendous skill, but her ability to help children and their families live happier lives. In so many ways, she helped people find a voice through the power of her own. Erica’s life was cut short, but her influence will live on through the voices she lifted. 

Erica was loved dearly by her family and countless friends, and she loved them all back fiercely.  She lit up every room she entered, and could ‘set it afire’ if needed. 

Erica believed that the things which separate us are nowhere as strong as the ties that hold us together. In the words of one of her favorite songs, which she would occasionally perform beautifully: “This wall divides us. We're on two different sides.

But this wall is not real, how can it be real?

It's only made of concrete and barbed wire.”

Erica is survived by her daughter, Ella, her Mom and Dad, Edna and Dave, her brother and sister-in-law, Brad and Kendall, her niece, Magnolia, and countless friends; All who will sorely miss her passion and compassion.  

A candlelight vigil was held at the fountain in downtown Sylva on Sunday, January 31 in Erica’s honor.  On many evenings over the last several months, she volunteered her time at the same location peacefully protesting for Unity, Justice and Equality in our community. It was a befitting gathering place to honor her legacy. Erica would want us all to continue the fight for those causes in her memory. 

Erica’s family invites her community of friends, local and afar, to join them Saturday, February 6 from 2:00-3:00 PM at Appalachian Funeral Services in Sylva to celebrate her life. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to HERE in Jackson County or Advocates for Animals of WNC. 

May a powerful, loving woman Rest In Peace. We love you, miss you, and will never forget you, Erica. 

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Erica Waldrop, please visit our flower store.


Oddly, worlds fail. We truly enjoyed working with Erica, but probably, more importantly, we loved playing and laughing with her. Erica never forgot what it is like to be a child. That is a rare and valuable commodity. Trust us; we know. The outpouring of feeling speaks for itself. Like so many, our hearts are broken. What can one do with something so unwelcome and frankly, unfair? Make sure to tell the truth. Work for what you believe to be right. Accept that you may get it wrong. Regardless, do it with empathy and all of your heart. Erica invited children and adults alike to join her in these every single day. We can honor her by trying to remember to do likewise. We suspect she would appreciate it. We are proud to consider ourselves part of the vast, extended Waldrop family. Much love to Ella, Edna, Papa Dave, and Brad, Kristin & Jonathan

Kristin Schrader & Jonathan Wertheim Feb 5 2021 12:00 AM

I was so sorry to hear of Erica's passing. She touch so many lives with her undeniable love and kindness, including mine. She was such a positive force in our community. She will be missed by so many. Sending love and prayers to her family and all who were blessed to know her.

Susan Dennison Feb 4 2021 12:00 AM

Erica was a kind soul. She will be missed by all who new her. She was a true sprit and friend. My prayers are with all who knew her. To her mom & dad and Brad & Ella you will all be in my prayers. Cindi Price Ball

Cindi Price Ball Feb 3 2021 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Erica Waldrop

Cindi Price Ball Feb 3 2021 12:00 AM

We are so very sorry for your loss. Erica was a gem. She accomplished more in 48 years than most do in 80. She was always smiling and fighting for others. She will be missed. Prayers for all of her family and friends in the days ahead.

Jody Rhinehart & Beverly Parris Gaddis Feb 2 2021 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Erica Waldrop

Jody Rhinehart & Beverly Parris Gaddis Feb 2 2021 12:00 AM

Words can't really describe how we felt as we (Jrme and I) heard about the tragic loss of Erica... As we read about her, we could portrayed her a committed person with a beaming personality that helped things move forward. Our thoughts are with you at this time of sorrow.

Gauthier Ivain Feb 2 2021 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Erica Waldrop

Gauthier Ivain Feb 2 2021 12:00 AM

Ella, Edna, Dave and Brad I am so sorry for your loss. Erica was a beautiful soul and touched many lives. I will miss seeing here and talking..she was never without words. Please know my prayers /thoughts are with all during this time. Much love, Kathy Green

Kathy Green Feb 2 2021 12:00 AM

Dear Ella, Edna, Dave, Brad & Family, we know that you are all heartbroken by Erica's sudden passing. We will always remember her as a Beautiful, Vibrant and Spirited Young Woman who brought Light and Joy to Everyone she Encountered!!! We especially enjoyed seeing Erica at musical events where she shared her love and passion for celebrating others!! We will hold her and all of you close in our hearts and prayers. Love, Pam & Keith Shuler

Pam & Keith Shuler Feb 2 2021 12:00 AM

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