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Ninnekah’s ‘Popsicle Man’ passes away at 79

NINNEKAH, Okla. – An Oklahoma community is saying goodbye to a longtime resident who has left an indelible mark on those he met.

In 2016, KFOR introduced you to Ed Wright, who is better known as Ninnekah’s ‘Popsicle Man.’

For more than a decade, Wright would drive his motorized scooter through town and hand out popsicles to children.

“This kid wanted me to come to their house. Another kid wanted me to come to their house,” says Wright. “So I just started riding around, honking my horn, and asking their parents if they could have a popsicle.”

Even though Wright was legally blind and on oxygen, he would continue to make the rounds in every season to bring smiles to children’s faces.

"It's just something to do," Wright said. "It kills time. It gets boring sitting here. I have this talking book I listen to. That and riding around on that scooter is about the only occupation I've got."

People would set their clocks to when Wright would drive by their neighborhood.

"Every day at 4 o'clock," says one local mom. "The kids are waiting for The Popsicle Man."

Sadly, family members say Wright won't be making the rounds any longer in Ninnekah. Wright passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at his home, but family members say they will honor his memory with one last popsicle handout.

"His world revolved around his family. He has always had a passion for kids which is what started his popsicle route. After he got his scooter, he started going around taking his grandkids popsicles, which turned into a two mile, 20 to 40 popsicle a day route. That route was his priority for many years; come 3;30, he was out the door, and everything else was forgotten until he was back in his recliner at 5:00 o'clock. He lived for that route and he has missed the kids terribly since he hasn't been able to get out," his memorial wrote. 

Family members tell News 4 that they found dozens of popsicles still in his freezer, so they will be giving them out during his memorial service. The community is invited to come out to the First Baptist Church in Ninnekah on Friday, Nov. 30 at 3:30 p.m.