Bridger Owen Ensley, 10, died Monday, March 28, 2022 at Mission Hospital in Asheville. Her brother, 15-year-old Noah Joseph Ensley, died Sunday, March 27, 2022, also at Mission Hospital.

These brothers were sons, grandsons, nephews, cousins ​​and friends who loved each other fiercely. They were permanent residents of Jackson County. They were both members of Allens Creek Baptist Church in Waynesville.

Bridger was a fourth grade student at Fairview Elementary School where he was an active member of the Bible Club and the Chess Club. Bridger’s kindergarten teacher, Amber Moss, was instrumental in Bridger’s love of learning. He wanted to know everything! Bridger was never at a loss for words and shared his thoughts with humor and wisdom beyond his years. He was an avid reader and loved math and science, art and music. He was a real Renaissance man! Bridger wanted to learn about all sports and played baseball, soccer as well as tennis. Bridger also enjoyed doing CrossFit on the weekends with her mom at Catamount CrossFit. He also enjoyed hunting with his father, grandfather and brother.

Bridger loved to travel and didn’t hesitate to immerse himself in any opportunity to ask questions whether it was the pilot of the plane or the New York firefighter. He enjoyed exploring the beach as well as camping with his family. Bridger was known as a leader who took friendship very seriously. Bridger referred to all of her 4th grade classmates as Ms. Green as her friends. If Bridger met you, you were his friend! His most special friend was Phoenix Martin of Whittier. Other special friends include Eli and Elizabeth Crawford and Charlie Gardner.

Noah and Bridger are the sons of Russell and Rebecca Dills Ensley of Sylva. They are also survived by their grandparents, Tom and Lois Ensley of Sylva, Kathy Greene Dills of Sylva and Randall M Dills of Otto. Also survived are their aunts and uncles, Tom and Regina Ensley of Shelby; Mike and Arlecie Hoxit of Sylva; Jim and Jan Revis of Sylva; and Randy and Nadine Dills of Sylva; as well as many cousins.

A memorial service was held at Allens Creek Baptist Church, 549 Allens Creek Road, Waynesville on Tuesday, April 5 for family and friends of the church. A community visit will be held Thursday, April 21 at Fairview Elementary School Auditorium from 6-8 p.m. The Celebration of Life Service will be held Friday, April 22 at Smoky Mountain High School Auditorium at 6 p.m. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Noah and Bridger Ensley Memorial Scholarship Fund. Noah Ensley was a proud officer and member of the SMHS FFA program and a member of their Hunter Security Team. He was passionate about welding, hunting, fishing and farming. Bridger Ensley loved to learn and loved to read. These funds will be used to support FFA programs at Smoky Mountain High School as well as support the development of academic opportunities for students at Fairview School. This account is opened at First Citizens Bank and donations can be made at any First Citizens branch. (609 West Main Street, Sylva, NC 28779)