Archive for the ‘Obituaries’ category

Obit – Kenneth Bronson

October 26, 2010

Kenneth C. Bronson, 77, who spent 39 years with Stauffer Communications Inc. and was a sought-after newspaper consultant for decades, died Monday (Oct. 25, 2010) in Topeka.

Services are set for 10 a.m. Friday (Oct. 29, 2010) at First Christian Church, 1880 S.W. Gage Blvd., in Topeka. The family will greet visitors at 9 a.m. at the church prior to the service. Burial will be in Mt. Hope Cemetery. Penwell-Gabel Mid-Town Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Cards may be sent to Edith Bronson in care of the funeral home: Penwell-Gabel, 1321 S.W. 10th, Topeka, KS 66604. Memorials are suggested to the Kansas Newspaper Foundation, 5423 S.W. 7th, Topeka, KS 66606; the First Christian Church, 1880 S.W. Gage Blvd., Topeka, KS 66604; or the Alzheimer’s Association, all in care of the funeral home.

Bronson was born April 15, 1933 and grew up in Kensington in north-central Kansas.

Bronson was a frequent presenter at Missouri Press state and district meetings in recent years.

He began his career in Topeka at the State Journal and Daily Capital, where he started as a sports writer in 1952 and later became state editor and news editor.

After his marriage to Edith MacArthur in 1959, the Bronsons purchased a weekly newspaper in Pierce City, Mo., and built it into an award-winner in one year.

He rejoined Stauffer in 1962 as editor of the Independence (Mo.) Examiner. Stauffer Communications transferred Bronson to Pittsburg in 1966 where he became editor and publisher of the Pittsburg Headlight and the Pittsburg Sun. He merged the two newspapers in the fall of 1966 as The Headlight-Sun as a seven-day newspaper and later converted it to a morning newspaper, the Morning Sun.

At Pittsburg, he installed the first small newspaper newsroom computer system west of the Mississippi, was a pioneer in computerizing the business operation, built a new building and installed a new Goss Urbanite press in 1973.

Oscar Stauffer, founder of Stauffer Publications, later to become known as Stauffer Communications, asked Bronson in 1976 to oversee the Stauffer newspapers as vice president. Bronson moved to Topeka in 1977 and later was given the title of senior vice president. He was responsible for a division that grew from 12 newspapers to 22 newspaper plants, producing more than 30 newspaper and shopper products.

Bronson started Stauffer Media Systems in 1976 after designing and implementing business computers at Pittsburg. He built the company into a leading vendor of newspaper software products, including the Stauffer Gold Electronic Library and Stauffer Audiotext Systems. The company also operated four retail computer stores and marketed newsroom and business systems to newspapers.

When Stauffer Communications was preparing to sell the company in 1993, Bronson moved to Indiana to work for an old friend, John Nixon, who had called and asked him to be chief operating officer for Nixon Newspapers. He retired from that position on June 30, 1997, and up until a few years ago had been traveling around the nation sharing his expertise with newspapers of all sizes and with newspaper associations.

Bronson was president of KPA in 1975-76 and of the Inland Press Association in 1992. He also had been president of the Kansas-Missouri Associated Press editors and publishers, chairman of the Inland Group Executives Seminar, a director of the Mid-America Press Institute in St. Louis and a trustee of the William Allen White Foundation. After he joined Nixon, he became a director of the PAGE national newspaper cooperative.

He presented more than 200 seminars and workshops for state and regional newspaper associations, spoke at the American Newspaper Publishers Association’s national conventions, at the National Newspaper Association national convention multiple times, at National Newspaper Foundation seminars and at many Inland Press Association and state press association conventions. He also had been a speaker at judicial conferences, both on the state and national level.

Bronson has served on the board of directors of the American Judicature Society and as a director of the Christian Board of Publications. He twice has been president of local Rotary clubs and is a Paul Harris Rotary Fellow. He was president of two chambers of commerce and was on the board of the Kansas State Chamber of Commerce. He has been on the boards of a community college, two hospitals, a public library, United Way, a Boys Club, Junior Achievement and his church where he is an elder on the local level and an officer on the regional level. During his 19-year stint as one of two nonlawyers on the Kansas Commission for Judicial Qualifications, the Supreme Court of Kansas awarded him its first-ever Kansas Justice Award in 1989 “for distinguished contributions to the improvement of justice in Kansas.” He was the first nonlawyer and nonjudge ever to chair the commission and spoke at many state and national judicial meetings.

A native of Kensington, a small farming community in north-central Kansas, Bronson attended the University of Kansas and graduated from Washburn University in Topeka after a tour of duty in the U.S. Navy. He served on the USS Boxer aircraft carrier, where he published a weekly newspaper and was editor and publisher of a history book of the ship. The latter effort involved working with a Japanese printing company and earned him a commendation from the ship’s captain. Bronson was elected to the Kensington High School Hall of Fame in 1971.

He served as interim executive director of the Kansas Press Association twice (in 2000 and 2003) and was director of the Kansas Newspaper Foundation from 2005 to 2007.

He was elected to the Kansas Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2002.

He is survived by his wife, Edith, three children, Brian, Laura and Linda, and two grandchildren.

The Bronsons also traveled extensively on Inland Press Study Missions, which have involved meeting with government officials, press associations and newspaper editors. Their trips have included: Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, England, France, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Kenya, Monaco, Norway, Peru, Romania, San Marino, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Venezuela, Yugoslavia and Zimbabwe.


Obit – Jay Graf

June 1, 2010

Julius J. “Jay” Graf, former publisher of the Hermann Advertiser-Courier and president of the Missouri Press Association in 1966, died Friday afternoon, May 28.

His daughter, Karen Gillig, said her father, age 94, had been ill for some time and had been unresponsive for two days.  He just quit breathing, so it was very peaceful, she said.

Jay and his late wife, Eunice, were long-time members of the press association and attended district press meetings throughout the state.  They were avid golfers.  Jay served as MPA president during the association’s centennial year.

Here is the funeral notice from the Post-Dispatch:

Julius J. “Jay” Graf

Graf, Julius J. Jay of Hermann, MO, died May 28, 2010 at the age of 94. Survivors include two daughters, Karen Gillig of Raytown, MO and Donna Carey and husband Gerald of Blue Springs, MO; six grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren. Services: Visitation will be held Monday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the TOEDTMANN & GROSSE Funeral Home in Hermann, MO where services will be held 11:00 a.m. Tuesday.

Obit: Joshua Aaron Fitzwater

October 26, 2009

Joshua Aaron Fitzwater was born June 12, 1982, to Ronald and Caroline Fitzwater, in Rolla, Missouri. He was a beloved husband, brother and son who went home to be with the Lord on October 10, 2009.
Joshua’s life was a life of service. Joshua was a very active youth in the Assemblies of God Royal Rangers program, attaining the Gold Medal of Achievement by age sixteen at the Bolivar First Assembly of God, in Bolivar, Missouri. His service in Royal Rangers was a direct result of his personal relationship in Jesus Christ. He enlisted in the Army Reserves his senior year in high school, later completing his basic and advanced training after graduation. While enrolled in college, Joshua’s reserve unit, the 459th Transportaion Unit, was called to active duty for deployment to Iraq in January, 2003, to serve for 19 months.
While on leave from Iraq, Joshua met his future bride Melissa Rae Cunningham of Rogersville, Mo. After returning from service, Joshua and Melissa were married on May 19, 2007.
He completed his education, graduating from Missouri State University in May, 2009. Joshua was diagnosed with cancer in September 2006. This, his bravest battle in life, eventually took its toll. Joshua fought hard against this enemy, even until the last day. Joshua is survived by his wife, Melissa of Springfield, Mo.; parents, Ronald and Caroline of Pearland, Texas; sister and her husband, Carrie and Jason Williamson; and niece, Jayna of Richmond, Texas; and brother Luke of Gastonia, N.C. Joshua is also survived by two grandmothers, Jewel Fitzwater of Greenville, Ohio, and Iona Cloyd of Wellington, Ohio; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. Joshua will also be missed by his extended family, Ronald and Raelean Cunningham, Travis and Heather Bass; niece Rachel; and nephew, Braden, all of Rogersville, Mo.; and many friends.
The funeral and visitation will be in Greenlawn Funeral Home East, 3540 East Seminole, Springfield, Missouri. Visitation will be Wednesday, October 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. The funeral will be Thursday, at 11:30 a.m., with interment in Missouri Veterans Cemetery, in Springfield, Missouri.
In lieu of flowers, a person may donate to the Joshua A. Fitzwater scholarship fund. Send donations in his honor and name to Greenlawn Funeral Home.

Obit – June Blanton

September 22, 2009

Graveside services for June Blanton, 84, of Paris, Missouri, formerly of Shelbina, will be held  this morning, September 23, 2009, at 11:00 a.m. at the Shelbina Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. at Greening-Eagan-Hayes Funeral Home in Shelbina. Ken Harland will officiate
with burial at the cemetery.
Mrs. Blanton died Monday, September 21, 2009 at approximately 8:00 a.m. at the University of Missouri Hospital in Columbia., Missouri.
She was born June 9, 1925, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, the daughter of Hugh H. Maxey and Louise F. Faires Maxey. On September 25, 1964, she was united in marriage to Carter Blanton. He preceded her in death on October 4, 1996.
June is survived by three step-children: Becky Vanlandingham and husband Linden of Paris, MO, Jackie Maddox and husband Rob of Houston, TX, and Robb Roy Blanton of Fort Myers, FL; four step-grandchildren, and several step-great-grandchildren.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by one sister, Calvinell Davis.
June was a Methodist by faith. She was well-read and kept current on the daily news. She especially enjoyed spending time with her dog, Choo Choo.
June was co-owner with her husband of The Shelbina Democrat, Monroe County Appeal, Madison Times and Monroe City News.
Memorials may be made to the Shelbina American Legion Building Fund.

Obit – Angus McDougall

August 24, 2009

Angus W. “Mac” McDougall a legendary force in photojournalism, editing and education died in Columbia, Mo., Thursday, August 20, 2009. He was 92.

Mac set standards of excellence in photography, photo editing and photojournalism education. As a Milwaukee Journal photographer, he was an innovator in the use of high-speed strobe technology and in using multiple pictures to tell stories. He tested his theories of visual communication and formed many of his principles of picture editing as associate editor of International Harvester World, a Chicago-based corporate magazine. He co-authored the definitive picture-editing book, “Visual Impact in Print,” and “Picture Editing and Layout.” His other book, “A Photo Journal,” is a rich chronicle of his newspaper photography from the 1940s and 50s. His most recent book, “Pacesetters in Journalism”, was published just last year, a retirement project shared with former student John Dengler. As professor McDougall taught hundreds of students during his ten years as head of the Missouri School of Journalism Photojournalism Sequence and director of the Pictures of the Year competition. He pressed his photo students to become adept in all aspects of journalism, especially visual reporting, writing, design and management so they would have the credibility to cause change in newsroom thinking. Many of his students moved into leadership roles in the nation’s metropolitan newspapers. Mac’s emphasis on meaningful photography in lock step with supportive words and presented with impact is his legacy.

Born in Milwaukee, Wi., to Archibald and Meta McDougall, he grew up in Waukesha, Wi.,  where he attended high school and then Carroll College and married his high school sweetheart, Betty.  With a Master’s in English, he taught high school for two years before pursuing his dream to work as a photographer. After a year’s course in New York he showed his portfolio to Stan Kalish at the Milwaukee Journal, looking for a critique. He was hired on the spot. The Journal was a center of synergy between technology and creating a new visual content for newspapers. Mac’s “experiments” with the just-invented electronic strobes were published in the newspaper and many national photography magazines.

He was named Magazine Photographer of the Year in 1955 in the Pictures of the Year (POY) competition and left the Journal to join International Harvester in Chicago as a photographer and photo editor. He brought a strong editorial approach to the corporate environment. With his contemporary from IH, Gerald Hurley wrote Visual Impact in Print, which after more than 30 years is still considered a primary reference work for picture editing and use. He was named Picture Editor of the Year in the 1965 Pictures of the Year competition. He served on the prestigious faculty of the Missouri Photo Workshop for at least 20 workshops, guiding students in the principals of documentary photography applied to everyday life in small Missouri towns.

When Clifton Edom retired from the teaching photojournalism at the University of Missouri, he handed the reins of the program to Mac. From 1972 to 1982 Mac preached a comprehensive approach to his students, believing that they had to be adept at all aspects of journalism: visual reporting, writing, design and management. He encouraged his best students to go to small newspapers where they could immediately exert tremendous influence. When the work of these young picture editors was rewarded in contest after contest, they “moved up” and were hired into the nation’s metropolitan newspapers. Former student and current faculty member Rita Reed says of Mac, “He possessed a great passion for photojournalism and commitment to excellence that when combined with his ability and eagerness to connect deeply with his students made learning infectious and exciting. He is the greatest evangelist for photojournalism I have ever met.”

He was professor emeritus from the University of Missouri and received numerous accolades during his career, including, the National Press Photographers Association’s Joseph A. Sprague Memorial Award and the Robert F. Garland Educator Award, the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism and was inducted into the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame.

He is survived by his daughter Bonnie and her husband John Latimer of Elgin, Ill., and son Angus Craig McDougall and his wife, Kathleen, of Louisville, Ky., four grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Another daughter, Lorna, died earlier. A private service was held earlier. His wife and life partner of 70 years, Betty, died in February of this year.

In 2008 Mac and Betty made substantial gift to the Missouri School of Journalism, which established The Angus and Betty McDougall Center for Photojournalism Studies. Their desire was to preserve the work of photojournalists for research and educational use.

The family requests that memorials be made to the McDougall Center at the Missouri School of Journalism. Checks may be made payable to the McDougall Center, School of Journalism, 103 Neff Hall, Columbia, Mo., 65211. For other methods of contributing, contacting the Office of Development 573-882-0334.

Obit – Robert Homer Smith

August 5, 2009

Robert Homer Smith, 70, of Monroe City died in his home on Monday, Aug. 3, 2009. He and his wife, Hazel, were the former owners of The Media, the Edina Sentinel, The LaBelle Star, Star Printing in Kahoka and former partners in A&S Printing in Monroe City. He was presently serving as economic development coordinator for the city of Wayland.

He was born Nov. 8, 1938 in Clinton, Iowa to Homer Henry and Effie Geneva Baker Smith. He was a 1957 graduate of Dallas Center High School, Dallas Center, Iowa; a 1959 graduate of Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Mo., and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy.

He was employed by the state of Iowa for a number of years before moving to Kahoka. He was united in marriage to Hazel Bledsoe on April 26, 1980 in Kahoka.

Survivors include his wife, Hazel; a son, Theron Smith and wife, Shonda of Adel, Iowa; four stepdaughters, Deborah Gardner and husband, Dan, of Falls Church, Va., Barbara Rodenhiser and husband, Roy, of Miriam, Idaho, Kathy Primm and husband, Bruce, of Granby, Conn., and Brenda Borher and husband, Brooks, of Turlock, Calif.; two grandchildren, Aspyn Robert Smith and Addyson Gail Smith of Adel, Iowa and eight step-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents.

A sports enthusiast, Smith played basketball, baseball and football in high school, played basketball at Wentworth and rowed crew while at the Navel Academy. He also enjoyed golfing, fishing and hunting. A skilled trap shooter, he was once named as one of the 20 best trap shooters in Iowa. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge and a Shriner, a former member of the Missouri Press Association. He was currently serving as a member of the Silver Haired Legislature from Monroe County. He also enjoyed traveling. He was a member of the Monroe City Christian Church.

Funeral services will be held 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009 at the Garner Funeral Chapel, Monroe City. Rev. Steve Goughnour will officiate; burial will be from the St. Jude Cemetery, Monroe City. Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday evening at the Garner Funeral Home.

Honorary casket bearers will be Harold Garner, Larry Spalding, Albert Spalding, Bill Lewis and Bob McClintock. Active casket bearers will be Danny Spalding, David Addison, Woody Woodson, Gene Howes, Jack Bishop and Lee Anderson. Memorials have been suggested to the Monroe City Nutrition Center. Garner Funeral Home and Chapel are in charge of arrangements.

Obit – Herbert G. Williams

July 22, 2009

Former Editor Clarence Courier Herbert G. Williams Died Monday

Herbert Gayle (Herb) Williams, 86, Editor of The Clarence Courier for 40 years, passed away Monday, July 20, 2009, at 4:30 a.m. in Boone Hospital Center in Columbia after battling Amyloidosis for seven years.

He was born at Novinger, MO, on February 13, 1923, the son of Roy London and Lizzie Cathryn (Hamilton) Williams.

He was married to Marjorie Maxine Weems on February 9, 1946. She survives. In addition to his wife, Marge, he is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Dennis Weems Williams and Deborah Sue (Vickers) Williams of Clarence; three granddaughters and their husbands, Staci and Byron McLelland of Clarence, Heidi and Chris Dimmitt of Shelbina, and Tiffany and Ryan Schwada of Lentner; five great-grandchildren, Blythe and Blaire McLelland, Kemper and Perri Dimmitt, and Reid Schwada; two brothers, Perry and his wife Evelyn Williams of Kirksville, and Donald Williams and his friend, Maryam Morrison of Dunedin, Florida; one nephew and two nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents; parents-in-law; a sister-in-law, Phyllis Williams; and a niece, Merri Beth Hofacker.

Herb was a veteran of World War II, entering in February 1943, serving in the European Theatre of Operations with the 13th Major Port Transportation Company from December 1943 to January 1946. He looked forward to going to their army reunions.

Herb graduated from the Novinger High School in 1941, attended college at Pittsburg State Teachers College in Pittsburg, Kansas, worked at the Shelby County Herald and then was employed by a daily newspaper, The Decatur Herald & Review owned by the Lindsay-Schaub Newspapers in Decatur, IL, for 10 years. He and his wife bought the Clarence Courier in 1958 and in 1997 sold it to their son Dennis and wife, Debbie.

Herb was a member of the Clarence United Methodist Church where he served on the Board of Trustees for several years. He had also served as president of the Democrat Editors of Missouri, president of the Northeast Missouri Press Association, treasurer of the Missouri Press Association, member of the Masonic Lodge and Order of Eastern Star for over 50 years, 50 year member of the Clarence American Legion Post 309 and was a lifetime member of the Clarence Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8177. He enjoyed his family and he had a large interest in trains.

Visitation will be Wednesday, July 22, 2009, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Greening-Eagan-Hayes Funeral Home in Clarence. Funeral services will be Thursday, July 23, 2009 at 11 a.m. at the funeral home with Rev. Beryl Cragg officiating, assisted by Pastor Larry DeSpain. Burial with Military Rites by the Clarence Veterans will be at Maplewood Cemetery in Clarence.

Memorials may be made to the Clarence United Methodist Church, Maplewood Cemetery or Helping Hand of Clarence.