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  • William L. Shelton---AKA Bill Shelton

    Born: March 21, 1920, Sapulpa, OK
    Died: December 7, 2003, Long Beach, CA, age 83,---d. auto accident in Lantana, FL

    Long Beach (CA) copy editor;
    Altus, OK, 10-year old, (April 2, 1930 census)(listed as Billy Shelton)
    Altus, OK, assistant coach, athletic department, (April 2, 1940 census)(listed as Bill L.)
    US military, WWII
    Attended University of Oklahoma, (bachelor's degree, journalism)
    Altus Times-Democrat (OK),
    Wichita Falls Times Record (TX),
    Tulsa World (OK),
    Lima News (OK),
    Long Beach Press-Telegram, copy editor, ? - 1993

    Father: Willis O., born Texas, 1885?; Mother: Dosia A., born Missouri, 1894?;

    Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA) - Tuesday, December 9, 2003


    Copy editors are considered the unsung heroes of the newsroom, salvaging writers' reputations by catching an endless number of spelling, grammatical and factual errors.
    Bill Shelton was one of those heroes -- for about 40 years, the bulk of the time at the Press-Telegram.

    Like a good soldier seeking out the enemy of errors, he'd stand post at his terminal, with a laserlike precision stare as he scanned rolls and rolls of contaminated copy.

    The whoppers might -- depending on his mood -- generate a gruff grumble, generally laced with biting sarcasm. The lucky reporters usually weren't within earshot of the Shelton gems.

    Shelton, who retired from the Press-Telegram in 1993, was killed Sunday night in a traffic accident in Lantana, near Boynton Beach, Fla. He was 83.

    In a separate car, he was following his wife Bobbi who was taking her mother home after she spent the day at the Sheltons putting up Christmas decorations. A car slammed into his car and demolished it, turning it on its roof. Shelton died about 90 minutes later in a nearby trauma center.

    Shelton was born March 21, 1920, in Sapulpa, Okla., the sixth of eight sons, to Willis ''Bill'' O. and Dosia Agnes Shelton. He worked as a golf caddy during the Great Depression, developing one of his great pastime loves -- the other would be history.

    Early exposure
    His father, an auto mechanic, loved newspapers. He subscribed to or purchased several papers on a regular basis, and he often wrote letters to the editors, recalled brother Stan -- one of the four brothers who would go into journalism. The other four made careers of the military.

    Bill was inducted into the Oklahoma National Guard's 99th Infantry Division, and became a commissioned officer. A captain, he was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge near the Remagen Bridge, taking a bullet in the ankle.
    He was one of six Shelton brothers who served in the war, which led to a presidential commendation for the family.

    After his discharge, he attended the University of Oklahoma, where he earned a bachelor's degree in journalism.

    He spent the first year of his career in the early 1950s at the then Altus, Okla., Times-Democrat, a small paper where staffers worked in all positions; he then took a job at the Wichita Falls, Tex., Times Record, working there for two or three years, before returning to college to earn his master's in journalism.

    He worked for the Tulsa World in the late 50s before coming to Long Beach to the then Independent, Press-Telegram, known by locals as the I,P-T.

    But his passion for journalism excellence took a back seat to Bobbi Boyers, 15 years his junior, who became his greatest love. Two failed marriages -- the first resulted in two children, a boy and a girl -- had not soured him on the possibility of a third try.

    But her parents moved to Ohio, and Bobbi attended Purdue University. Shelton followed, taking a job at the Lima, Ohio, News. They married, and returned in the early 1960s to Long Beach, where she would teach and he would work on getting the I,P-T out.

    True professional
    One especially taxing task was getting the newspapers out on the day the shuttle Challenger exploded. He managed three ''Extra'' editions and one special edition, recalled Executive Editor Rich Archbold, who was then managing editor. ''Bill performed brilliantly,'' he added. ''He was the consummate professional.''

    That high praise would have prompted a smile, allowing friends to see under Shelton's gruff exterior -- a trait that surfaced in his youth.

    ''It was just a personality quirk,'' laughed brother Stan.

    But friends knew how to read Shelton's language.

    ''He was a quiet gentleman,'' said former colleague John Eidson.

    Added Executive News Editor John Futch: ''It was like a big act. He was one of the biggest marshmallows you've ever seen.''

    Shelton is survived by his wife Bobbi; brothers Keith, Stan and Jerry; daughter Carole Deaton of North Carolina; and son William of St. Petersburg, Fla.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-22-2013, 02:42 PM.


    • Martin A. Manley

      Born: August 15, 1953, Topeka, KS
      Died: August 15, 2013, Kansas City, KS, age 60,---d. committed suicide by gunshot in his car.

      Kansas City sports writer;
      Kansas City Star, sports writer, April, 2010 - February 6, 2012

      Father: Francis Collins Manley, born November 23, 1923, died January 16, 2007; Mother: Bertha Marie Hartzell, born August 28, 1926, died June 20, 2002; They married June 3, 1946.

      His personal life on his blog


      • Matthew B. Schuman---AKA Matt Schuman

        Born: November 25, 1963, Denver, CO
        Died: August 4, 2013, Greeley, CO, age 49,---d. pneumonia, suffered from muscular dystrophy.

        Greeley (CO) sports writer;
        Graduated Boettcher School (9th grade)
        Graduated Thomas Jefferson HS (Denver, CO), 1982
        Graduated University of Norther Colorado (degree, journalism), 1986
        Greeley Tribune, sports writer, 1986 - 2013 (27 years)

        Father: Sam B.; Mother: Mary L. Miller;

        Longtime Tribune sportswriter Matt Schuman, described by his friends and colleagues as an inspiration and a trailblazer, passed away early Sunday morning. He was 49.

        Schuman, who was born with muscular dystrophy, has covered the University of Northern Colorado athletics for The Tribune since 2008. He also has covered high school sports, community sports and professional sports — including the Denver Broncos — since he was first hired by the newspaper in 1986.

        Schuman went in for a routine medical procedure Monday at North Colorado Medical Center but developed pneumonia on Wednesday. His condition worsened Saturday and he died about 1:15 a.m. Sunday.

        Schuman’s death prompted widespread reaction and expressions of condolences from across the state of Colorado and around the nation. Coaches, sports writers and team public relations directors from UNC, the University of Colorado, the Denver Broncos and many newspapers were quick to point to Schuman’s strong will and independence in the face of a disability that kept him in a wheelchair throughout his life.

        University of Colorado basketball coach Tad Boyle, who grew up in Greeley and coached at UNC, described Schuman as an inspiration to both himself and all he came in contact with.

        “Matt overcame more obstacles in a week than most people do in a lifetime,” Boyle said. “I never heard a complaint or excuse come out of his mouth. He was passionate about his job and loved what he did for a living. I know the Greeley community will miss him dearly.”

        Schuman produced a special seven-part series for The Tribune in 2003 on Weld County people with disabilities and the challenges they face. He won numerous state and national awards for the project, including Best of Colorado Award in any circulation category by the Society of Professional Journalists. He also won several awards for his sportswriting and was honored by the disability community in Greeley with an award that is given annually in his name.

        David Van Pelt, 48, who grew up in the same neighborhood as Schuman in Denver, has been a friend since childhood and has always known him to be a leader who wanted to be independent despite his physical limitations.

        “It was a shock that he didn’t pull through, because he always pulls through everything,” Van Pelt said.

        Schuman’s girlfriend Andrea Gable met him four years ago when she was a certified nursing assistant where he lived.

        “His independence, as well as his loving kindness, generosity, patience and humbleness never ceased,” Gable said. “He is my hero. I have been very lucky to be with such an amazing man, best friend and adoring partner.”

        Schuman was just the second disabled person in the Denver Public Schools system to be mainstreamed into the classroom, said his brother, Mark Schuman of Denver. He lettered in football as the statistician for the Thomas Jefferson High School football team that won a state title during his high school years.

        “He’s always been a leader, a trailblazer all his life,” Mark Schuman said. “He never felt sorry for himself, never asked for anything other than an equal opportunity.”

        After graduating from Thomas Jefferson in 1982, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1986 and started working at The Tribune the same year.

        “He really adopted Greeley as his home, and the community took him in,” Mark said. “One of the highlights of his life was being able to cover two Super Bowls for the newspaper. The Trib always treated him well; he never looked elsewhere, he never wanted to do anything else.”

        Schuman covered the Broncos during their training camp years in Greeley, from 1982-2002, and covered many of their home games during the 1980s and ‘90s.

        After his award-winning series on people with disabilities, a Greeley organization named an annual award after Schuman. Connections for Independent Living, which serves more than 600 residents with disabilities in the Greeley area, created the Matt Schuman Award for Disability Access and Community Inclusion. Schuman was the inaugural winner of the award, and each year the organization picks a person or organization that supports Weld County residents with disabilities.

        Schuman was Colorado’s first-ever poster child for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, from 1966-72. His life was featured once in a segment on the national Jerry Lewis MDA telethon during Labor Day weekend, and he was featured multiple times on the Denver MDA telethon.

        Van Pelt said Schuman always wanted to be independent despite being in a wheelchair.

        “He was an advocate for the handicapped, but if you told him he was unique or a trailblazer, he wouldn’t buy into that,” Van Pelt said. “He just wanted to be his own person and to be independent.”

        The UNC Athletic Department issued a statement praising Schuman’s work and saying the department was saddened by his death.

        UNC Volleyball coach Lyndsey (Benson) Oates grew up in the area and played sports for Eaton High School, and said she can’t remember a time when Schuman wasn’t a part of the sports scene.

        “I remember him interviewing me after basketball, volleyball and tennis,” Oates said. “Matt was always very gracious and did a great job with his stories and the questions he asked. Our players enjoyed being interviewed by him and he’s always been a great supporter of Northern Colorado athletics.”

        Tribune sportswriter Sam Mustari worked with Schuman for 27 years and said he never heard Schuman complain.

        “He was one of the good guys in this business who was genuine and truly loved life,” Mustari said. “He put up one helluva fight against his disabilities and won every bout except this last one. We should all be so tough. I’ll miss him forever.”
        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-29-2013, 10:32 AM.


        • William E. Nichols---AKA Bill Nichols

          Born: July 20, 1929, Cuyahoga County, OH
          Died: June 13, 2009, Rocky River, OH, age 80,---d. heart attack at home.

          Cleveland sports writer;
          Graduated Lakewood HS, 1947
          Graduated Kent State University, 1988 (Master's degree, Sport Administration)
          US Navy, 1950 - 1954
          American Greetings
          Cleveland Plain Dealer, sports writer, 1964 - 1994
          Cleveland Indians, official scorer,
          Taught journalism at Baldwin-Wallace College, Hiram College, John Carroll University

          Father: Sterling Cannon; Mother: Mildred Helen Pearis; Wife: Jean Havens; Son: Wade W.; Daughter: Lee Anne Chambers

          BW Graduate and Professor Bill Nichols '63 Named as the 2004 CoSIDA Jake Wade Award Winner
          Bill-Nichols-BEREA, OHIO -- Baldwin Wallace University graduate and current adjunct professor Bill Nichols '63 has been named as the 2004 winner of the CoSIDA (College Sports Information Director's of America) Jake Wade Award. The award has been presented annually since 1958 to a former member of the media for lifelong contribution to collegiate athletics. Nichols will receive the award June 30 at the annual CoSIDA Workshop Convention in Calgary (Canada).

          In addition to being an outstanding journalist and contributor to collegiate athletics, Nichols is being recognized by CoSIDA for his work and mentoring of students who are interested in careers in sportswriting, sports information, sports media relations, marketing and promotions.

          Nichols, who retired in 1994 after 30 years as a sportswriter at The Plain Dealer was an enthusiastic advocate of amateur sports and student-athletes while covering the Greater Cleveland College beat for many years. In addition, Nichols was the main beat writer for the Cleveland Cavaliers for more than a decade including the "Miracle at Richfield"; he covered NCAA Division I Cleveland State University when it appeared in the NCAA Tournament during its run to the "Sweet 16"; professional golf; professional tennis when Cleveland had a team in the first-ever pro tennis circuit; and covered harness racing, minor league baseball and sailing.

          In addition to writing for The Plain Dealer, Nichols was the first-ever Sports Editor of what is today the Westlife, a suburban newspaper, and he was the editor of the old Berea Enterprise.

          Nichols, a 1947 graduate of Lakewood High School who earned his Master's degree in Sport Administration from Kent State University in 1988, began a teaching career in 1987 that has encompassed BW, John Carroll University, Hiram College, Notre Dame College of Ohio and Cuyahoga Community College. Nichols' classes have ranged from "Dealing With the Media" to "Sports Journalism" to "The History of Baseball". He has also helped to publish a textbook on Sports Public Relations (2001), wrote "And We Must Excel," the 108-year history of Baldwin Wallace University football and recently embarked on a project to write a history book for the Northern Ohio Golf Association.

          During his long journalistic career, Nichols has also written articles for Basketball Digest, Street & Smith Pro Basketball Annual, Street & Smith College Basketball Annual, Cleveland Cavaliers Souvenir Game Program, the 2002 NCAA Division III National Championship Football Game Program and was the editor and writer for the PGA Senior Open Program when the event was held in Cleveland in 1996.

          Nichols served in the United States Navy from 1950 through 1954 and has also worked for the American Greetings Corporation (1958-65), was an official scorer for the Cleveland Indians Professional Baseball Team (1996-2001) and is a graduate of the Cleveland Advertising Club school in 1964.

          In addition to his award from CoSIDA, Nichols received an award for The Sports Story of the Year from the Cleveland Press Club (1981), was the runner-up for the Sports Story of the Year by the Akron Press Club (1981), was named as the Writer of the Year by the Western Tennis Association (1988), received the Associated Press Award for Excellence (fourth place in 1987), was the Track Writer of the Year (1988), received the Lakewood High School Distinguished Alumni Award for Journalism and received an honorary varsity letter for journalism from the Baldwin Wallace University Lettermen's Association in 2000.

          During his career, Nichols has also been a member of the National Basketball Writer's Association, Golf Writers Association, Lakewood (Ohio) Kiwanis Board of Directors, Cleveland Touchdown Club Board of Directors, Visiting Committee for Athletics and Physical Education at Case Western Reserve University, Baldwin Wallace University Alumni Council, Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors.

          Nichols resides in Lakewood with his wife, Jean, and the Nichols' have two grown children.
          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-12-2013, 12:27 PM.


          • Ronnie Ray Gallagher

            Born: October 19, 1955, Winston-Salem, NC
            Died: August 30, 2013, Salisbury, NC, age 57,---d. heart attack at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center (Salisbury, NC).

            North Carolina sports writer / sports editor;
            Graduated North Davidson HS (NC), 1974
            Lexington Dispatch, 1980 - 1986
            Davie County Enterprise, sports editor, 1986 - 1995
            Salisbury Post (Salisbury, NC), sports writer, 1995 - 1997, sports editor, 1997 - 2013

            Father: Ronald Vance; Mother: Mary Kathleen; Wife: Joan Canavaciol; Son: Jack; Son: Mackie;

            SALISBURY - Beloved father, husband, son and brother, Ronald Ray Gallagher, 57, died unexpectedly at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center on Friday, Aug. 30, 2013.

            He was the Sports Editor of the Salisbury Post since 1997, beginning his career there in 1995. Prior to that, he was a sports writer for the Davie County Enterprise and the Lexington Dispatch. Ronnie, as he was known to everyone, was passionate about sports and was a popular and notable figure on the high school sports scene in Rowan County.

            He touched many lives through his writing. His articles were well known throughout the community, as he personalized the stories about each player, each team, each game. He inspired many young athletes and writers and his work and enthusiasm will continue to inspire.

            He was well known as a dedicated family man who adored his wife and two sons, and was a committed friend to many. His good humor and quick wit endeared him to all.

            He was born Oct. 19, 1955 in Winston-Salem to Ronald Vance and Mary Kathleen Gallagher. He graduated from North Davidson High School in 1974. He was always a sports fanatic and a prolific writer, which he turned into a lifelong career. He was the recipient of no fewer than 34 NC High School Sports Association Awards. He also was honored in 2005 by the NC High School Sports Association with the Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year Award.

            Ronnie married Joan Canavaciol Gallagher in 1991 and they have two sons, Jack and Mackie. He is also survived by his mother, Mary Kathleen Gallagher; three sisters, Debbie Merten, Ginger Gallagher and Angela Gallagher; and one brother, Tim Gallagher.

            Services: In lieu of visitation, a Remembrance Celebration will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. at the West Rowan High School Gym. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, Sept, 5 at 4 p.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 375 Lumen Christi Lane in Salisbury. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.

            Summersett Funeral Home is serving the Gallagher family.
            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-05-2014, 09:28 PM.


            • Luther Plato Carmichael---AKA Luther Carmichael

              Born: July 1, 1905, Snow Hill, AL
              Died: December 16, 1998, Nashville, TN, age 93

              Southern sports editor;
              Graduated Snow Hill Institute, (class valedictorian)
              The Tennessean,
              Nashville World,
              Chicago Defender,
              Associated Press,
              Nashville Globe and Independent;
              Atlanta Daily World, sports editor, 1971 - September 16, 1976

              Father: Michael; Mother: Frances Rivers; Wife: Irma Haynes; Daughter: Agnes Regina Carmichael Hall;


              • Bill! I didn't know you were married?!!!
                Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis


                • Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                  Bill! I didn't know you were married?!!!
                  I was. But not for long. 1984. Were did you hear that? I'm curious. I don't often talk about it.


                  • Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
                    I was. But not for long. 1984. Were did you hear that? I'm curious. I don't often talk about it.
                    You posted about yourself in this thread and there was a picture of you, you wife, and your wedding party on the beach.
                    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis


                    • Bill, who do you think are the most influential black sportswriters pre-MLB integration?
                      "No matter how great you were once upon a time β€” the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. β€œRoss Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”


                      • Originally posted by bluesky5 View Post
                        Bill, who do you think are the most influential black sportswriters pre-MLB integration?
                        I list them on page 28 of this photo archive.

                        They are: Lucius Harper, Rolo Wilson, Fay Young, Romeo Dougherty, Russell Cowans, Marion Jackson, Dr. Emory Jackson, Lucius Jones, Ric Robers, William Matney & Chico Renfroe. And also Luther Carmichael, who appears on this page.

                        And it goes without saying, Wendell Smith and Sam Lacy. Those listed were the famous black sports writers, and usually sports editors of the black newspapers.


                        • Robert A. Curry---AKA Bob Curry

                          Born: December 8, 1925, Ohio
                          Died: May 25, 2009, Leetonia, OH

                          Ohio sports journalist / track official
                          Graduated East Liverpool HS, 1942

                          Wife: Shirley Baker, died February 15, 1976;

                          LEETONIA - Longtime journalist and well-known track official, Bob Curry died at 6:24 p.m. on May 25, 2009, at Parkside Healthcare Center in Columbiana, following an illness of several months. He was a former Sports Editor of The Review in East Liverpool and spent over 30 years with the sports department of The Vindicator in Youngstown, retiring in 1990. He was 83 and had been a resident of Leetonia since 1975.

                          Robert Curry was born in East Liverpool, Dec. 8, 1925, a son of the late John Edgar and Blanche Owen Curry. He was a 1942 graduate of East Liverpool High School, where he served as a football manager under Coach Morbito. It was here he developed an early interest in athletics, and for nearly a half-century, he was involved as a sportswriter and track official, working every major meet in the Youngstown area as well as district and regional meets in Northeast Ohio, along with State meets until declining health would not permit his involvement.

                          In addition, Mr. Curry served as an officer in the State Track Officials' Association for four years holding the office of president and clinic director. He also served as secretary of the local track officials association for over 30 years and was a member and one-time president of the Northeast District officials Committee, serving on the DOC Grants Committee.

                          As a young man, he was leader of Boy Scout Troop 33, sponsored by the former Grant Street Civic League. He attended Ohio University. He began his career at The Review in 1948 and was named Sports editor in 1954. In 1955, he joined The Vindicator where he remained until his retirement. He was especially proud of having reported on six Summer Olympic Games including Montreal, Los Angeles, Seoul, Barcelona, Atlanta, and Sydney.

                          He was inducted into several halls of fame including East Liverpool High School, the United Press International Sportswriters, and the Ohio High School Athletic Association Track Officials.

                          A veritable dictionary of information in track and field, Mr. Curry was consulted many times for his knowledge and expertise. He was presented the OHSAA Media Service Award from the Northeast District Athletic Board's newsletter.

                          Surviving are two sisters: Mrs. Nancy (Bill) Levonian of Santa Cruz, Calif., Mrs. Mura Glenn of Sequim, Wash., along with two brothers: Donald Curry of Homasassa, Fla., and David (Gay) Curry of Loveland, Colo.

                          He will be deeply missed by his "adopted" daughter Cindy Guterba and her husband Lee along with their children: Sierra, Renee, and Evan.

                          His beloved wife, the former Shirley Baker, died Feb. 15, 1976. Brother John (Jack) Curry died on March 23, 1928, and another younger brother James Curry died April 3, 1998.

                          Services will be held at Dawson Funeral Home, 215 West Fifth St., East Liverpool, Ohio, at noon Saturday, May 30, 2009, with the Rev. Paul Sturm officiating. Friends may call two hours prior to the service Saturday. Burial will follow next to his wife in Union Hill Cemetery, Sugarcreek, Ohio.

                          In lieu of flowers, donations in Mr. Curry's memory may be contributed to Senior Independence Hospice, 6715 Tippecanoe Road, Building E, Canfield, Ohio 44406 or East Liverpool High School Athletic Department, 100 Maine Blvd., East Liverpool, Ohio 43920.
                          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 11-10-2013, 08:55 AM.


                          • B. H. Fisher---AKA Red Fisher

                            Born: August 22, 1926, Montreal Canada
                            Died: Still Alive

                            Canadian sports writer;

                            Red Fisher (born 22 August 1926) is a former Canadian sports journalist whose columns focused on the National Hockey League and its Montreal Canadiens team.

                            Born in Montreal, he began his hockey coverage in The Montreal Star newspaper in 1954 where he remained as writer and sports editor until that paper's demise in 1979. Immediately after this, he joined the Montreal Gazette as sports editor (for a short time), where his columns continued to appear.

                            Fisher was the longest-serving beat writer covering an NHL team. Over his career, he worked for 10 editors and publishers, and won the Canadian National Newspaper Award three times. Fisher's retirement was announced by Gazette publisher Alan Allnutt in a column on 8 June 2012.

                            Red Fisher started his journalism career with The Montreal Star on March 15, 1954. He was that newspaper's hockey writer and columnist, and its sports editor from 1969 until September, 1979 when The Star closed.

                            He joined The Gazette as sports editor the following month and served in that capacity for several years.

                            Fisher is in his 49th season of covering the Montreal Canadiens. He has won the National Newspaper Award for sportswriting in 1971 and 1991, and has been nominated for the NNA on two other occasions. He was also the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from Sports Media Canada in 1999.
                            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 01-27-2014, 08:36 AM.


                            • Jack Conrad Kiser---AKA Jack Kiser

                              Born: August 27, 1928, Kingsport, TN
                              Died: January 14, 1993, Sparks, Nevada

                              Philadelphia sports writer;
                              Philadelphia Daily News, 1957 - 1987

                              Retired Sports Writer Jack Kiser
                              by Tom Cooney, Daily News Staff Writer
                              POSTED: January 16, 1993
                              Jack Kiser, an outstanding sports writer for the Daily News for 30 years who later built a reputation in stamp collecting, died Thursday at his home in Sparks, Nev. He was 64.

                              Kiser was one of the first imports brought to the Daily News by then sports editor Larry Merchant in 1957, when Merchant was fashioning a sports department that became known as one of the nation's best.

                              "Jack was a first-class newspaper man who contributed greatly to the success of our sports staff, which at the time was the engine that drove the Daily News and kept it alive," Merchant said yesterday. "We were all young and wanted to set the town on fire, and Jack lit a lot of matches and helped build the bonfire."

                              Small and lean and with a Southern accent that never quit, even after decades in the north, Kiser, a native of Kingsport, Tenn., had worked on several papers in the South and was at the Charlotte News in '57. Merchant had hired Sandy Grady from that paper earlier that year and Grady, now a political columnist for the Daily News, recommended Kiser.

                              "He was a real sharp deskman," Grady recalled, "a professional with a lot of zest for the business. He was lively, curious, energetic and when interested in something he was totally into it. He enjoyed what he did."

                              Kiser's widow, Nancy, repeated that thought, saying he "lived and breathed" the Daily News before leaving the paper in 1987.

                              Early in his Philadelphia career, Kiser was a sports deskman, charged with organizing and designing the sports pages.

                              Later, he took writing assignments and became nationally known for his coverage of professional basketball (the Philadelphia Warriors then, starring

                              Wilt Chamberlain) and, exclusively in his later years at the paper, harness racing. He won several national awards for his coverage of the racing beat.

                              His writing was tough, aggressive, often controversial. Yet when he won the Harness Racing Institute top award in 1966, it was for a column describing the sudden death of a harness driver during a race. The judges said it "presents a poignant drama of the harness track. His sympathetic treatment of the event is impressive."

                              On the basketball beat, Kiser was present the night Chamberlain scored 100 points and it was he who declared he'd carefully measured Chamberlain's height to the sixteenth of an inch. No one else ever confirmed the measurement, but there was no public denial either.

                              One of his memorable basketball moments came when he tangled with referee Norm Drucker at a Warriors-Celtics game here. Kiser, at the sportswriters' table, vocally questioned many of Drucker's calls - kiddingly, he said - until the beleagured official finally screamed at him, "You're out of the game."

                              "How can I be out when I'm not in?" Jack asked.

                              "Get him out or the game's forfeited," Drucker fumed. Finally, Kiser was convinced to switch seats with a paying customer.

                              Kiser, who'd split his time between homes in Folcroft, Delaware County, and Nevada for several years, became a full-time Nevada resident after leaving the Daily News. He turned his full attention then to stamp collecting, a hobby about which he'd written occasionally since 1978.

                              He became very prominent in philatelic circles, said his widow, and was active in the American Philatelic Society and the national Stamp Dealers Association.

                              Kiser, who'd battled cancer since 1988, died "peacefully and painlessly," his widow said. At his request, his body was to be cremated, with no funeral or memorial services.

                              Mrs. Kiser asked those who wished to remember Jack to contribute to the Hospice of Northern Nevada at 129 W. 6th Street, Reno, Nev., 89503.
                              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 11-10-2013, 10:19 AM.


                              • John Franklin Beckett---AKA John Beckett

                                Born: May 19, 1950, Sebring, OH
                                Died: October 6, 2009, Brighton, MI, age 59,---d. at home of congestive heart failure.

                                Ann Arbor (MI) sports writer;
                                WHMI radio (Howell, MI),
                                Brighton Argus (Brighton, MI), sports writer,
                                Ann Arbor News, sports writer,

                                Father: Russell Dale; Mother Edna Carman; Wife: Jean Sue Mossburg; Daughter: Jessica Jones; Son: Josh; Son: Jacob; John married Jean Sue Mossburg on August 17, 1974 in Howell, OH.

                                John Franklin Beckett, age 59, of Brighton, passed away on Tuesday, October 6 at his home of congestive heart failure. He was born on May 19, 1950, in Sebring, Ohio, to Russell Dale and Edna Carman Beckett. He married Jean Sue Mossburg on August 17, 1974, in Howell. John worked for The Ann Arbor News for 18 years, starting out as a copy editor and then working as a sports reporter, mainly covering University of Michigan sports. Prior to working for The Ann Arbor News, John worked at WHMI in Howell and then for the Brighton Argus. Sports were a big part of John's life. He coached youth baseball in Brighton starting in the early 1970s and continued to coach as each of his children participated in sports. In addition to baseball, he coached youth softball, basketball and soccer, all through the SELCRA (Southeastern Livingston County Recreation Authority) program. John is survived by his wife, Jean; his daughter, Jessica Jones, and her husband, Nate, of Royal Oak; his sons, Josh Beckett, of Chicago, and Jacob Beckett, of Ann Arbor; his sister, Rhonda Edgerton, of Wooster, Ohio; and his granddaughter, Kayla. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, James Dale Beckett. Visitation will be Friday, October, 9 from 2-4 and 6-8 PM at Keehn Funeral Home. Service will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, October 10, at the Brighton First United Methodist Church following a one hour visitation. Memorial contributions may be made to SELCRA. Envelopes are available at the Keehn Funeral Home.
                                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 11-23-2013, 11:36 AM.


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