It takes teamwork to put out a community newspaper each week, and last week The South Reporter family lost an important, long-time member of our team.
Carolyn King, of the Laws Hill community, passed away at age 74. She had worked at the newspaper for 33 years.
She was a behind-thescenes person, working parttime on Tuesdays and Wednesdays inserting circulars into both the Pigeon Roost News and The South Reporter, labeling the newspapers for post office delivery and several other tasks through the years, like cleaning the building. And she never missed a day of work, unless she was on an occasional vacation with her husband, Johnny, or she was very, very sick.
I tried to do the math, and it’s pretty amazing.
Carolyn helped in getting out more than 1,700 editions of the Pigeon Roost News and more than 1,700 editions of The South Reporter.
During her 30-plus years on the job, the number of individual circulars she placed into newspapers is basically uncountable. No doubt, that number reached well into the millions.
Above all else, Carolyn loved her job.
She was always the first at work. She had a key to the back door, and she was always here when the newspapers arrived back to the building from the printer.
I’d tell her to be here at 7 a.m., and she would be here at 6 a.m. Then in recent years, when we changed printing plants, I switched her starting time to 5 a.m. She would be here at 4 or earlier.
During her visitation Thursday night at Wells Funeral Home in Batesville, Pam and I had the opportunity to visit with her two sisters, Maureen Keeton and Alice Houston, her daughter, Loretta Carol Luttrell, and also talk more with her husband, Johnny.
All four talked about her love for her job and her love for her South Reporter family.
My response was simple and quick – “That is very true, and her South Reporter family loved her. That’s what we are at the newspaper, family.”
One of Carolyn’s tasks was doing the post office cards for each bundle of The Pigeon Roost News, all delivered to post offices on Tuesdays and mailed to all households in the northwestern portion of the county.
She was always focused on detail and wanted to make sure everything was done correctly, and as far as the cards, that seemed to be a task of utmost importance to her.
Loretta talked about visiting her mother, and she’d have those cards all spread out in the floor at the house, going over them and making sure they were absolutely correct.
I’ve worked at different newspapers for 35 years. I’ve never seen anyone who loved her job and dedicated herself to that job more than Carolyn.
It will be rather strange in the coming weeks arriving at the newspaper on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, walking to the back shop and not seeing her face.
She will be missed – as a worker and more importantly, as a member of our South Reporter family.