Losing another old editor

Sometimes our participation in this business of gathering news means we are more quickly informed than many others about crimes, births, upcoming celebrations, deaths, unions, and other stories. However, since we only publish once a week, the information we gather can also become common knowledge by the time the newspaper comes out.

I thought about those opposing statements when an obituary came into my email folder late this past week. With some sense of surprise, I read that former Peabody Gazette-Bulletin owner and editor Gary Bowlin died at his home Thursday morning after a long illness.

Bowlin and his wife, Luann, bought the Gazette-Bulletin from long-time owners Bill and Shirley Krause in February 1997.

Bowlin was primarily a printer, running a successful home-based business, Homestead Printing, after buying a rural Peabody home and creating an office for printing auction flyers, business forms, Peabody Historical Society newsletters, and the many printed items needed by a community of small businesses. The Bowlins gamely made the foray into journalism and successfully ran the Gazette-Bulletin as the official newspaper of the Peabody, Florence, Burns, and Whitewater communities until selling it to Hoch Publishing Co. in February 2001.

I am no more a student of journalism than was Gary Bowlin, but in our Hoch Publishing office in Marion, I am backed by a staff of people who understand all the parts that I will never know. I cannot imagine taking on the challenge of providing a small community like ours with a newspaper and not having that “behind the scenes” support. However, the Bowlins kept it alive for four years, learning as they went and keeping us informed about our community and its people.

I have often said that a small community needs a newspaper or it will run solely on rumor. I believe that. I think the Bowlins believed it as well and they worked hard to bring us real news.

They deserve our appreciation for the job they did.

— SUSAN MARSHALL

 

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