Letter to the editor
Tragedy is no stranger to our lives. Unfortunately, through the years, we'll each experience it numerous times.
Such is the case when I received the call on Sunday afternoon about the passing of Terry Gasper, Lake Mills Graphic owner and publisher.
Those words to describe Terry, owner and publisher, seem too small. He was much more than that to me, to you . . . and to everyone else who came in contact with him.
Terry and I became acquainted through our work as newspaper people. We were positioned in similar situations, working as the top person at our local newspapers, with an eye on ownership of those newspapers.
My path to that position started much the same as Terry's story ends. I was at the Osceola County Gazette-Tribune in 1997, working as the #2 person there, when the top man, Jay Mohr, died suddenly on a Tuesday morning. That day's newspaper had already been sent on its way to the printing plant to be printed.
I learned one of life's lessons that morning, that life does go on, no matter how important one person is to the process. While still dealing with grief and disbelief, the newspaper was printed, brought back, taken to the post office, and delivered to the various locations that have copies for sale.
It was only after the newspaper was printed that those of us there in Sibley thought that maybe we should have stopped the press, and added in something about the man behind the newspaper.
Here we are today dealing with a similar situation, with the sudden loss of Terry. In this situation, we have a short window of opportunity to step back and take stock of the situation.
Many people have stepped up to help Sherylee and the Graphic staff get this week's newspaper put together. It's a daunting task, trying to finish the work that was started by another person, but the newspaper comes out every week, regardless of what life throws at us.
On this page, you'll find Terry's column, providing his take on the immigration issue that's been in the news. Terry wasn't afraid to take on the issues of the day, both local and national. He put thought into it, and made each topic his own.
Each week, Terry did his best to bring the news of Lake Mills and the surrounding area to you, the reader. As a newspaper person, you hope that the readers can feel the dedication, the commitment, that a small town newspaper person puts into each edition. In that respect, Terry was no different, but he was humble about it. He did his work with little fanfare, covering the meetings, both mundane and exciting, the special events of the community, the school sports and activities, all with an eye on informing you, the reader, about this corner of the world.
Terry's voice, both audible and in print, will be missed by those of us who knew him, and had the pleasure of calling him colleague and friend.
By Dale Wegner
Editor, The Sac Sun