In memoriam: Tennessee journalists lost in 2016

KNOXVILLE (ETSPJ) – From the death of Lady Vols legend Pat Summitt, Fulton High School teen Zaevion Dobson to Knoxville civil rights leader Avon Rollins Sr., Tennessee journalists have worked hard to share stories of those that have died with dignity and grace. This year, we lost a few of our own:

Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby (Courtesy, LinkedIn)
Jeff Jacoby (Courtesy, LinkedIn)

A fixture on the Knoxville airwaves and known to sports fans for 34 years, Jeff Jacoby died Christmas morning after a long bout with cancer. He was 61.

Jacoby received a scholarship to play football for the Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech University. After receiving his degree in English and Journalism, his love of sports followed him into his professional life.

Moving to Knoxville in the early 1980s, Jacoby became an account executive at WMYU Radio. He later became the general sales manager, vice president and general manager before leaving in 1998.

According to Sports Radio WNML, Jacoby joined the Vol Network in 1985 and in 2000 joined the Dick Broadcasting group as the morning sports reporter and account executive. In 2005, Citadel Broadcasting launched the Sports Animal and Jacoby went on air as co-host of “Doc, Jeff and Heather.”

In 2015, Jacoby was awarded Cumulus Media’s highest honor – the “Bobby Denton Employee of the Year Award” – an honor given to him by his peers.

Dan Barile

Dan Barile (Courtesy, Farragut Press)
Dan Barile (Courtesy, Farragut Press)

Dan Barile was editor and publisher of the Farragut Press for more than 13 years with almost 20 years experience as a professional photographer and general assignment reporter at the paper. He died December 21 at the age of 64.

According to the Farragut Press, the Vietnam combat veteran was well known in the Farragut community for his journalistic professionalism, intelligence, honesty and sharp wit. He worked as assistant editor for The East Tennessee Catholic, 1992-1995, before joining the Farragut press.

Barile earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga in 1989, received a Certification as Professional Photographer from the New York Institute of Photography in 1988 and his master’s degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in news/editorial in 1992.

“We are very saddened by the passing of Dan Barile, it was a shock to us. Dan was very dedicated to the Farragut Press and serving the Farragut community. He was our editor/publisher for nearly 14 years,” said Doug Horne, owner of Republic Newspaper, Inc., parent company of Farragut Press. “It’s a big loss. Dan was always eager to cover the story of Farragut and their citizens and he was a fine man. I’m sure the Lord is greeting Dan with ‘well done, thou good and faithful servant.’”

Stan DeLozier

Stan DeLozier (Courtesy, Knoxville News Sentinel)
Stan DeLozier (Courtesy, Knoxville News Sentinel)

Stan DeLozier died September 9. He was 76.

According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, in 34 years as a reporter at the paper, “DeLozier wrote some 5,000 articles — everything from investigative news pieces and business stories to features that captured his beloved East Tennessee — all crafted with equal parts precision and prose.”

“Stan was a superb writer but a man who could often verbally tell a story even better,” said former News Sentinel colleague Bobby Wilson. “He had a knack for boiling the absurd down to its essence and revealing its outrageousness.”

A University of Tennessee graduate and Blount County native, DeLozier worked as a sports editor at the Maryville-Alcoa Daily times and Chattanooga News-Free press. The News Sentinel said he joined them as a metro reporter in 1967.

John Stiles

John Stiles (Courtesy, Knoxville News Sentinel)
John Stiles (Courtesy, Knoxville News Sentinel)

John Stiles died April 30 from complications related to Parkinson’s disease, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. He retired from the paper in 2003 after 33 years.

Those that knew Stiles said he remained the standard for law enforcement reporting in East Tennessee. According to the News Sentinel, “Mr. Stiles once said what he liked about the newspaper business was that ‘if you are interested in people, it gives you a way to wiggle your way into their lives that regular people don’t have. You get to ask questions and find out about them.'”

The paper said Stiles mentored countless other reporters through the years, leaving a legacy of journalists who learned to get to the heart of a story.

H. Dean Stone

H. Dean Stone (Courtesy, The Maryville-Alcoa Daily Times)
H. Dean Stone (Courtesy, The Maryville-Alcoa Daily Times)

Longtime Daily Times editor, H. Dean Stone died October 10 at the age of 92.

According to the Maryville-Alcoa Daily Times, “For more than of half of its existence, there was one constant human resource serving Blount County at its community newspaper: H. Dean Stone, the longtime Daily Times editor with the trademark red cap.”

A World War II veteran, Stone worked part time for The Associated Press as a campus correspondent while he was enrolled at the University of Oklahoma. The Daily Times said he spent the summers of 1947 and 1948 working at the paper.

According to the Daily Times, “the newsroom must have felt like home because for more than six decades he could be found there all hours of the day.”

The paper said for him, becoming entrenched in the community that he was chronicling was just life — whether it was serving on education foundations, establishing an ongoing service project that serves the needy at Christmas, leading the Tennessee Great Smoky Mountains Park Commission or scores of other organizations.

Lee Stratton Anderson

Lee Stratton Anderson, the former publisher of the Chattanooga Free Press, died June 16 in Atlanta. He was 90.

Lee Stratton Anderson, former publisher of the Chattanooga Free Press. (Courtesy, Chattanooga Free Press)
Lee Stratton Anderson, former publisher of the Chattanooga Free Press.
(Courtesy, Chattanooga Free Press)

Walter E. Hussman Jr., a publisher of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, called Anderson “a true gentlemen and a great newspaperman.”

Anderson began his 70-year career at the Chattanooga Free Press at the age of 15. He wrote feature stories and news before covering the Tennessee legislature and politics, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He started writing editorials for the newspaper in 1948, was named editor in April 1958 and president and publisher in 1990.

Anderson continued as editor of the Free Press editorial page after the sale of the afternoon newspaper in 1998 and its merger with the morning Chattanooga Times in 1999. The Times Free Press said Gov. Bill Haslam called Anderson “kind and polite, professional and informed”

Mark Bellinger

Mark Bellinger (Courtesy, WTVF)
Mark Bellinger (Courtesy, WTVF)

Mark Bellinger, a longtime television reporter in Nashville, died Oct. 27 after a battle with cancer. He was 56.

WTVF said Bellinger had worked for the station for 23 years, specializing in crime and political cover. Before that, he covered Northern Idaho for KHQ-TV and KIDK-TV, including the 1992 standoff between federal agents and a white separatist family at Ruby Ridge.

Gov. Bill Haslam said that he will miss Bellinger both personally and professionally. The governor said he will remember Bellinger for asking probing questions to better inform his viewers about issues facing the state.

Larry Daughtrey

Larry Daughtrey (Courtesy, The Tennessean)
Larry Daughtrey (Courtesy, The Tennessean)

Known as a “tenacious watchdog” at the Tennessee State Capitol, Larry Daughtrey died May 12 following complications with lung disease. He was 75.

According to the Tennessean, Daughtrey worked as a political reporter from 1962-1997, helping solidify the newspaper’s reputation for crusading journalism while becoming a mentor for dozens of young reporters. He converted to writing a political column for the newspaper after his retirement.

Former Tennessean editor Frank Sutherland, who oversaw the paper during part of Daughtrey’s time at the paper, called him a writer of consummate detail, one whose attention to the craft of writing was as respected as his dedication to fairness. He also said he was respected on both sides of the political aisle for being though, but truthful.

“Larry Daughtrey was a great reporter because he had the best sources of anyone on Capitol Hill,” Sutherland said. “He had the flair of language to tell the stories he had researched.”

George Lapides

George Lapides (Courtesy, WREG)
George Lapides (Courtesy, WREG)

Veteran sports journalist George Lapides died June 16 after a long battle with lung disease.

According to WREG, he was 76. He started his career as a news reporter for the Memphis Press-Scimitar in the mid-1960s, later becoming the newspaper’s sports editor and columnist.

In 1971, Lapides began hosting a daily sports talk show on radio that lasted 45 years. He spent 10 years working as the sports editor at WREG.

Did we miss someone that you feel should have been named in this report? Please let us know on our East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists Facebook page.

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