Big Guy will be missed |

Big Guy will be missed

I often called him “Big Guy,” but John Seelmeyer was a big guy in ways other than his imposing stature that graced The Union’s war room.

As editor of our daily newspaper for many years, Big Guy was a giant in the community. Although he never ducked controversial issues, he took great pleasure in writing editorials about positive developments. One that quickly comes to mind appeared April 3 this year, titled, “Yes, kids, we old folks do appreciate your efforts.” The piece, which was in response to stalwart middle school kids serving the United Way award banquet, reflected John’s love for the community.

I have never known of a newspaper editor who wasn’t besieged at times with disapproval by reader critics. It goes with the territory. Even yours truly was sometimes a critic. But the Big Guy always fielded “concerns” with genuine interest, politeness and professionalism.

Always thoughtful, Big Guy responded faithfully to my e-mail messages, no matter how unreasonable. Indeed, he welcomed input by readers and it was not uncommon for him to incorporate suggestions into the paper.

John Seelmeyer seemed to address most issues, even the tough ones, with a touch of subtle humor. He is gifted at finding whimsy even in the most mundane situations. His delightful writings, that are missed, frequently reflected that.

Despite his intimidating size, John is a pussycat in many ways. He has been the glue that held The Union together in difficult times. His wisdom and leadership have been critically important to the paper, its readers, and to the community at large.

Good luck, Big Guy.

Lee Blakemore

Penn Valley

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