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home : obituaries : obituaries
March 19, 2018

3/10/2018 1:37:00 PM
William "Bill" David DeLost
b. Feb. 23, 1947 d. March 2, 2018, Press-Citizen Publisher: 1997 - 2009, Publisher Emeritus: 2009 - 2018
William "Bill" David DeLost

Publisher's note: It is a custom in the newspaper industry that the only obituary to appear on the front page is that of its Publisher.

William David DeLost, 71, passed away Friday, March 2, 2018 in Sun Lakes, Arizona, after an extended battle with pancreatic cancer.

Bill was born in Canton, IL, February 23, 1947 to Joe and Vivian (Perrine) DeLost. A 1965 graduate of Canton High School, he attended Spoon River College.

Bill loved the newspaper business and enjoyed every challenge. His journalism career spanned six decades beginning at the age of eight as a delivery boy. In February, 1967 he was employed as sports editor, sports writer, city and county reporter for the Canton (IL) Daily Ledger. In October, 1969 he was named Managing Editor of Tazewell County News (Morton, IL). In 1972, he was promoted to Advertising Manager of Tazewell Publishing, a group of weekly and bi-weekly newspapers. Another promotion to Display Advertising Manager of the Dixon (IL) Evening Telegraph came in November, 1976. This opportunity quickly opened the door to Publisher of the Bureau County Republican (Princeton, IL) early in 1977. In April 1983, Bill joined Brehm Communications, a San Diego based newspaper conglomerate and took the reins as Publisher of the Princeton (IN) Daily Clarion. Two years later, he was named publisher of the Daily Gate City (Keokuk, IA) where he was recognized as 1989 Publisher of the Year by his friend and company owner Bill Brehm.

Bill was known throughout the industry as an innovator, problem solver and award winning journalist. Throughout his career he was honored with too many awards to name by the Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois, Iowa and Illinois Press Associations, the latter being the largest newspaper association in the country. Many of the design and advertising innovations Bill pioneered are standard in the industry across the country today.

In June 1997, Bill and his family purchased the Pine Cone Press in Longville. The area held a special place in his heart since his family first vacationed here in 1952, an annual event for the rest of his life. Bill loved the fact that he could now live and retire in the area that had played such an important role in his life. He would joke that after a full career of climbing the ladder to the top, "Now I have to go back to work."

Bill was an avid golfer, carrying a scratch or single digit handicap for 40 plus years. He chaired citywide golf tournaments involving 300 players in Princeton, IL, for many years and holds the course record at the 107-year-old former Bureau Valley Country Club, set September 6, 1982. He captured dozens of city and club championships spanning five decades. However, Bill's first hole-in-one did not happen until September 5, 2013, when he aced No. 17 at Ridgewood Country Club in Longville. Until a few weeks before he died, he was an active member of the Cottonwood Country Club, Sun Lakes, AZ.

Bill was preceded in death by both parents and a brother Steven. He is survived by his partner of nine years, Lila Ritchie, Sun Lakes, AZ; son David (Janis) DeLost, Longville; daughter Dawn (fiance Charlie Dana) Valverde, Crystal, MN; brother Dick (Shirley) DeLost, Germantown Hills, IL; and special to his heart, granddaughter Katelyn DeLost, Longville.

Rites of cremation have been accorded and a celebration of Bill's life will be held this summer in Longville.


Bill Hansen Realty

Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, March 11, 2018
Article comment by: Wes Grooms

Bill was a class act. A true manís man and gentleman. He was a visionary in the newspaper business and taught me everything I know. I loved him and respected him. My heart goes out to Dawn and Dave and the family.

My deepest condolences,
Wes Grooms
Asheville, NC

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