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.
Posted: Wednesday, May 2, 2018
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I consider Bill my second dad. We hit it off right away the first day we met. I miss him greatly. -Sergio Valverde, Saint Paul, MN
Posted: Wednesday, March 21, 2018
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You may be a golf fanatic if you keep a set of golf clubs in your trunk, cargo area or pickup truck bed.
You might be a golf fanatic if you keep a putter, a putt return cup and a putter in your workplace.
You might be a golf fanatic if you know what channel number is assigned to the Golf Network on two satellite and one local cable company’s channel line-up.
The three aforementioned items are true for the man I know to be the most golf-crazed person I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Mr. William “Bill” David DeLost.
Bill is the only person I’ve ever known to build a new office building with a ceiling height requirement set to accommodate the full swing of a golf driver. At work we could be buried into typesetting news or building when all of the sudden a “Whoosh” would fill the air as he took a full and hearty swing with his favorite driver. There was a time while the business space next door to the Pine Cone Press-Citizen was vacant that Bill set up a practice net. Out of the blue a loud crack of the dimpled ball with a driver would launch me completely out of my chair while offering a barrage of expletives. The man lived for golf and a good glass of wine.
Not only was Bill full of golf, he whistled and hummed and would break into song. Happy-go-lucky, easy-going, and full of great lessons to teach the rookie staffer. When Bill offered me the editor position so he could pursue his game year-round, he offered me a piece of advice, “The editor never should be front page news.” Now I understand what he meant. On the front page of his beloved Press-Citizen on March 13, 2018 was Bill’s obituary notice. My favorite golf fanatic tee time was up and he is now roaming perfectly manicured fairways and greens with a set of clubs that will never fail and the need for a Mulligan is nevermore. When I think of all his golfing buddies who went before him, I wonder who joins him on the scorecard of his ultimate golf foursome.
Bill, you have my utmost gratitude and respect for teaching me the ropes and offering some great father-like advice. You will be missed.
Posted: Sunday, March 11, 2018
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Bill was a class act. A true man’s 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.