WNA Foundation honors 12 during Memorial Pylon in Eagle River

The WNA Foundation inducted 12 industry leaders during today’s WNA Memorial Pylon ceremony in Eagle River, Wis.

WNA Memorial Pylon Ceremony Paul Seeling
WNA President Paul Seeling addresses attendees during the Memorial Pylon ceremony on June 7, 2019, in Eagle River. (Julia Hunter photo)

Nearly 50 friends, family and WNA members gathered at the Trees For Tomorrow campus to pay tribute to newspaper publishers who have recently passed away. WNA President Paul Seeling invited family representatives to share stories about their loved ones and how their devotion to newspapers made lasting impacts in their communities. 

Several of this year’s inductees’ children went on to become newspaper publishers themselves, including Tim Lyke, son of Audrey Lyke and publisher of the Ripon Commonwealth Press; Kurt Krueger, son of Leland Krueger and publisher of the (Eagle River) Vilas County News-Review; and Jon Losness, who previously served as publisher of the Kenosha News and the (Rochester, Minn.) Post Bulletin.

This year’s inductees were (see biographies below):

Florence J. Berglund
Tribune-Record-Gleaner, Loyal

Lyle A. Christianson
The Colfax Messenger

Charles “Tom” Coe
Whitewater Register

Janet Catherine Flaherty
Milton Courier

Bernadette Ann Friedell
Washburn County Register, Shell Lake

Lee Edward Henschel
The Blair Press

Jeffery L. Hovind
The Freeman, Waukesha

Clara G. Keenan
Tomahawk Leader

Leland H. “Korny” Krueger
Marion Advertiser

J. Dennis Losness
The Cornell Courier

Audrey Reichert Lyke
Ripon Commonwealth Press

Robert A. Toerpe
Washington Island Observer

The longstanding tradition of honoring past publishers dates back to 1962, when the original Memorial Pylon was erected in the Memorial Grove area of the WNA Press Forest, just outside of Eagle River. The original monument was built in the form of a 20-foot scroll, supported on one side by a gigantic pencil and marked with a large “-30-,” the traditional newspaper indication of the end of a story.

WNA Memorial Pylon Ceremony Tim Lyke
Tim Lyke, publisher of the Ripon Commonwealth Press, recounts stories about his mother, Audrey Reichert Lyke, who was inducted onto the WNA Memorial Pylon on June 7, 2019, in Eagle River, Wis. (Julia Hunter photo)

In 1980, the Pylon was redesigned and moved from the Press Forest to the Trees For Tomorrow campus, where the names of deceased publishers were printed on press plates and hung from wooden structures.

Over time, the names began to fade and in 2014, a more permanent monument was erected. Five granite pylons and several benches now provide visitors a place to reflect. The effort was made possible by donor contributions and sponsorship from the WNA Foundation, which continues its pylon fundraising efforts today.

2019 WNA Memorial Pylon inductees

2019 Memorial Pylon inductees

Florence J. Berglund

WNA Memorial Pylon inductee Florence Berglund
Florence Berglund

Florence J. (Rodrick) Berglund was born Oct. 8, 1932, in Northfield, Minn., to C.J. “Joe” and Florence (Culver) Rodrick. She married Robert Berglund on Dec. 30, 1956, before moving to Turtle Lake, where they lived for 11 years.

In 1968, the Berglunds purchased the Loyal Tribune and Spencer Record. After buying the Greenwood Gleaner in 1969, they combined the three newspapers into the Tribune-Record-Gleaner. Robert and Florence operated the newspaper until selling the business and retiring in 1998.

Robert Berglund, who served as WNA president in 1982, was inducted into the Wisconsin Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2007.

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Lyle A. Christianson

WNA Memorial Pylon inductee Lyle Christianson
Lyle Christianson

Lyle A. Christianson, a lifelong Colfax resident, was born Oct. 18, 1935, to Elmer and Bessie (Olson) Christianson.

Lyle began working at the ColfaxMessenger before graduating high school in 1953. The owners at that time, Ken and Helen Reed, would later sell the newspaper to Lyle and his wife, Inez, whom he married on July 4, 1958.

Lyle and Inez owned and operated the Messenger from 1968 to 1995.

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Charles “Tom” Coe

WNA Memorial Pylon inductee Charles "Tom" Coe
Charles “Tom” Coe

Charles “Tom” Coe was born June 15, 1944, in Milwaukee to Charles B. and Helen (Thomson) Coe. After graduating in 1963 from Whitewater High School, he served for a year in the Army National Guard before joining his father at the family-owned Whitewater Register.

Tom ran the Register from 1982 to 2001, during which time he also served as a member of the Whitewater Fire Department. When Tom and his brother-in-law Russ Saunders sold the paper in 2001, it marked the end of the 128-year family owned business.

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Janet Catherine Flaherty

WNA Memorial Pylon inductee Janet Flaherty
Janet Catherine Flaherty

Janet Catherine (Leahy) Flaherty was born April 9, 1932, in St. Paul, Minn., to James and Ethel Leahy. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1952 and taught school in San Diego where she met her husband Mike, a newly discharged Navy officer.

Janet and Mike were married in 1954 in St. Paul, and they lived and worked in Michigan and Minnesota before they bought the Milton Courier in 1959. They owned and operated the Courier together for more than 30 years.

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Bernadette Ann Friedell

WNA Memorial Pylon inductee Bernadette Friedell
Bernadette Ann Friedell

Bernadette Ann (Furseth) Friedell was born April 1, 1926, in Stoughton, to George and Rosella (Lee) Furseth. She married John Friedell on June 21, 1947, in Edgerton.

Bernadette earned her journalism degree from UW-Madison in 1948. From 1980 to 1989, she and John edited and published the (Shell Lake) Washburn County Register. After earning several awards from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, they sold the paper and retired in 1989.

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Lee Edward Henschel

WNA Memorial Pylon inductee Lee Henschel
Lee Henschel

Lee Henschel was born on March 6, 1956, in Princeton, Minn., to David and Bertha Henschel. After graduating from Princeton High School, Lee earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Southwest State University and a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from St. Cloud State University.

Lee worked at the Redwood Gazette in Redwood Falls, Minn., before purchasing The Blair Press in 1998. He served as the newspaper’s publisher, editor, reporting and business manager for more than 20 years — a run that lasted right up until his death.

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Jeffery L. Hovind

WNA Memorial Pylon inductee Jeff Hovind
Jeff Hovind

Jeffery L. Hovind was born in Milwaukee on Oct. 22, 1956, to Lyle and Doris Hovind. After graduating from high school in Greenfield, he earned his journalism degree from UW-Eau Claire.

Jeff started his career at the (Beaver Dam) Daily Citizen before going on to serve as publisher of The (Waukesha) Freeman. In 2005, he and his wife, Susan, purchased the Merrill Courier.

They ran the newspaper until 2014, when they sold it to MultiMedia Channels before moving to Oregon. He also is a past president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council.

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Clara G. Keenan

Clara Keenan
Clara Keenan

Clara (Gryniewski) Keenan was born June 23, 1926, in Polley, Wis., to Frank and Mary Gryniewski. She studied education at Superior Teacher’s College and UW-Madison, and later worked as a teacher in Tomahawk.

Clara married Ken Keenan on July 12, 1952, and together they owned the Tomahawk Leader from July 1955 until Ken’s death in March 1979, after which Clara took on the role of publisher. She sold the newspaper to Larry and Kathy Tobin in 1982.

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Leland H. “Korny” Krueger

Leland H. “Korny” Krue­ger
Leland “Korny” Krue­ger

Leland H. “Korny” Krueger, was born Jan. 11, 1929, in Marion, to Louis and Martha Krueger. Korny graduated from Bonduel High School in 1947 and served in the U.S. Navy until 1954.

He married Nora Lydia Janke, on May 21, 1955, in Symco, Wis. Together they purchased the Marion Advertiser in August 1967, which they operated until Dec. 1, 1985, when they sold the newspaper to Dan and Patsy Brandenburg.

That year Korny’s son, Kurt, became editor of the Vilas County News-Review in Eagle River, where he now serves as publisher.

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J. Dennis Losness

Dennis Losness
J. Dennis Losness

Jerald Dennis Losness was born on Oct. 26, 1932, to Oscar and Solveig (Fause) Losness. He began his 50-year newspaper career in high school at the Amery Free Press.

On Feb. 13, 1958, he married Sandra Fraipont at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Amery, Wis. That same year, he became editor and publisher of The Cornell Courier, where he would work for the next five years before going on to work for the Duluth Herald and News Tribune, St. Paul Dispatch and Pioneer Press, Wausau Daily Herald and Wisconsin State Journal, before retiring in 1996.

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Audrey Reichert Lyke

Audrey Lyke
Audrey Reichert Lyke

Audrey Reichert Lyke was born Jan. 8, 1930, in Cook County, Illinois, to Carl and Leona Reichert. Audrey married Doug Lyke on Dec. 27, 1952, and moved to Ripon in 1962, to operate the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

They soon became commercial printers as well, with Audrey handling the company’s finances and other operations, and Doug bidding on jobs and running the company.

Their son, Tim, currently serves as publisher of the newspaper, while his brother, Andy, oversees Ripon Printers, the commercial printing business.

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Robert A. Toerpe

Robert Toerpe
Robert Toerpe

Robert A. Toerpe was born Feb. 2, 1933, in Chicago. After graduating high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served during the Korean War, during which time he met his wife, Gail Larson.

After the war, Bob worked in the insurance industry for 43 years. In 1992, he and Gail bought the Washington Island Observer After Bob retired from his insurance career in 1998, he and Gail operated the Observer together for the next 20 years.

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