Eugene Relerford, founding publisher of The Chronicle newspaper in Beloit, died Wednesday, Aug. 7, at UW Health University Hospital in Madison. He was 67.
Relerford was born Jan. 25, 1952, in Hot Spring, Ark., to James and Ruthie (Frazier) Relerford. He graduated from Beloit Catholic High School.
On April 25, 1971, Relerford married Linda Givhan, and together they had a daughter, Sondra. After separating from Linda years later, Eugene met his long life partner, Patricia Hodges. They raised five children together: Shauna, Sheric, Shelton, Shaloan and Meaghan.
In 1981, Relerford founded The Chronicle as a “one-man operation and wrecking crew.” The Chronicle, a weekly newspaper, served the local minority communities in southeast Wisconsin and northern Illinois. The Chronicle currently is not publishing, as Relerford’s family is weighing options for the newspaper’s future.
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“He wanted to be the voice for Beloit’s African American Community,” nephew Keith Pleasant told the Beloit Daily News. “He focused on youth development and youth engagement. He wanted to share the positive stories about young people.”
A memorial service for Relerford will be held Monday, Aug. 19, at Beloit Life Church. Visitation will take place from 9 to 11 a.m., with funeral service to follow at 11 a.m.