“Remember, you are important to me and the BCR.”
How many times did Terri Simon, editor of the Bureau County Republican, end her columns with that statement?
Too many to count. But Terri meant what she said.
Readers were incredibly important to her.
Readers could tell it by the way she interacted with them.
Readers could tell it by the way she wrote about them.
Readers could tell it by the way she edited and produced a superior newspaper for them.
Under Terri’s watch, the BCR carried on a long tradition of quality journalism.
The many awards and trophies brought home year after year from Illinois Press Association annual contests testify to her talent.
Yes, readers were important to Terri Simon, in her role for the past 14 years as BCR editor.
With Terri’s untimely death on Sunday, we join the community in reflecting on how important Terri was to the newspaper and to her beloved readers. Terri was more than important to the BCR. She was vital to it.
To many readers, she was the face of the BCR in Princeton, Bureau County and the surrounding area.
Her face would become more familiar to an even wider audience over time as editor of the Putnam County Record, editor of the Tonica News, and editor of Illinois Valley Living magazine.
Newsroom leadership often translates to community leadership, and so it did with Terri.
She was as at home moderating a candidates forum as she was editing a news story.
She was as comfortable organizing Illinois Valley Living’s Women of Distinction luncheon and program as she was interviewing local grade-schoolers.
She was as proud of the accomplishments of the region’s multitalented residents as she was of the newspaper that covered them.
Terri was brave in the face of adversity – whether it was her own health challenges or those of others.
She courageously carried on – writing, editing, organizing, leading – even as the crucial time drew near for what would become her final days on earth.
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Terri Simon.
Terri will be profoundly missed by her family and friends, her BCR family, and the many readers whose lives she touched.
We’ll all miss reading her Page 2 column, which alternated from commentary about local events, to praise for good customer service, to trips down memory lane.
It wasn’t too long ago that Terri touched on the personal challenges in each person’s life.
“We are all fighting some kind of a battle,” she wrote.
For Terri, how true it was.
For the rest of us, how true it is.
Yes, while Terri liked to remind readers how important they were to her and the newspaper, we can’t help but be reminded of how important Terri was to us and her readers.
Farewell, dear friend and colleague.
– Bureau County Republican