Helen Bale an exemplary journalist and person

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The report of former Auburn Journal Editor Helen Bale’s death in Sunday’s edition was very saddening to me, although I (and many other friends and co-workers) had been expecting it any day. As most of her friends knew, Helen had been ill for several years, in and out of the hospital several times last year, and before her last birthday (on Christmas Day) was predicted to have only a “few days left.” Knowing Helen, we were not surprised that her days stretched into months. Long before the end, Helen was already prepared. Last October and November, in her Journal weekly column “Through Irish Eyes,” she brought us up-to-date about her first newspaper job, and the successful progress since then in newspaper and radio journalism. In one of my personal visits with her after that, I accused her of writing her own obituary. She agreed, saying she wanted to be sure it was correct. She was a perfectionist in all of her writings and reporting. When I came to the Journal in early 1968, I felt very fortunate in inheriting one of the finest newspaper editors in community newspapers – Lloyd Beggs. Helen joined us later as an associate editor. When it came time for Lloyd to retire, I was honored to have Helen accept the responsibility of editor. I never regretted it. She was not only a co-worker and excellent editor; she was also a good friend. Bill Pfaff Publisher Emeritus Auburn Journal