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George Fisk, former publisher, dies

Had 40-year career at the newspaper starting as ‘proof boy’

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Submitted photo)
George H. Fisk, former publisher of The Herald-News.

George H. Fisk, former publisher of The Herald-News, died Tuesday.

Fisk had a 40-year career with The Herald-News that began in 1948 with a job as what was then called a “proof boy” and ended in 1993 with his retirement as publisher and editor of The Herald-News and president of the Fox Valley Press.

“He loved his job at The Herald-News,” said his daughter, Sharon Peck. “I don’t think he considered it a job. He considered it a vocation.”

Fisk, 82, died at Morris Community Hospital.

He and wife, Sally, had been living in Leesburg, Ind., where they had moved soon after Fisk’s retirement from the newspaper business, Sharon Peck said. But they had been back in the area in the last couple of weeks, she said.

Fisk became publisher in 1982. He became chairman of the Copley Publishers Group in Illinois 1985 at a time when The Herald-News was part of the Copley Press chain of newspapers. He also was president of the Illinois Production Managers Association.

In the early 1990s, when Copley built the Fox Valley Press in Plainfield, a central printing operation to serve its newspapers in the Chicago region, Fisk was given the job of overseeing the start of the operation.

In his time at The Herald-News, Fisk, in addition to his first job reading advertising copy and checking for errors, was a dispatch manager, retail advertising salesman, classified advertising manager, production manager, display advertising manager, director of sales and marketing and assistant publisher.

During his days as publisher, Fisk lived in the Camelot subdivision just outside Joliet and was a co-founder of the Camelot Homeowners Association.

He was active in numerous civic organizations and served as a president and director of the local United Way.

Fisk also was “a great dad,” Sharon Peck said. “He inspired all five of his kids to work our hardest and to do our best. He instilled in all of us a strong work ethic to become the citizens we are today.”

In addition to his wife, Sally, and Peck, Fisk is survived by sons, Mike, Tim and Steve, and his daughter, Polly Yaguchi.

His body has been cremated according to his wishes. But there will be a visitation with the family from 2 to 8 p.m. Friday at Fred C. Dames Funeral Home at the corner of Black and Essington roads in Joliet. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Church of the Good Shepherd Evangelical Covenant, 2437 Plainfield Road, Crest Hill.

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