Note: This column was typically the last thing Sue Moore composed prior to going to print with the South County News. She didn’t have a chance to write her column. It was drafted by Linda Lane, with input from Board Members Bob Ball, Wes Schmitt, Steve Ellis and Sheri Freeland.
The changes to life in the world with coronavirus were inconceivable for everyone. As the South County News illustrated in April and May, we’ve been contending with debilitating social and economic changes. It has turned our world upside down.
The virus isn’t the only thing that’s turned things upside down around this newspaper.
The editor and publisher of the South County News, Sue Moore, passed away on Thursday, May 28, 2020; she did not die from complications or as a result of the Coronavirus. This devastating loss will be endured by many in our South County communities, including Sue Moore’s family, friends, neighbors, and community leaders and organizers. We can’t believe she is gone.
The South County News Board of Directors discussed repeatedly – with Sue, of course – who would fill the shoes as editor and publisher should anything happened to Sue, the editor, heart, and soul of the South County News. Although one can logically discuss the subject as a possibility, it was not entirely believable that a woman so spry, radiant, engaged, intelligent, funny and vivacious could suddenly leave us the way she has. The loss of our leader has left us numb and worried for the viability of the newspaper.
The board never managed to achieve any succession plan or hire an assistant editor. Developing a plan to pull the paper through this devastating loss seems like an enormous task; finding a replacement for this competent, skilled editor will be an enormous challenge. There aren’t many people who are willing to invest the time, energy and dedication to publish the South County News the way Sue Moore did. We just need to push on, because it’s what Sue Moore would insist we do.
Sue was the guts of the South County News. The vast majority of those who knew Sue admired and adored her for all she contributed, as they watched her dedicate her life and work for the community’s good.
Working with her parents, Meredith and Bernice Clark and their newspaper, The Vicksburg Commer-cial Newspaper, Sue grew up in the newspaper business and earned her stripes working for their paper. She knew the business inside and out.
Sue knew nearly everyone, not just in Vicksburg but Schoolcraft as well, as she attended township and village board meetings, school board meetings, historical meetings, farmer’s market meetings, rotary meetings, community events – the list goes on and on. Many people, many groups, will feel the loss of Sue Moore for years to come.
Our hearts go out deeply to Sue’s family, who shared their mom and grandmother with the rest of us. She was an inspiration to those who had the pleasure of working with her. We know how much she believed in the good in our communities and people. It was what inspired her to pour the last years of her life into generating the stories of the fine people who live here and contribute to bettering our communities. Sue was the heart of every good story in the South County News. She made things happen. She embodied the goodness of our area in the great state of Michigan.
We don’t know where we will go from here with this loss. We don’t know how Sue can possibly be replaced, because she really can’t be. But the South County News, just like the opening of the Farmers’ Market, the Rotary Showcase and much more, should forge on. It’s what Sue would want all of us to do.
When Sue celebrated her 80th birthday in 2018, many community leaders came together, surprising her with a “Farm to Table Dinner” celebration in her honor. She was shocked by it but she deserved it. She’s made an impact on many lives. Kudos to all of those who made that happen, so Sue could feel the ap-preciation from everyone present and how much she has meant. To all of us. For all she’s done.
In spite of multiple restrictions imposed on all of us due to coronavirus, we hope these communities will somehow find a way to celebrate her inspiring life and immense contributions to our communities. She certainly deserves it.
The July issue of the South County News will feature a tribute to Sue Moore. The Board of Trustees would like to receive your comments and tributes in memory of Sue. Please email them to Linda Lane, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by US Mail to:
South County News
PO Box 723
Schoolcraft, MI 49087