By Leeanne Seaver
A small-town newspaper is an increasingly rare and wonderful thing in this age of digital communication. It contains more than news; it reflects the culture of a place through stories and photographs.
No one knew this better than Sue Moore, whose passion for her hometown and region was evident in everything she did, especially as founder, editor, and publisher of the South County News.
After Moore’s recent passing, the board of the newspaper met to discuss how publication would continue without her life force. Her shoes would be hard to fill, but she left a clear path to follow.
Sue’s admiration and respect for Kathleen Oswalt Forsythe spanned decades. A contemporary of Gordon and Bonnie Oswalt, Moore knew Kathy’s parents and their daughter well.
As community leaders, Moore and Forsythe crossed paths in numerous ways. They worked together on the Hearty Hustle 5K each year, and sat on the Vicksburg School Foundation Board together. Moore secured Kathy as a regular feature writer for the SCN. A fourth-generation Oswalt of Vicksburg, Kathy’s reflections on growing up on the family farm in Brady Township and life in this small town are curated in her popular column, “It’s a Fine Life”.
With equal measures of nostalgia and currency, Kathy Forsythe’s natural talent and literary chops were honed with a bachelor’s degree from MSU and a master’s degree from WMU. She’s taught English at VHS since 2004, and is a founding member of a group of local wordsmiths comprising The Lake Effect Writers Guild. She and husband Dennis have three children, two sons-in-law and two grandkids. Kathy’s love of family, reading, entertaining, writing, and gardening shines through everything she does. And her deep devotion to this community is apparent to all who know her, a qualification Sue Moore would have required.
On June 4, the SCN board invited Forsythe to assume the role of publisher/editor. Kathy accepted with the understanding that “I’ll have to operate differently than Sue – my background isn’t in journalism. But I’m so motivated to keep our local paper going. I’ll need patience from the readership, and lots of help!”
That’s a given from a great team: Justin Gibson, graphic designer; Bob Ball, copy editor; Wes Schmidt, secretary and treasurer; Sheri Freeland, advertising sales; and Steve Ellis, ad consultant.
Forsythe is excited to take on the challenge. “The South County News helps make this a great place to live. I’m looking forward to this opportunity, and to hearing from readers. Send her your story ideas at Kforsythesouthcountynews@gmail.com.
By Leeanne Seaver