One of the sad realities of newspapers continually cutting back the column inches they publish every day is the loss of some of the traditional services they provided, including obituaries. Many of you may know Don Shook, who prior to moving to Las Vegas spent 27 years in Denver with Channel 4, Coors and the Jeffco Sheriff’s Office. His wife, Maggie, passed away last month and Don was shocked to find that the Post wanted $1,600 to publish her obituary. Don fired off the letter below to the Post, but has yet to see it published or receive a response.
My wife of 37 years just got her dying wish, thanks to The Denver Post. Maggie passed away last week in our Las Vegas home after many years of pain and suffering. She made it absolutely clear that she wanted NO obituary notices; however, after 25 years of living in Golden, I was willing to risk her wrath on “the other shore” to share news of her passing with our considerable number of friends along the Front Range. She will indeed get her wish regarding your newspaper.
I built a modest obituary into the paper’s template, along with a recent photo that captures her nicely. To run it three days would be just under $1,600. Does The Denver Post expect me to singlehandedly save the organization from financial doom? With the recent news of yet morestaff reductions being sought, is the newspaper hoping to stave off closure of its daily publication by capitalizing on people at such a moment of profound grief?
Given your apparent lack of feeling for the community you purport to serve, perhaps the time may come when we all read of the Post’s own obituary. For the sake of your many fine employees, I hope not.
There will be a memorial for Maggie next summer in Golden. If you are interested in reconnecting with Don, you can reach him through his PR firm in Las Vegas.