Friday, July 20, 2007

Former Jasper mayor Krusekopf dead at 82

There is always the possibility that a full obituary will be included in a later edition of the Joplin Globe, but judging by the Globe website, there is only a brief mention of the death of Dr. Fred Krusekopf Wednesday at age 82. These are the only words Globe readers were greeted with this morning:

Frederick Franklin Krusekopf D.V.M., 82, a veterinarian, passed away Wednesday, July 18, 2007. Services will be at 2 p.m. Monday at Jasper United Methodist Church, Jasper. Burial will be in Osborne Memorial Cemetery, Joplin. Visitation will be from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday at Weng Funeral Chapel, Jasper.

But as Jasper residents can tell you, whether they liked Doc Krusekopf or not, he was a force in city government for decades, both as mayor and city councilman. His gruff mannerisms and lack of tolerance for some of those who disagreed with his views grated on some, but there was never a moment when he did not put the city of Jasper first.

When I returned to the Lamar Democrat as editor in 1982, one of my first jobs was to restore the newspaper's coverage of nearby cities, and Jasper was the first city I targeted. At that point, the newspaper had not been receiving much coverage from the Democrat, the Carthage Press, or the Joplin Globe. Despite the lack of local newspaper coverage, the citizenry was still informed about what was going on in city government and around the town.

Doc Krusekopf and the city clerk, Maryland Rice, published their own weekly "newspaper," a sheet which included not only city government, but school, church, and community news. It was a success right from the start.

I am hoping that today's Carthage Press and/or one of the weekend Joplin Globe issues carries a story on Doc Krusekopf. Once again, it is painfully obvious that the shortsighted policy on obituaries used by the Globe and so many other newspapers these days is increasing the publication's disconnect with the reading public and contributing to its dwindling circulation and influence.

Deaths are news, whether they be of prominent small-town leaders like Fred Krusekopf or the person who lives next door.


Anonymous said...

The Lamar Democrat has a very good obituary for Doc.

Randy said...

I am glad to hear that.

Anonymous said...

Be sure to read Sunday's Carthage Press