The common thought today would be that my generation doesn’t read the obituary section. Maybe my job puts me in a unique position, but I know I still pay attention.
The past two weeks, a pair of names showed up that forced me to take pause. We lost two women who were true assets to Platte City and Platte County alike.
I didn’t necessarily know either well, but I know enough to realize how much they will be missed.
LaVerne Taulbee died on Friday, Feb. 10. I can’t specifically recall the last time I saw her, but I’m sure she greeted me with a smile, a pat on the back and a kind word about the job this newspaper did.
“A loyal member of the First Christian Church,” LaVerne’s recollections of me as a youth while being a part of that congregation were certainly better than the ones I had of her from my childhood. But when I came back to Platte City, it didn’t take long for us to reconnect.
I admired her exuberance and energy for life. She showed a mutual respect for my work as an adult.
I’ll miss those short conversations we often had. They were worth more than she knows.
Platte City lost a lifelong citizen, a historian, a mother, a grandmother, a sister and an aunt. You didn’t have to be a member of LaVerne’s family to be a part of her family. The community is better for having known her, and I wasn’t surprised to see the gridlock of vehicles outside the First Christian Church during her services.
LaVerne Taulbee touched a lot of people, and Platte City was better for having shared in her 79 years of life.
Edna Glick died Tuesday, Feb. 14 with her family at her side. She was a spunky 90 years old.
I spent much of my formative high school years toiling away at Leo’s Country Mart. I didn’t see Edna Glick much during the retirement years that were in effect before I started work as a 15-year-old sacker.
But you always knew the true matriarch of the operation.
I owe so much to John, Jim, Virginia and Paul Glick — owners and my bosses for part of seven years. They always treated me and my family with the utmost respect, and my heart ached for them when I heard the news.
I graduated high school with Adam Glick and went to school with other grandchildren of Leo and Edna Glick. Through those relationships, I learned of the annual “Glickfest” celebration that brought the family together. Leo and Edna Glick were always made to be a part of the festivities, even as they aged into their twilight years.
Leo and Edna were married for 62 years before his death. She lived on with the loving care of her family until last week. They had eight children, 16 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
What a legacy to leave behind.
Writing a few words in this space isn’t much, but I wanted to take a few moments to try and recognize these important members of our community. I don’t enjoy reading the obituaries, but I find it important to remember what we lose.
I also experienced joy for others this past weekend.
In my annual trek to the Missouri State Wrestling Championships, I witnessed Platte County senior Casey Jumps achieve one of his dreams — winning a Class 3 state title. He so rarely shows emotion that I nearly forgot to take the pictures when he emotionally hugged the two coaches in his corner coming off the mat after a win in the 220-pound championship match.
I recovered in enough time to capture the moment on A1 of this week’s paper.
The image really speaks to what I enjoy about covering state wrestling. I’ve been to each of the past 14 tournaments as a media member, and for me, the journey never grows old.
Stories like Jumps’ transcend simple sports narratives, so I hope you enjoy reading, too, even if you don’t know much about wrestling.
Headed to the Air Force Academy to wrestle, Jumps started his career as a freshman fill-in at 220 pounds. He ended up becoming a champion through sheer determination, which was made his moment so special.
Platte County wrestling — starting with hall of fame coach Phil Dorman and continuing under coach Reggie Burress — has a history of molding raw talent into champions. I enjoy immersing myself in the atmosphere and trying to bring the stories to you the readers.
Emotions are a part of this job that can be difficult and rewarding.
Ross Martin is publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached via email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @Citizen_Ross.