For the extended Daily Mail family - longtime staffers and readers alike - the passing of former Daily Mail Executive Editor Charles K. Connor was very sad news.
Charlie died Sunday at 89. He spent his life extending his intelligence and warmth to the people he wrote about, to Daily Mail readers, to his co-workers, to younger writers and editors, to every community he ever lived in, and to every person he ever met.
A native of Huntington, Charlie served as a staff sergeant with the Army Signal Corps in North Africa in World War II.
He graduated from the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University and started at the Daily Mail in 1948 as an obituary writer.
Charlie went on to become a clean, clear writer - a reporter, columnist, managing editor, executive editor, community leader, mentor to younger reporters and editors, and lifelong friend to many.
Named publisher of Beckley Newspapers in 1981, he extended his gifts to Beckley. In 1985, he and nine other community-minded souls used a startup gift of $1.1 million to establish the Beckley Area Foundation.
Today, it has assets of almost $30 million, administers 373 separate funds, and has distributed almost $7 million to help meet other people's needs.
Charlie had twinkly blue eyes and a sunny disposition. He was empathetic, encouraging and thoughtful with everyone he ever met - an example of that rare breed who brought grace to every aspect of his life.
He was a grand man.
The Daily Mail extends its condolences to Nancy, his wife of 65 years; to his four children, Charles Michael Connor, Carolyn Monday, Amy Connor and Marsha Bescos; and to his 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
A memorial gift to the Nancy and Charlie Connor Fund, Beckley Area Foundation, 129 Main St., Suite 203, Beckley, WV 25801 would help others.
He would have liked that.