Friday, April 17, 2009

Farewell Gayle

Just got word from Adam Bernstein that Gayle Ronan Sims, obits editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, has just died.

Many in obitworld were aware of her recent health setbacks. She never recovered from double lung transplant surgery last month.


Anonymous said...


Alana Baranick said...

Several weeks ago, before Gayle had lung transplant surgery, the Society of Professional Obituary Writers (SPOW) created the Gayle Ronan Sims Award, a special award to recognize a deserving obituary writer for journalistic excellence, professionalism and dedication.

It's an award that will not be given out annually. It's too special.

We planned to announce the creation of the first Gayle Ronan Sims Award and that Gayle herself would be its first recipient during the SPOW Convention in Charlotte, N.C., next week.

We also planned to wait until the convention to announce that the 2010 SPOW Convention would be held in Philadelphia with Gayle as the local host.

That was one of the last things Gayle discussed with me. I truly believed that she would be in good health and taking charge of things for that event.

We'll move forward with those plans and ask that her fellow Philly obit writers step in for her.

In our very last conversation, Gayle made me promise that when Ed McMahon dies, I'd post on this blog the McMahon obit which she finished shortly before going into the hospital.

That was typical of Gayle. Taking care of business as long as she possibly could, regardless of her own situation.

mckie said...

I'm very sorry to hear this news.