By GREG JORDAN
The Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — Colleagues, friends, and people who are both came Thursday to say farewell and share best wishes with a long-time member of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph family who was retiring after a career spanning almost 60 years.
Sue Richmond started at the Bluefield Daily Telegraph in 1957 when the newspaper was located on Bland Street in downtown Bluefield. Since that time, she has been the one who welcomed many of the Telegraph’s current team when they entered the world of journalism. The newspaper hosted a reception Thursday afternoon for Richmond, who officially retires June 1, in its conference room. While visitors enjoyed special cupcakes and other refreshments, former Senior Editor Bill Archer, who is now retired and serving on the Mercer County Commission, recalled working with Richmond.
“Sue was really the first person I worked with down at the old building on Bland Street. She worked out front and was June Grubb’s assistant,” Archer said. “June had asked me to do a feature story on a society event, and I came up and sat with Sue and the rest was history.”
Photographer Mel Grubb said he was married to June when she was the Telegraph’s society editor and Richmond was her assistant.
“I helped her do the lifestyles section, what little she would let me do,” Richmond said.
“Susie’s been my babysitter all my life when I’d bring my pictures in,” Grubb added. “She’s always got her smile. She’s always helped me with my pictures by getting them in the right place.”
Many of the Daily Telegraph’s team have known Richmond for much of their lives. Longtime friend Sherry Ciccolini said Richmond was going to miss the newspaper world. “This has been her life for about 60 years.”
“I met Susie when I was 16 years old,” mailroom employee Wayne Gillespie said. “She’s been a wonderful friend all those years. You don’t find that a lot anymore. She’s an excellent lady.”
“She’s a stalwart for sure,” longtime columnist Smokey Shott remarked after arriving at the reception. “She’s been a great help to me. It’s going to create a huge hole that will be hard to fill.”
Publisher Randy Mooney said, “Susie has been the glue that held the paper together for 59 years, and we’ll struggle to survive after she’s gone.”
Editor Samantha Perry, like the other reporters and editors, started benefiting from Richmond’s knowledge and experienced the moment she first come into the newsroom.
“Susie is incredible,” Perry said. “I remember her taking me under her wing when I was a young reporter and showing me the newsroom ropes. She’s done that with all the reporters, so she may be retiring, but her knowledge and skill remains in the newsroom.”
Richmond planned to keep visiting the Telegraph, but she will miss being there from day to day.
“The only thing I can say is I’ll miss everybody, the people I work with and the people I’ve dealt with coming into the newspaper,” she said.
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