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Remembering The Register-Herald’s Dan Stillwell, a genuine friend


The Register-Herald

Dan Stillwell

BECKLEY, W.Va. — I walked into the office one day 18 years ago, and there he was. Right away, it was plain to see Dan Stillwell was his own man.

After nearly two decades at the Welch Daily News, Dan was beginning a new chapter with us here at The Register-Herald. We had actually met a couple of times before, and he stood up to shake my hand. Then, in our cramped quarters that kept us hidden from civilization, we sat down, Dan at the cubicle to my left, and got started on a journey none of us knew held in store.

What it became is the kind of friendship everyone deserves to know.

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A death in the family changes all


The Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. — One night this summer, after finishing some editing assignments in my office, I headed out into the newsroom to see how the front page was coming together. Lo and behold, we had all of two people, Mary and Dan Stillwell, seated facing each other from across the room, putting out the entire paper.

Rarely are we this thin in the run-up to press time. I was initially startled and delighted at the same time, so much so that I reached for my cellphone and took a picture. Life at a small community daily is occasionally stressed with staffing issues – getting the right people with the right equipment and the right training and the right skills in the right place with the right directions.

But not to worry on this night.

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On a personal note

I worked with Dan and Mary Stillwell at The Register-Herald before coming to work with the West Virginia Press Association. Mary was my boss on the copydesk and sitting and working beside her is the thing I miss most from my time in Beckley.

Dan and Mary are the most lovely married couple. It is obvious how much they loved and respected each other without them making a big gooey deal about it.  Their sense of humor and genuine caring was a really neat thing to experience.

— Brenda Pinnell

WVPA Graphic Designer


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