Former News-Miner publisher Massey dies at 75

Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2009

FAIRBANKS - Paul Massey, the former publisher of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, has died while vacationing in Germany. He was 75.

His sister-in-law, Moira Galvin, said he died Monday. Massey's daughter, Jennifer, told the newspaper that he apparently died in his sleep. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Massey was publisher from 1992 until 2000, introducing a Saturday edition and presiding over the newspaper's switch from afternoon to morning delivery.

Marilyn Romano, his successor, said Massey emphasized public service and was a consistent presence at local functions.

Massey and his wife, Jane, worked with the United Way, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival and Faribanks Community Food Bank, among other groups. The Masseys, who returned to the East Coast after leaving Fairbanks, were honored as Distinguished Citizens of the Year by the Midnight Sun Council Boy Scouts of America in 1999.

Massey was known for his dry wit, formal fashion and Boston accent. Though it wouldn't seem like he'd fit in Alaska, friends say he had no trouble.

"The most amazing thing to me about Paul is he walked into town and just kind of owned the place," said Samantha Kirstein, executive director of the food bank.

Romano recalled her first meeting with Massey. He was new to Fairbanks and had brought her up for an interview to be the advertising director.

At the suggestion of a friend, Massey escorted her to Chatanika Days as an introduction to Fairbanks culture.

They arrived just in time to witness the wet T-shirt contest and tobacco-spitting competition.

"I just remember the horror in his eyes," Romano said. "Years later, he said he thought he'd never convince me to come up here and work after that."

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