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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Former Times' Editor dies

Sunday, January 30, 2011

James 'Jim' Dressler
* 'Jim' Dressler dies at 75

A piece of Clay County died this weekend.

Former Times' Editor James "Jim" Dressler, died Saturday. He was 75.

Dressler spent 38 years of his life in the world of newspaper, serving in many capacities, including political writer, staff writer, sports editor, managing editor and editor.

He worked for several other newspapers, including the New Albany Tribune, Plainfield Messenger, Dayton (Ohio) Journal-Herald, and the Tribune-Star.

Following retirement from the world of journalism, Dressler remained active in the community and also spent time as a proofreader of bills for the Indiana House of Representatives during Indiana General Assembly sessions.

But it wasn't just all the by-lines printed in those papers that will remind people of Dressler.

Dressler left his imprint on Clay County and the citizens that live here.

"I started my relationship with Jim with my weekly article for the Brazil Concert Band events," BCB director Matt Huber said. "We just kind of hit if off and became friends."

Huber said Dressler had recently been working with the band and the Clay Parks Association as the organizations pursued a grant to place an awning at the band shell in Forest Park.

"He was so excited about this," Huber said.

Clay Parks Association fund drive chairperson Wilmadean Baker told The Times she had spoken to Dressler regarding the awning Friday.

"He was just so happy, so bubbly," Baker said. "He was just so excited about getting it done. I was so shocked to hear about it."

Baker said the association had received the grant with Dressler's help.

"He supported so much stuff," she said. "He was so good with community projects. It made such a difference in the community because he was so supportive."

Huber said Dressler had helped with many community projects throughout the years, including the restoration of the band shell in 1995, adding his approach to making Clay County a better place to live would be a lasting legacy.

"He was very kind, probably the most civic-minded person in Brazil and Clay County that I've ever known," Huber said.

Brazil Times' General Manager Lynne Llewellyn added Dressler will be missed.

"I think it is a real detriment to the community," Llewellyn said. "I admired Jim. I admired his grace and his enthusiasm. I always admired the fact that so many people admired him."

Former Times' General Manager Earl Hutcheson worked with Dressler for approximately 15 years.

On Sunday, he reflected on his time with the Clay County native.

"The thing about Jim was he really had a grip on the community, what was going on in the community," Hutcheson said. "He was really a great source for gathering information in Clay County."

Hutcheson added Dressler enjoyed talking about his family.

"He was somebody that really loved his family and his children," Hutcheson said. "He really could talk about his children all day."

Hutcheson said Dressler's column, "Seen and Heard," which appeared in Saturday issues, was a staple for the paper.

"Everybody loved 'Seen and Heard,'" Hutcheson said. "People looked forward to it."

Clay County Commissioner Charlie Brown told The Times he always appreciated Dressler's input on any item.

"He was a good friend," Brown said. "He always had time for me with concerns I had. He was a decent fellow.

"He was someone I really looked up to and had a lot of respect for. This is a sad loss for Clay County."

French Funeral Home associate Susie French told The Times she received a lot of help from Dressler when she started in the business.

"He was instrumental on helping me write an obituary," French said. "I didn't know what I was doing. He called me and was very helpful.

"He was such a nice man. He'll certainly be missed in the community."

Ed Christensen worked with Dressler at The Times. The former pressman said he was "one of the nicest guys I knew."

"He would help anybody," Christensen said. "You couldn't ask for a nicer guy to work with."

Former Times' associate Carol Swearingen worked with Dressler at the paper for many years and also worked with him at the Tribune-Star in Terre Haute. She said he will be missed.

"He was a really, really nice man," Swearingen said. "It was a joy knowing him and working with him for so many years."

Baker and Huber both echoed Swearingen's sentiments.

"Throughout the years, I had so much contact with him, I considered him one of my best friends," Baker said.

"Jim lived and breathed Clay County," Huber added. "He was involved in so many organizations. He was an entire unselfish man. He never wanted awards or anything like that.

"Jim left a large footprint on Clay County."

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Godspeed Jim! Our prayers for your family!

-- Posted by RickS on Sun, Jan 30, 2011, at 8:31 PM

I knew and talked with Jim for many years. He truly was a champion for Brazil and Clay County. He loved this area and wanted to do anything he could to make it better.

We should all be more like Jim. Brazil would be a much better place to live.

Rest in peace Jim, job well done.

My condoleneces to the family.

-- Posted by ClayCountyGuy on Sun, Jan 30, 2011, at 9:12 PM

I have fond memories of Jim and of our professional relationship as one of his resource persons for religious news within our community from 1976-1983 during my pastorate at St. Paul Lutheran Church.

My prayers of sympathy are with his family.

"May our Resurrected Lord, grant rest eternal and

let light perpetual shine upon Him."

God's peace!

-- Posted by Chaplain Tom Chopp on Mon, Jan 31, 2011, at 11:54 AM

Jim gave me my first reporting job out of college. I worked for the Times in the late 1980s.

That is where I grew tremendously as a journalist and where I met my husband, Robert Mitchell.

We will forever be indebted to Jim for believing in us as a group of young reporters and as a big-hearted boss, who treated us like his kids.

We are praying for his family and for the Clay County community. You've lost a great man with a big heart.

Paula Ann Mitchell

Kingston, N.Y.

-- Posted by mediamom40 on Mon, Jan 31, 2011, at 11:58 AM

Good man. He's reaping his rewards in Heaven.

See you there, Jim!

-- Posted by Dagnabbitt on Mon, Jan 31, 2011, at 1:15 PM

"Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit."

Jim's fruit is his children and all of children are good...

God Bless Jim and his family.

-- Posted by Alex1213 on Mon, Jan 31, 2011, at 2:31 PM

Jim was born exactly ten years before me so when he was in high school I was an admiring little boy. I couldn't have had a better hero to look up to.

He played baseball on my father's team, and I got to take care of the equipment and sit in the dugout with the players. That meant I heard all the comments good and bad. With Jim it was all good. I remember one time when he was at bat, everyone on the bench agreed when a teammate looked up and said, "The world sure needs a lot more like Jimmy."

I thought of that comment every time I met Jim over the years. I realized as I got older that the world will never have enough like Jim, but each time I left his presence I resolved to be a little kinder, a little more sincere, like he was.

We've lost a hero, but we still have his example to follow.

-- Posted by ebrann on Mon, Jan 31, 2011, at 5:00 PM

I worked with Jim for two years as a proofreader at the statehouse. It may be one of the best times of my life. He always looked at the good side. He had a great sense of humor. Many times he had has rolling over his stories. I often wondered what people thought when we were all laughing about one of Jim's stories. Everything about Jim was positive. I never heard him say a mean thing about anyone. It may have been one of my best work experiences. I had looked forward to seeing everyone again as proofreaders but that didn't happen, but I still have those memories. I'll remember that twinkle in his eye. I'm sure Jim has everyone in heaven in stitches. I'll miss you.

-- Posted by rokesters on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 8:29 AM

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