Former longtime publisher of The Daily World Duane Langeliers died Friday at his home in Arizona. He was 83.
Langeliers’ family, friends and former colleagues remember him as a kind, jovial, hardworking man who was dedicated to the quality of the newspaper and the betterment of Grays Harbor.
“Besides being a first-class, all-around newspaperman, Duane Langeliers was a true gentleman,” said John Hughes, former editor and publisher of The Daily World. “It was a privilege and joy to work for Duane because he understood every aspect of the business and exuded class. He knew by name every person at the paper—from motor route driver to classified ad clerk; from rookie reporter to circulation manager. ‘We’re all part of the same team,’ was his mantra. And he meant it.”
Langeliers came to The Daily World in 1978, and worked as publisher until retiring in 1996. He was an accountant by trade, and got his start in the newspaper industry as business manager of the Vallejo Times Herald in Vallejo, Calif.
Although Langeliers came from the business side of the operation, Hughes said his former boss was always focused on covering the community in the most fair, ethical way possible.
“He was a very well-read man who had very strong opinions about the value of the news he printed,” Hughes said.
The former publisher’s professional success extended farther than The Daily World’s circulation area. He also served as the regional manager for the newspaper’s former owner, Donrey Media Group, Hughes said. He oversaw newspapers from Northern California to Hawaii.
He was also dedicated to community service, working with United Way of Grays Harbor and the Chamber of Commerce, Hughes said.
Langeliers lived in Aberdeen for several years, but moved to Montesano after marrying Caroline Langeliers in 1991. She died Oct. 27, 2013.
“They had a wonderful, wonderful relationship,” said stepson Patrick Wadsworth. “You could tell they loved each other so much.”
The couple owned a house in Mesa, Ariz., and would travel there each winter. After his wife died, Langeliers decided to spend the rest of his life there.
Langeliers was born in the Midwest on June 15, 1930, and later lived in Arizona and Las Vegas. He is survived by four children from his first marriage — Bob, Sue, Carole and Jim — and several grandchildren.
“Duane was just the best guy,” Wadsworth said. “Anyone would have been lucky to know him.”