Former Spokesman publisher Husman remembered

Former Spokesman publisher Gary Husman died Oct. 8 after a long battle with prostate cancer. Husman led the Spokesman from 2011-11. (submitted photo/Margaret Husman)

Gary Husman, publisher of the Redmond Spokesman from 2001 until 2011, recently lost a long battle with prostate cancer.

Husman, who spent more than 30 years in the newspaper business, died Oct. 8 in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he and his wife, Margaret Husman, spent the winter in recent years, Margaret said.

Gary Husman came to the Spokesman as general manager in 2000, working for a year under then-publisher Carl Vertrees until Vertrees retired the next year. Vertrees described his successor as “very pleasant” and “jovial.”

“He met people well and nurtured friendships,” Vertrees said. “Our styles seemed to be very compatible. The biggest difference between him and me was he was a golfer, and I was not.”

Husman enjoyed golf so much, getting to play year round was the primary reason they spent their winters in Arizona, while keeping a house in Sisters, after Husman retired, Margaret said.

Husman’s time at the Spokesman was highlighted by the year he served as president of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association in 2009-10. He was a board member for the group for several years.

In his time heading the publishers association board, Husman dealt with important issues like the threat to the exemption newspaper carriers have to independent contractor status, as well as important work on keeping public notices in newspapers and on their websites, wrote Laurie Hieb, the newspaper publishers association’s executive director, then and now, in an email.

“I had only been the executive director a few years when Gary took his presidency role at ONPA,” Hieb wrote. “He was supportive, caring, funny and always available for the association. I know I speak not only for myself, but for many publishers when I say, we will miss Gary and his infectious smile.”

A Portland native who spent part of his time at a home in Black Butte Ranch for several years before coming to the Spokesman, Husman graduated from Northern State College in Aberdeen, South Dakota, according to Spokesman archives. He also served in the U.S. Army, including a tour in Vietnam.

Husman began his newspaper career in 1976 at the Coffeyville (Kansas) Journal. He was advertising director from 1989 to 1993 for the Statesman Journal in Salem. From 1993 to 2000, Husman worked in various capacities for newspapers owned by Indiana-based Howard Publications, including as the general advertising manager at the North County Times in Escondido, California, north of San Diego.

Husman also worked for papers in South Dakota, Indiana and Wyoming during his career.

When Husman came to the Spokesman, the transition was seamless, Vertrees said.

“When I retired, it was time,” Vertrees said. “When I picked the newspaper up every week, I was pleased with what I saw.”

A celebration of life for Husman is planned for 2-4 p.m. Nov. 9 at e BarGrill, 314 SW 5th Street, in Redmond.

— Reporter: 541-548-2186, gfolsom@redmond

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