The Baytown Sun lost a good friend this weekend.
I have known Janie Wardlaw Gray since 1995. I met her early in my career, the second of three times I have worked for The Baytown Sun. I noticed then how much she knew about the newspaper industry and I also noticed what a patient, kind person she was.
I was managing the composing department then and was pulled in many directions by various deadlines.
Janie was the calm in the storm.
She served in every department and as publisher of many papers in her four decades in the newspaper business.
She once asked me to teach her Adobe software so she could be a better publisher.
Janie loved to read. She embraced knowledge and the learning process. She was always teaching somebody something.
She occasionally substitute taught for short periods between newspaper jobs. Her daughter is now a teacher.
She hired me in 2009 to work as her managing editor and I succeeded her as publisher of two papers in Liberty and Chambers Counties.
She hired me once more in 2016 in Baytown, and when she retired in 2018 she recommended for Southern Newspapers to promote me to replace her as publisher of The Baytown Sun. I will be forever grateful.
I have learned so much from her.
I have heard many other people say the same thing.
Janie was sometimes my coworker, sometimes my boss and mentor. She will always be my good friend.
Carol Skewes is publisher of The Baytown Sun.