Friday, March 7, 2003

Martha Comer led Maysville paper

Editor, columnist, advocate dies at 96

The Associated Press

MAYSVILLE, Ky. - Martha Purdon Comer, who was editor of Maysville's daily newspaper for more than four decades, died Wednesday at Maysville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. She was 96.

Comer, whose father founded the Daily Independent in Maysville, assumed the duties of editor in 1935, although her name did not appear on the masthead as editor until 1941. She continued as editor when that paper merged with the Ledger in 1968 to become the Ledger-Independent.

Although she retired as editor in 1977, she wrote a daily column into the 1990s and served as an editorial consultant until her death.

"On behalf of everyone here at the Ledger-Independent, we are saddened at the death of one of our newspaper's great heroes," said Publisher Bob Hendrickson, who began his newspaper career as a reporter under Comer's tutelage. "Martha was a tireless reporter and a tough editor for more than half a century, and this newspaper and this community would be much different had she not been a part of them."

She was an advocate of the Maysville floodwall, the county health department, the community college, public housing and civil rights.

She was the widow of Patrick W. Comer. Survivors include daughters Barbara Comer Thornhill of Maysville and Mary Pat Comer Latham of Batavia, Ohio; seven grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren. A funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Patrick Catholic Church with burial in St. Patrick Cemetery.

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Martha Comer led Maysville paper