J.E. Strange retires after half century in newspaper business
special to The Star
Nov. 15, 2002
NEWTON Coming out of a rural Newton County school and fresh from service aboard a U.S. warship in World War II, J.E. Strange tinkered with other jobs before he settled on a career that would span more than five decades.
This week, after 51 years in the newspaper business, Strange officially announced his retirement.
Like many teen-agers who graduate from high school with little idea of what they might do for a career, Strange graduated from Beulah Hubbard School in Newton County and took a job driving a dump truck.
Before long, with World War II raging, he was drafted and sent to Camp Shelby, where he said he was given three choices for military service. He choose the U.S. Navy and served as a ship's storekeeper aboard the U.S.S. Panamint. The ship took part in the Battle of Okinawa.
After the war, Strange came home. In Meridian, he met Frances Moss, who was then working as a dental assistant. They married about five months later and now have been married for more than 56 years.
After a brief stint with Western Union and two years at the University of Mississippi, Strange settled on his life's work selling newspaper advertising.
He worked his way up through most of the jobs in advertising, including advertising salesman, classified advertising director and advertising manager of The Meridian Star, where he worked for 25 years.
He then was named publisher of The Newton Record, holding that position for 26 years longer than any previous publisher.
One of J.E.'s fondest memories is serving as publisher when the weekly newspaper's centennial edition was produced.
Frances retired from The Record in May, and after so many years at the newspaper's helm, J.E. decided to return for a time to what got him started in the business. He became an advertising account executive for The Record.
J.E. and Frances still make their home in the Little Rock community. They have three grown children, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.