GREENVILLE — In an age where employment is often measured in months rather than years, working 50 years for a single employer is not only a remarkable achievement, it’s practically unheard of.
Enter Linda Moody.
Linda, a reporter for The Daily Advocate, has announced her retirement from the newspaper after a half century of covering the people and events that shape Darke County. Her last day on the job is May 26.
Editor Christina Chalmers said the community and the newspaper have been lucky to have Linda so long. The Daily Advocate thanks Linda for her loyalty, service and hard work over the years, said Chalmers.
“Linda is a rare bird; she joins a very small group of people across the United States that have worked 50 years for a single employer. I’ve been lucky to spend the last 10 with her,” said Chalmers. “She’s an incredibly humble person, but deserves recognition for all the stories she’s told over her 50 years with the newspaper. It’s quite the accomplishment. Congratulations, Linda! I wish you the best!”
“Wow! Linda’s reporting over the past 50 years has played an integral part in the growth of our local community,” said Group Publisher Joshua Byers. “Linda is an institution at The Daily Advocate and will be sorely missed.”
“I’ve liked working with Linda over the years,” said Advertising Manager Christie Randall. “She’s an icon at the newspaper and will be greatly missed.”
Over the course of 50 years, Linda indeed became not only an icon here, but a “go-to” person. When people wanted to know what’s going on in the area, the phrase “Ask Linda Moody” was never far from their lips.
Linda’s start at the paper was largely nondescript. When asked about her memories when first beginning her run at The Daily Advocate in 1967, Linda said she began as a proofreader and typesetter before becoming a news gatherer.
“I did that until 1974 when I was asked to go into the newsroom,” she said. “First day? Don’t really remember that, but I first worked from Thompson Newspapers for many years until Brown Publishing bought us.”
The local newspaper business has seen many changes since the 1960s and Linda was there to witness them, from ink rolled on typeset to today’s “Information Age” of Internet and Email.
“While I was proofing and typing, I also had the responsibility of laying ads out in the newspapers every day for quite a few years and also delivered ads to customers for proofing. I also did some newsroom-type tasks before I was even promoted,” she said.
Linda has resided almost all her life in Ansonia, Ohio. As a Darke County native, it isn’t surprising she’s familiar with every corner of the county and seemingly knows everyone.
“We lived on McFeeley-Petry Road, not too far from Eldora Speedway north of Rossburg, when I was born,” she said. “Then we moved to the Ansonia area, and lived there until I finally moved out on my own, and spent maybe a year or so in Greenville, before moving back to Ansonia. I graduated from Ansonia High School in 1966, and our classmates still get together at least every five years [last year we celebrated our 50th] and had a great attendance. My favorite subject was English and when younger, enjoyed spelling bees and ciphering matches. Ansonia, I feel, is a great community.”
When asked how she felt about working at the same employer for 50 years, Linda, a wordsmith by trade, had difficulty putting her feelings into words.
“I don’t know what to say…it doesn’t seem that long,” she said. “I am proud to have done that and think my Dad would be very proud. He worked 43 1/2 years at his job and I surpassed that, but he had nothing to be ashamed of. He is the one who gave me my work ethic. The love of writing, I think, is what made me stay.”
Linda’s father, Lee Moody, passed away July 20, 2016. Her mother, Bea Moody, lives at Heartland in Greenville. Her brother, Ron Moody, and sister, Bev Brumbaugh, live in the Ansonia area, and Brenda Norton now lives in Greenville. Linda’s only son, Jamie, lives with her.
“And, I have gobs of nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephew and I’m not exaggerating, a ‘million’ cousins and aunts and uncles,” she added.
Though Linda says being able to write has been one of the highlights of her profession, being able to work where she calls “home” has also been important.
“I have probably been in every church, every school, every village council meeting at one time or another. Most everyone was nice and easy to talk to,” she said.
“I enjoy writing, of course, and I don’t mind doing obituaries since I know a lot of people. I will miss the contact with the readers, but I’m sure I will be seeing them out and about,” she added. “And, I sure didn’t like driving in winter weather as I got older, since I had already driven through an ice storm and some whiteouts in my career. I hated myself for making mistakes, none of which were intentional. I think the job helped me with deadlines, even though I procrastinate in ‘civilian’ life.”
Not only reporting on the community, but being actively involved in it and making a difference, has been characteristic of Linda’s journalism career.
She was a 2012 runner-up in the Ohio Associated Press of Ohio’s annual awards for “Best Community Service.” She was honored for her “Out of the Darkness” series of stories on suicide and its survivors.
Locally, the Fort Greeneville Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), presented Linda with a certificate of appreciation for her 50 years of work.
The Fort GreeneVille DAR recently received First Place Outstanding Coverage of Print Articles awarded by the Ohio DAR Public Relations and Media Committee.
“The local media was very instrumental in helping us receive such an honor,” said Debbie Nisonger, Fort Greeneville DAR Regent. “Linda has been reporting the local news for 50 years. Thanks goes to Linda for her dedication and commitment to our community.”
“Linda has always been good to work with,” Nisonger added. “She is a local icon that will be greatly missed. If there was news to be got, Linda was there.”
Asked what memorable stories she remembers covering during her 50 years on the beat, Linda said there are “too many” to relate.
“I don’t want to leave anything out. I truly enjoyed writing stories on people who were suffering from major health issues…to get the word out and maybe someone else could relate to what they’re going through and possibly get help for themselves. I just loved the feature stories the most,” she explained.
Linda’s plans for retirement?
“I would like to take a hiatus in case I should have to return to the workforce in the near future. Of course, I will spend a lot of time with Jamie, since he still lives with me, but I’m sure he will want me to go back to work,” she said.
“The decision to retire is bittersweet, but now I say let the younger ones do it. I’ve done my time. It’s been a great ride and I loved just about every minute of it.”
The writer may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com