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A Thank You To Jane Whitmore

June 29, 2017
Emmetsburg News

Saying Farewell To Jane

I remember the morning very well when Jane walked into our office with a pan of Mini Mint Muffins.

I should have known she was up to something.

Article Photos

QUEEN?MUM - With her Lady in Waiting Alyaska, Jane donned her purple and added her red hat to pose for the official portait of Queen Mum of the Scarlett O’Hatta Chapter of the Red Hat Society in Emmetsburg.

Only minutes later, Jane announced her retirement as editor.

At first, I was heartbroken, as I have become very close to Jane and didn't know what I was going to do when I?needed to look over and say "Jane I?need help!"

Without a second thought, she would get up and come to the rescue (Even if she'd walked away rolling her eyes and thinking "Really Karmen, you couldn't figure that out?").

Jane, you pushed me to never give up and gave me the strength to continue to improve an all I?can say is "THANK?YOU!"

When I?see how excited Jane would get talking about all the things she couldn't wait to do once she retired, and our talks of mountain adventures, I?began to feel more and more excited for Jane to FINALLY?be able to explore the world that she looked so forward to doing.

I have many memories with Jane in the year that I?have worked at the newspaper, but one stands out the most. If you are ever wanting to go to a dinner theater date, Jane is the one to take with you! Man, she could sure rock a Purple Hat, Glasses and throws one great show as Agatha Zar. Even when you are Dead Last Place as "Triple Threat," you have the best time in the world!

So Jane, I wish you the best of luck on your adventures!I will forever continue to remember what you told me - "Never give up, Keep moving forward, Make the day the best you can and last but not least, Push through the worst and make it your best."

Thank you Jane, for one of the BEST?years at a job I have ever had!

Karmen Gappa

Advertising Representative

Emmetsburg Publishing

Where does one start to talk about a person who has been my immediate supervisor for half of my life? But the term immediate supervisor isn't really an accurate description of Jane Whitmore.

I first met Jane in the Spring of 1986 when former Sports Editor Jerry Carpenter brought me to the offices of The Reporter and The Democrat to introduce me around as his replacement. This was a much different environment for me, coming from the daily publication in Estherville. In those first days, weeks and months in Emmetsburg, Jane was a patient teacher, showing me the ins and outs of production of the paper, and even though I didn't realize it at the time, she was helping me learn and develop many of the skills that today seem to be instinctive and second nature in the world of community newspapers.

Even though I left Emmetsburg in 1987, I never drifted too far away, because in the Fall of 1991, I got a phone call at home one evening Jane "wondered" if I'd be interested in returning to The Reporter and The Democrat as the Sports Editor again. I returned in October of 1991 and the rest, they say, is history almost 26 years worth.

In that time, working with Jane has been both rewarding, educational and yes, even a challenge or two at times. We've gone from the old CompuGraphic photo typesetting equipment and cutting and pasting our copy on pages to gradually moving to Macintosh computers, then to full computer pagination of the newspaper.

I will never forget the "training" that Jane and I received in pagination. It was a bitterly cold day in January when we traveled up to our sister publication in Fairmont, MN. She and I stood and watched as their creative services staffers made newspaper pages appear on their computer screens. We looked at each other often that day "My God! How will we ever figure this out?" was an oft-repeated phrase. But, somehow, we learned how, slowly at first, but today, the pages seem to appear on the screen and with a click here and a click there, end up in Webster City on the press and then in your mailbox the next morning.

There are countless stories and events we worked on together over the years; far too many to mention here. But during these 25-plus years, I've learned so much from Jane on how to be a community journalist being mindful that even though a reporter is supposed to be neutral, present the facts fairly in any story, that it is still OK to be a part of the community by lending your skills and talents to assist in projects. Jane has led by example through her years of involvement in the Main Street Community Theatre, as a member of the Emmetsburg Country Club Board, current Golf Board, Five Island Lake Restoration Board and countless other organizations and causes in the community, including Queen Mum of the Scarlet O'Hatta Chapter of the Red Hat Society.

Yes, Jane has been my supervisor, my editor, but she's been a teacher, a sounding board and most importantly, a friend. She has offered words of support and encouragement on many an occasion, in good times and bad. Sometimes, the words were a bit pointed to get through the stubborn Dutchman head that I possess, but they were offered constructively to make me a better journalist, and for that, I owe her my most heartfelt thanks.

It's still hard to grasp the idea that Jane isn't going to be in the office every day. So even though Jane is retiring from the full-time life of newspapering, she will still be here a couple of mornings a week, but I know she will enjoy having the extra time to pursue new opportunities and being able to spend time with her family.

For everyone here in the office past and present, we wish you the best in the future Jane, and thank you for everything you've done for all of us!

Dan Voigt

Sports Editor

The Reporter and Democrat

Retirement Wishes to Jane Whitmore, June, 2017

Dear Jane:

While we wish you the best as you embark on another of life's adventures - that is RETIREMENT - we can't help but paraphrase one of the oldest little verses that has been around as long as we can remember and know not to whom should go the credit.

Make new friends, but keep the oldor should we say, reconnect with the old?

Those are silver, these are goldan old friend said the only thing gold about getting older is one's pee!

New made friendships like new wine, age will mellow and refineour judgements become fewer and our sense of appreciation greater.

Friendships that have stood the test; Time and Change are surely best . and now is the Someday to do all the things that have become your Someday I'll

Brow may wrinkle, hair grow grey; Friendship never knows decay and so now, best wishes as you begin that BEST THAT IS YET TO COME: taking that trip, risking all kinds of new adventures, and writing that children's book!


Marcie Frevert

Former Elementary Teacher, Emmetsburg Community Schools,

Former Iowa State Representative

I worked with Jane for several years. You never will find anyone more committed to her work, family or her community than Jane Whitmore.

There is one instance that will forever stick in my mind. I told Jane one time that I was done doing something. She looked at me and said "Cakes get done, people finish." I just laughed and she said it was from her mother being an English teacher. Now whenever someone says "I'm done" I think of Jane!

Good luck Jane! May you have several more happy years ahead of you in whatever you decide to do! Also, thanks for your years of support of Upper Des Moines! It was appreciated and you will be missed!

Peg Martini

Former Creative Services Department member

Palo Alto County Outreach Director for Upper Des Moines Opportunity, Inc.



Congratulations on a well-deserved retirement. Thanks for giving me my start in this business we call journalism.

I won't forget waiting at the courthouse on Election Day night to see whether or not Palo Alto County would be "bellwether" county.

All the media attention and attention from candidates the county received during Presidential Election years was fun, too!

Take care - go golfing - and enjoy your retirement!

Rebecca Peter

Former News Editor

Editor, The Garner Leader Newspaper, Garner, IA

I have worked with Jane for over 40 years. In that time we have seen a lot of changes in the newspaper business.

In her wisdom, she has consistently put together two quality newspapers a week, plus all the extra editions that have been published through the years.

Jane has always been completely dedicated to putting out the best product possible.

Our work family will be sad to lose you. Enjoy your retirement, Jane. It has been an honor to be your co-worker and friend.

Linda Hill

Office Manager

Emmetsburg Publishing

Oh Jane,

How I miss coming back from lunch to find my keyboard lined with animals (very tasty animals), the great talks we had, the things that you taught me (cakes get done, people finish).

I will always remember the fun you, me and Cindy had on late nights and weekends getting the Progress Edition out on time.

I hope you have a wonderful retirement and finally get to enjoy time with Jeremy and family.

Lisa Mundus

Former Creative Services Department member

Office Manager, Wallace Water Conditioning -

Culligan, Emmetsburg, IA

Jane treated me so well as a young, inexperienced journalist. She allowed me to do my own thing with the sports coverage in Palo Alto County and I really appreciated the freedom. I enjoyed my time at the newspaper. Jane was always very fair in her coverage of the news events of the area. Thank you for your dedication to the newspaper business and congratulations on your retirement.

Jerry Carpenter

Former Sports Editor

Manager, LeSieuer

Country Club, St. Peter, MN

A Class Act

Working with Jane was a learning experience from day one. I became an employee of this newspaper immediately after moving to Palo Alto County and it was Jane who saw to it I became familiar with my new surroundings. She introduced me to everyone we met on my first outings. Without her mentoring and guidance, my acclimation to the community would have taken a great bit longer.

When working with photos, it was Jane you taught me the importance of cropping and editing. I continue to think of her as I work on yearbook layouts with students. The first thing I show them is how to increase the areas that contain the subjects of interest and crop out the unnecessary background and foreground. I have been heard to say, "We don't need to see that much sky."

It was always fun for me to have philosophical discussions about grammar with Jane. I never type the word "that" without analyzing if the word is really needed in the sentence. Think about ittry it outthe word is likely not needed for the meaning of the sentence to be expressed.

No matter where I go professionally, I know I can count of Jane to be a cheerleader. And that is exactly how I saw her during my time with the Emmetsburg papers. She has been a tireless cheerleader for the Palo Alto Community week after week for many years. I certainly hope she doesn't put her pom-poms away in retirement. There remains much work to do.

Kate Myers

Former News Editor

Family &?Consumer Science Instructor, Graettinger-Terril Community Schools

Can you imagine taking your first job today and finally completing your career 44 years from now with the same company? The concept is rare these days but Jane Whitmore just did it.

Jane did more than just fill a news position during her tenure here. She was our Editor and was a very good one at that. Possibly the most impressive thing to witness was her enthusiasm for the job. She dearly loves the communities and people we cover. Over and above that, she loved being a mentor. Jane taught the newspaper business to many reporters that passed through our doors. Jane influenced the hiring of more than a few of us at the newspaper, including myself. Her recommendation allowed us to get started in the business.

Jane has always held the Editor position to high standards. Her rules and standards of the job are unwavering. It was always refreshing to hear her restate the rules and our process of coverage.

I remember more than once being humbled by Jane after asking her to edit my advertising copy. I think she secretly loved destroying what I thought to be a well written piece.

Jane's work ethic far outlasts any that I've seen before. She will take on any project and deliver it without exception. We have newspaper awards, bound archives and photo files full of Jane's best work and the work speaks for itself.

Jane will be the last one to tell you about her volunteer work. There are numerous projects throughout the community that have Jane's fingerprints all over them. The flowers around Robert Emmet, the entrance signs on the edge of town and Mainstreet Community Theatre posters all include Jane's touch.

Jane's bold laugh, her sharp sense of humor, her misguided political views and her friendship will forever be among my favorite things.

Now that I've written her obituary, it's important to know that Jane Whitmore will continue to be in our pages and at the newspaper into the future. Her presence will be here on a limited basis and we are thankful for that. The newspaper is in a good place thanks to Jane. Our new editor Anna Veltri has a solid foundation to work from going forward and a great Editor Emeritus in her corner.

Dan McCain


Emmetsburg Publishing Company

I've always known Jane from many places she would be within the community, but the year after I became Mayor, Jane was named Citizen of the year or Grand Marshall, as I forget, and our representative from Ireland was a woman, Mary Jackman , we began "The year of the Women " friendship and it has carried on. She is always gracious, does her job with the style that makes you know she loves what she does. The eyes twinkle and the smile is ready to appear. She was kept busy in her capacity as the newspaper, but still had time to serve as a volunteer on the Lake Board and she developed a passion for it. She also goes and waters the flowers around the Robert Emmett statue, just because she wants it to look good. She will be greatly missed but I know she is looking forward to retirement and knows that she is leaving her post in good hands. Now Jane, you can have time to smell the roses. God Bless.

Myrna Heddinger

Mayor of Emmetsburg

Jane epitomizes the meaning of the term "good citizen". Regardless of the size of her workload at Emmetsburg Publishing, Jane has always stepped up when asked to serve on a local board or a special, ad hoc committee.

Jane would tell you her involvement in all these important functions was and is the result of her inability to say "No". I know her well enough to know that is not at all the reason she has been and remains today so involved in the community.

It has been my pleasure to work so closely with Jane during her tenure on the Lake Restoration Board, the Golf Board and, going way back to my early years in Emmetsburg, on the ECCO citizens' group whose purpose was to promote the municipal communications utility referendum. Jane's objectivity has always been a breath of fresh air to me and to Emmetsburg's elected officials.

Although Jane's retirement from her post at Emmetsburg Publishing is looming, I have news for her Emmetsburg still needs you and WE WILL BE IN TOUCH.

John Bird,

City Administrator,

Emmetsburg, IA

Former Iowa State Senate President Jack Kibbie and his wife Kay recently shared rememberances of Jane Whitmore's career with the Reporter and Democrat newspapers over the years.

"Some of the ladies and I were together talking about incidents we remember. Not so much with the newspaper but in general," Kay said.

It seems that at one point, Jane had a lot of coincidences with the troopers in the area. Kay remembered one incident with a female trooper that stopped Jane. It turned out to be the very first woman trooper in the area.

Then there was the time that Jane bet somebody she could go to Spencer and buy a pair of shoes and be back in an hour. A local trooper, Bob Cherry, was the one that stopped her. She told him what she was doing, so he talked to her for 20 minutes. He said she might have lost the bet but he wasn't going to give her a ticket.

Jane also loved flowers. Jane and Kay had many journeys seeking out flowers. Starting with the first grand opening of the West Bend Flower Shop, and Kay was sure that her and Jane had been to every grand opening since. Snow, rain, windsthe two go no matter what the weather and according to Kay buy more than they should.

"We truly enjoy our love of flowers," Kay said. "That is my main connection with Jane, our love of flowers. I've been involved with the Garden Club for a long time and Jane is so faithful. When we say whose garden of the month, she will either come and get me or whomever and go take a picture. That's her thing."

According to Kay, Jane loves the beauty of flowers and she loves to support Palo Alto County in many capacities.

"There was another project going on here in Palo Alto County for years," Kay said. "It had to do with the markers on the east, west and south sides of town. It was supposed to look like Ireland. Anyway, it had been studied by a committee for years but nothing ever seemed to happen. Well then about 10 years ago, when the Casino started having those grants, so Jane and I and I can't remember who else, but it came down to Jane and I started chasing down rocks."

"We went to South Dakota on a trip to find this rock quarry and it was a cold, blustery day; it always seemed to be a cold, blustery day, but they did stones that were just gorgeous. We went back I believe twice and it usually included lunch somewhere. Finally, we got it engraved, drew up plans, and Jane with her talent had no problem. But, if you are writing a grant for the Casino for some of the funds they have, you really have to be detailed. The first year we did it, I think we transposed some figures or something, but you don't get a second chance. Once it's done it's done," Kay continued. "They told us what was wrong and we had to wait another year and the stone had to wait another year. The next year it went right through. They give the money out in the spring but the stones didn't arrive until a real cold day in the fall. Jane was so happy and proud that day. If anyone wants to know what the saying means, just ask Jane."

Jane also does a lot with the Community Theater and the Golf Association as well as many, many other activities within the community and the county.

"I would like to compliment Jane on all the hours she has put in," Jack Kibbie said. "Especially progressive type news whether it had to do with the college or the lake. Communities need a good newspaper, especially county seat town to hold their own and grow. All the events she has attended, articles she has written and all the time she has put in over the years."

"Anytime we had a political gathering, Jane was always good about showing up and reporting," Jack continued. "She is definitely leaving her job a lot better that she found it. She will be hard to replace."

John P. (Jack)Kibbie

Former Iowa State Senate President

Kay Kibbie,

Emmetsburg, IA

She's Everywhere! She's Everywhere!

Some of you may remember a radio show from the 1960's named "Chickenman" about a crime fighting avenger who was always around the corner when he was needed to save the day. I'm dating myself to mention it, but as a teenager I spent long amounts of time sitting on the tractor listening to the new radio that my father had installed on the fender. There was no cab but because of my love of music I could sit there in the shade of the big tree and listen for what seemed like hours. The only thing I remember about the two-minute show was the craziness of the storyline and the theme "He's everywhere! He's everywhere!" I still recall those words "He's everywhere! He's everywhere!"

My tribute today doesn't have anything to do with a man in a chicken suit or a crime-fighting avenger although I wouldn't be surprised if we could add that to her long list of credits.

Today we celebrate and say thank you to someone who seems to be everywhere as a part of her crazy- busy job for last forty-some years. The Emmetsburg Chamber, Emmetsburg Retail Association, FUEL Emmetsburg, and I will never be able to express enough appreciation to Jane Whitmore for all she has done to share our stories, to promote our events, take our pictures, and to work hand in hand with us to bring new opportunities for everyone.

Thank you, Jane, for helping me to get off to a good start at the Chamber seven years ago. You were here asking for information about all things related to the Chamber, taking my headshot, keeping me on time with the community calendar and taking pictures wherever Chamber members were gathered. If I didn't think of "it", you would ever so gently lean over my counter and in a soft voice remind me of what I was missing. I have truly enjoyed our long lunches filled with laughter as we worked on a press release, our car rides together, working with you on steering committees, and just visiting at your desk. Whether it was sharing your RAGBRAI file from previous visits or hosting a "phobic" Chamber Coffee, you have always been around the corner ready when needed and often helped to save the day all with a smile!

Congratulations on your retirement Jane! You not only have earned it but you deserve it. No more 70 hours work weeks; however, I know we will continue to see you in the community involved with boards and in areas that you enjoy. We'll be looking for you just around the corner!


Executive Director

Emmetsburg Chamber of Commerce

I first met Jane Whitmore about 7 years ago when I moved to Emmetsburg. We became fast friends and oddly enough, golf partners. Although, we didn't break any course records, we had the best of times, and some of the worst rounds of golf ever played. Jane has a magical ability to turn any frown upside down especially on the golf course. She is warm, lighthearted and has a jovial disposition that makes me want to laugh out loud most of the time. She radiates an infectious enthusiasm for everything she does and her fun-loving spirit is contagious. Jane is truly the hardest working person I know. Congratulations on your much-deserved retirement Jane, and a million thanks for being such an amazing friend. Cheers!

Vicky Van Oosbree

Director, The Shores at Five Island, Emmetsburg

When we moved to Emmetsburg in 1999, it was fun to connect with Jane Whitmore. Jane and I both grew up in West Bend and my mother's good friends were Jane's favorite aunts. We immediately shared some memories and laughs. I told her that some of my earliest memories of her family included trips to Mike's Meat Market in West Bend, owned by her father and uncle, and enjoying some of their famous Mike's hot dogs!

Jane wants to make certain that each story written for the Reporter/Democrat is accurate, complete, balanced and fair and this fairness extends to the editorial page in its guidelines.

She also has superb ethics and she is not afraid to correct an error if it has occurred.

She is also very proud of her son and his wife - both having served in the military for our great country.

While work is a big part of Jane's life, she also likes to have fun. We have been pleased that she has played in several fundraising golf outings for Iowa Lakes Community College students. And, she was willing to take off her 'journalism hat' long enough to participate as one of the characters in the murder/mystery at The Shores - which also benefited student scholarships.

The community of Emmetsburg is better thanks to Jane. As a journalist, she has put in some very long hours and unlike many other jobs, her hours often extended past the normal 8 to 5. I always enjoy sitting by her during sometimes controversial meetings, because her sense of humor at those times is priceless!

Val Newhouse


Iowa Lakes Community?College

Jane Campbell

Director of Marketing

Iowa Lakes Community College



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