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A man of unquenchable spirit.

Mark Stuart, a member of NCEW since 1972 and former editor of The Masthead, died March 24 in Ridgewood, N.J., from pneumonia complicated by Parkinson's disease. He was 80.

His service to NCEW included chairing the Membership, Jorunalism Education, and Outreach committees. He attended 17 conventions.

The following is excerpted from an article by Rod Allee that appeared in The Record in Hackensack, N.J., on March 29.

The pen may well be mightier than the sword, but the pen fails, too.

That's what I was thinking when I learned of the death late last week of Mark Stuart, a colleague and a Record columnist for years. I knew I couldn't capture the vast spirit of Manny -- that's what we called him in the newsroom -- in such a little column, but then I couldn't let him pass without trying.

It is his spirit that in fact inhibits the writing of this column. It was so optimistic, so unquenchable, that when people rewind their minds to remember Mark Stuart, they remember so vividiy the spirit that they forget the details.

Manny was raised in New York, worked on weeklies there, and landed as an editor at the Paterson Call in the early '60s, when it was owned by the Borg family.

Manny moved over to the Borg family's flagship, The Record, and continued his column, "Marking Time." He loved Paterson (Patison, he would say). In 1987, while on an interview in Paterson, he suffered an attack somewhere between a stroke and an aneurysm. He nearly died then.

But he refused. And he tackled therapy as he tackled the frighteningly blank slate of a newsroom every morning, with salt and relish. He relearned to walk, to swim, to drive, to talk. And though he retired from The Record, he couldn't overcome his addiction to the typewriter and soon became a columnist for several Bergen County weeklies.

George James (now of the Times) recalled how Manny "always saw beyond the immediate. If we'd be talking about the state of the world, some crisis, he'd say, 'Don't worry about this, this can change.' He was optimistic. Inherently he felt that everything would be all right.

"Not that he was a plaster saint. He would get red, yell, steam would pour from his ears. But he would calm down, and he always had that jaunty optimism."

Optimism is the core of journalism, but it battles with skepticism in the day-to-day newsroom. With Manny there was never a doubt of the outcome.
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Title Annotation:newspaper editor Mark Stuart
Publication:The Masthead
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2000
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