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Shelter Island Reporter Editorial: In memoriam

As we have noted before, there are a couple of old sayings that sum up our feelings when important people in our lives pass away.

The ranks are thinning, you will hear. And the cemeteries are filled with irreplaceable people.

Both statements are true and untrue, since every day people pick up a fallen standard. Even though we’re diminished by the deaths of those who have dedicated their unique lives to doing good, there are always others who are ready to replace them.

A family mourns loved ones who are gone, but a community can also mourn the loss of people who thin the ranks with their deaths.

Recently, we’ve seen the passing of people in our community who were not defined by bottom lines but by the service and spirit they gave to all of us. In his column this week, Robert Lipsyte gracefully eulogized Chris Lewis, who meant so much to so many on Shelter Island.

Her funeral service a week ago was standing room only (literally) at the Presbyterian Church, a gathering that Reverend Stephen Adkison said was the largest funeral gathering in his tenure. One special thing — among many — about the day was the laughter in the church, as speakers remembered Chris’s humor, optimism, clear thinking and dedication to doing something to make where she lived a better place.

Another death of an irreplaceable person occurred when word came that Eleanor Oakley died on Valentine’s Day. Eleanor, along with countless other qualities, had a superb sense of timing, passing away on a day when love is celebrated, and hearts are everywhere.

Always willing to volunteer to help others, never afraid to raise her voice against injustice, Eleanor was an Island treasure. The Reporter will have more on the life-force that was Eleanor next week.

We’ll miss Georgia Griffis, and her work with Friends of Music, the Library and Historical Society; Jim Richardson, a man of many kind acts; and Ken Woods who, along with his wife Jeanne was a tireless volunteer on the Island, including Meals On Wheels and Kids Need More.

We are diminished by their loss, but heartened by the example they set, and the legacy they have left us of selfless service to Shelter Island.

A Note from the Publisher

“We stand for truth. We stand for excellence. We stand for fairness.” Those words, written nearly five decades ago by the co-founder of the Times Review Media Group, continue to guide our editorial mission to this day. Like so many of our readers, we are part of a small, family-owned and operated local business, and the people who work here also shop, live and raise their families in the very communities we cover.

During the past two decades, the costs of paper, ink, transportation and postage have skyrocketed, causing thousands of local and community news outlets just like ours to shut their doors permanently.

Despite the challenges, we remain committed to investing in and growing our award-winning editorial team, one that is wholly dedicated to serving our readers and our communities. But we can’t do it alone, which is why, beginning March 2, we will be increasing the newsstand price for our weekly print editions to $2.50.

This is not a decision that we take lightly, and we appreciate that the higher cost may prove a burden. That is just one of the many reasons we continue to expand and enhance our digital and subscription offerings, including multiple pricing options, in the hopes of growing our readership while sustaining our business.

Most importantly, we want to hear from you, and in the coming months we will be rolling out a comprehensive reader survey to get your feedback and hear your insights so that we can continue to serve our communities — with truth, excellence and fairness — for decades to come.

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