MILFORD — A native of the Milford-New Paris area, Deb Patterson has accepted the position of editor-in-chief of The Papers Incorporated, according to an announcement by Publisher Ron Baumgartner. She moved into the position Monday, Jan. 20.
Patterson was named interim editor-in-chief, filling the vacancy left by the death in November 2019 of Jeri Seely, long-time editor-in-chief.
Patterson has been employed full-time with the company since May 22, 1978. She began her tenure with the company during her senior year at Fairfield High School through an intern program, working half-days.
“Deb grew up in this business and has the solid support of her co-workers in our editorial department as she takes on this new challenge. Through years of honing her reporting and photographic skills under the tutelage of Jeri and my father, Arch, I have every confidence she will continue to carry our standard forward for solid coverage of local news and events,” Baumgartner said.
Over the years, Patterson has covered all aspects in the reporting field from sports photography to town council/school board meetings and general news not only in Syracuse, Milford and North Webster, but throughout Kosciusko and Elkhart counties. She has spent most of her years with the company covering police, fire, courts, politics and specialty organizations.
“I am grateful to have the support, encouragement and backing of the staff and publisher,” Patterson said. “I had great mentoring from former publisher Arch Baumgartner and gained invaluable knowledge from Jeri working under her for all the years at the company.
“The staff at The Papers is unbelievable and fun to work with. Being in their shoes for over 40 years, I know some of the difficulties they face when doing stories and hope to help them maneuver around those in their endeavors to bring local news to our readers.
“The entire staff takes pride in their work and the news they want to share with readers. I want to help them in any way I can,” she added.
Patterson does not plan any changes in the operations of the editorial department and will continue to provide needed support.
“My goal is to continue bringing hometown news and local issues to our readers through our print publications and online through InkFreeNews,” she said.
Over the years, Patterson has won a number of awards in photography and reporting from the Hoosier State Press Association. She was editor of the four northern Indiana Senior Life publications from their inceptions until taking on a position as editor of InkFreeNews. She returned to various duties in the main office editorial department.
Patterson, whose father, Dallas Fox, grew up in Milford, is no stranger to the majority of the communities served by The Papers. She grew up in New Paris and moved to Milford in 1983 with her husband Tom. He died in June 2007. She has three children: Ollievia Sigsbee, Milford; Cody (Jen) Patterson, North Webster; and Travis (Kristen) Patterson, St. Peters, Mo; and eight grandchildren with the ninth due to arrive Feb. 17.