Brazil community recalls former editor’s civic efforts

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By Jason Moon – Brazil Times

Former Brazil Times Editor James “Jim” Dressler died Jan. 29.

Dressler, 75, spent 38 years working in the newspaper industry. He served in many capacities, including political writer, staff writer, sports editor, managing editor and editor.

He worked for several other newspapers, including the New Albany Tribune, Plainfield Messenger, Dayton (Ohio) Journal-Herald and the Tribune-Star (Terre Haute).

Following retirement from journalism, Dressler remained active in the Clay County community and spent time as a proofreader of bills for the Indiana House of Representatives during General Assembly sessions.

Dressler left an imprint on his community.

“I started my relationship with Jim with my weekly article for the Brazil Concert Band events,” band director Matt Huber said. “We just kind of hit if off and became friends.”

Huber said Dressler had recently been working with the band and the Clay Parks Association as the organizations pursued a grant to place an awning at the band shell in Forest Park.

“He was so excited about this,” Huber said.

Clay Parks Association fund drive chairwoman Wilmadean Baker told The Times she had spoken to Dressler regarding the

awning the day before his death.

“He was just so happy, so bubbly,” Baker said. “He was just so excited about getting it done.”

Baker said the association had received the grant with Dressler’s help.

“He supported so much stuff,” she said. “He was so good with community projects. It made such a difference in the community because he was so supportive.”

Huber said Dressler had helped with many community projects throughout the years.

“He was very kind, probably the most civic-minded person in Brazil and Clay County that I’ve ever known,” Huber said.

Brazil Times’ General Manager Lynne Llewellyn said Dressler will be missed.

“I think it is a real detriment to the community,” Llewellyn said. “I admired Jim. I admired his grace and his enthusiasm. I always admired the fact that so many people admired him.”

Former Times’ General Manager Earl Hutcheson worked with Dressler for approximately 15 years.

On Sunday, he reflected on his time with the Clay County native.

“The thing about Jim was he really had a grip on the community, what was going on in the community,” Hutcheson said. “He was really a great source for gathering information in Clay County.”

Hutcheson added Dressler enjoyed talking about his family.

“He was somebody that really loved his family and his children,” Hutcheson said. “He really could talk about his children all day.”

Hutcheson said Dressler’s column, “Seen and Heard,” which appeared in Saturday issues, was a staple for the paper.

“Everybody loved ‘Seen and Heard,’” Hutcheson said. “People looked forward to it.”

Clay County Commissioner Charlie Brown told The Times he always appreciated Dressler’s input on any issue.

“He was a good friend,” Brown said. “He always had time for me with concerns I had. He was a decent fellow.

“He was someone I really looked up to and had a lot of respect for. This is a sad loss for Clay County.”