AMHERST - Earl Joseph Gouchie, whose 54-year newspaper career transcended the era of hot metal to the world-wide technology of the Internet, died Saturday of an apparent heart attack at his camp in Shulie, Cumberland County. He was 74.
The successful businessman was co-founder of Cumberland Publishing Ltd., former owners of the Amherst Daily News and The Citizen.
A native of Amherst, he was the son of the late Albert and Edna (LeBlanc) Gouchie.
Gouchie, who began his newspaper career as a compositor at the Amherst Daily News on Havelock Street in 1950, joined with three fellow employees, the late R.?W. (Dick)?Andres, Jerry Remington and Philip Tetreault, to establish the weekly newspaper The Citizen in 1973.
Cumberland Publishing later acquired the Amherst Daily News in 1975 and later added the Sackville Tribute-Post and the Maritime harness racing journal Atlantic Post Calls to its holdings. It also published the Atantic Firefighter and The Strait News.
Gouchie was the major shareholder of Cumberland Publishing when he sold the company to Transcontinental Media in 2004.
Gouchie was a respected businessman who served the community on several committes, such as Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre. He was a past president of the Atlantic Canada Newspaper Association.
John ?Conrad, who served as managing editor of The Daily News from 1982 until the newspaper was sold to Transcontinental Media, remembers Gouchie as a "hands-on" pubisher, who was truly interested in community events.
"He cared about the community and wanted to help out in any way for the town to grow," said Conrad.
Conrad recalls Gouchie enjoying his morning coffee while chatting with citizens who would walk in off the street to express their views.
Doug Harkness, who began his journalism career at The Amherst Daily as a reporter in 1954, remembers Gouchie working in the composing room on Havelock Street, compiling ads for the Daily News and the then-weekly Sentinel.
Harkness was hired as managing-editor of the Amherst Daily in 1976 and two years later he and Gouchie co-founded the Atlantic Post Calls magazine.
"When I came back home, the Daily News had a new press and was moving quickly into the computer age," said Harkness, who says Gouchie showed the faith he had in the community by continuing to invest in his newspaper operations.
"Earl left the role of news reporting to the reporters. He seldom interferred with the news content, but didn't like to see news stories that reflected badly on the community.
Gouchie enjoyed hunting and fishing and spending time at his camp with friends and family.
"Dad died in a place that he loved.?He would have wanted it that way," said a family member.
Earl will be remembered for his sense of humour and love of family.?His two daughters, Jennifer and Janice and son Jeffrey followed him into the newspaper business, working for a time at Cumberland Publishing.
Harkness said company employees were part of Gouchie's extended family.
"He quietly helped many of his employees when they were encountering difficulties."
Gouchie is survived by his wife of 49 yeaers, the former Pat (Willigar), children Jeff (Belinda) Gouchie, Janice (Greg)?Landry, and Jennifer Dempsey, all of Amherst, three brothers and four sisters.
Funeral services will be held Thurday, May 28 at Holy Family Roman Catholic Curch, at 2:00 p.m. There will be no visitation.