News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion Columns

August 10, 2012

B.J. RILEY: Amy Marie Spivey: Oct. 9, 1969 — Aug. 5, 2012

TERRE HAUTE — “Have a good weekend! See you on Monday!!”

Each Friday, that is what we all hear from our co-workers and colleagues, without a second thought. Sadly, this past weekend, the Tribune-Star family lost a member of its newspaper family. Amy Spivey worked on the ad staff as a salesperson and ad consultant to many of our advertising customers. Her latest responsibility was with the Realtors and auto dealers, but through her 24 years, she had handled many of our advertising customers.

When we all exchanged those words on Friday, we didn’t know or even imagine that we wouldn’t see Amy again.

Amy passed away suddenly over the weekend; she was only 42 years old. When Monday morning came along, the folks here at the Tribune-Star came to work with great sadness. We all were stunned and couldn’t believe that our friend and co-worker would not return.

During the regular Monday advertising meeting, each of the ad staffers told a story or a memory of Amy. Without exception, each person mentioned Amy’s dedication to the Tribune-Star and how she loved her job. They all told of some way that Amy had helped them with advice or direction in their daily tasks. Since she had worked at the newspaper more than two decades, she had seen just about every scenario possible. Over that period of time, Amy had probably talked to just about every advertiser who does business with the Tribune-Star.

As word spread Monday of Amy’s sudden passing, business owners who had worked with her began calling or emailing the paper to express their sadness and extend condolences. In working with Amy, these people knew that she would make sure their ads were correct, the billing was accurate, and that they would get the best possible results. Her attention to detail was her strength, but her friendliness — and that hearty laugher — were her greatest assets. She went to great lengths to satisfy the needs of her accounts, and to make the interaction positive and productive.

Personally, Amy helped me as I was getting acclimated to my role as publisher of the Tribune-Star when I first came here just over three years ago. She introduced me to many of our advertisers and helped me to understand their history with the newspaper. She would tell me tidbits of information about her accounts, so that we could get story ideas. She went above and beyond.

During the last few years, Amy worked for a brief time in the accounting department. Her meticulous ways fit perfectly in a role where the details count. She immediately excelled in that job and mastered it. When there came an opening back on the ad staff, Amy and I talked at length about the possibility of her moving back into sales. I told her that whatever she decided to do would be great, as she would succeed at either job. Amy was overcome with emotion at the recognition of her talents and contribution.

Beyond her dedication, Amy was easy to befriend. She had a kind nature, and I don’t think she ever met a stranger.

Our sympathies go out to Amy’s family. Her life was too short, but her impact was great. Her presence will be felt at this office, where we still hear her laughter resonate, and in this community for many years to come. I know that she loved the Tribune-Star and the people who she worked with, and I hope that she knew how much she was loved by her colleagues.

As with all those we care about, Amy will remain in our hearts and we’ll carry her forward with us.

Thank you, Amy, for everything. May you rest in peace.

Visitation for Amy Spivey is 4-7 p.m. today at Greiner Funeral Home, 2005 N. 13th St., Terre Haute. Funeral services are 11 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home.

B.J. Riley is the publisher of the Tribune-Star. He can be reach at bjriley@tribstar.com and (812) 231-4297.

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