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By Margaret Toal
For the Record 

Former editor left imprint on Orange County

 

Last updated 4/23/2024 at 8:41pm

Glenda Dyer, an educated chemist who developed an affinity for the ink of newspapers, including nearly every paper in Orange County, died at her family farm in Tennessee, where she had moved nearly 20 years ago with her husband, Paul.

Her newspaper career began in the 1970s when the now-deceased editor of the Orange Leader gave her a job. She went on to become the first woman editor of the Leader in 1998. In the 1980s, she owned, published and edited her own weekly paper, The Orange Countian.

Her news career also took her to the Beaumont Enterprise and KOGT radio, in the days for the now-closed station had an Internet website.

Her last jobs in Orange County were with Roy Dunn and the Record Newspapers weekly editions. She wrote and was editor of the papers.

Dyer grew up in a poor family and went to college with intentions of going to medical school. She eventually earned bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry. Her husband, Paul Dyer, was also a chemist and worked for DuPont, a job that led to his transfer to Orange.

The buzz and adrenaline in a news room with Associated Press wire machines typing and the smell of ink and newsprint from the press room proved intoxicating for Glenda Dyer. She became what was known in the old world of print media as a "news hound."

She thought a newspaper's duty was to keep an eye on government and inform people on how their tax dollars were being spent. She also advocated for a paper to keep people up-to-date with all kinds of events and happenings.

She dedicated thousands of extra hours to producing news and newspapers. Once, when she was editor of the Leader and someone told her she needed to take more time off, she replied, "Orange deserves a good newspaper."

She was doing the work for her community.

Paul managed to pull Glenda away from her busy world through the years to his family homestead in the rolling hills of Tennessee. Their vacations were sometimes spent working to restore the 1800s family farmhouse.

Finally, Paul and Glenda retired to the farm, though Glenda couldn't get newspapers out of her system. Roy Dunn recalls she started working for the small-town Tennessee paper and was upsetting the city council. That's what good reporting can do.

Glenda was 80 years old when she died after Alzheimer's. Survivors include her husband, Paul, and her daughter, Martha Howells of Orange County, plus grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

 

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