Panama City News Herald loses former editor Will Glover to brain cancer

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Will Glover, the former News Herald editor-in-chief and author of “The RS Tales”, a kind and generous man, has passed away.

He was 42 years old.

Will died July 10 at his parents’ house in Mississippi after a long battle with brain cancer, an enemy we who worked with him thought he had nearly beaten, but who returned within a year between l Hurricane Michael and COVID-19.

His first novel:Childhood drawings fuel a series of novels

His second novel:Glover continues the ‘RS Tales’ series

Our colleagues have posted many goodbyes and fond memories of Will online. One of Jan Waddy, my longtime Entertainer co-conspirator, struck me as particularly insightful.

“Will was a good friend with a huge heart and faith,” Jan said. “He never showed up to dinner without bringing gifts – whether it was a bottle of wine or apple chips – even Mexican coke or stickers for my son. I didn’t expect him to brings anything, but it’s exactly what he expected of himself – and giving came naturally for him, whether it was a word of encouragement around the office or a shared laugh. Will, we miss you and your life was your testimony. “

Born December 10, 1978 to Bill and Marsha Glover at Women’s Hospital in Flowood, Mississippi, Will grew up in Jackson, Mississippi and graduated from Jackson Academy as a six-year track and field and cross-country letterer. He excelled in academics and received a full scholarship for Ole Miss. He was also humble; he might tell you he raced on the track, but he never mentioned that he was one of the best runners in the state.

He graduated in journalism and began writing for the Desoto Times in Mississippi. Will loved the newspaper and even ran a print route while in high school. His next job was in Tupelo, Mississippi and he wrote for the Northeast Journal before moving on to his last favorite job at the News Herald. Without a doubt, he was challenged here. But it was also clear that he liked the job.

“Will loved Panama City and loved this paper, working on it until he could no longer work due to his illness,” said the obituary at Parkway Memorial Funeral Home in Ridgeland, Mississippi. A big fan of the Braves, Saints and Ole Miss, he never missed a televised game, but “above all he loved his church in Panama City,” said the notice, referring to the Eastgate Christian Fellowship in Panama City Beach.

A funeral service was held at Ridgeland on Tuesday. In lieu of flowers, the family asked Eastgate for donations.

The singular imagination, a writer’s approach

I got to know Will best when he started writing television reviews. We both had our theories on “Lost”, for example. And when Will finally published his first novel – I say “finally” because he was thinking about parts of this story since he was a child – we found new interests that intersected.

Will’s debut album, “The Counter”, was conceived as the first in a series called “RS Tales”, named after a fictional town, Riverton Springs. As a child, Will kept busy with long church services drawing Riverton Springs on Sunday newsletters – map-like diagrams of buildings, parking lots and other landmarks that were only in his imagination. . Later he began to describe the biographies of the residents.

“When I was in sixth grade, I remember thinking that the books we had to read were boring,” he said on the release of “The Counter”. “They were supposed to be interesting and teach you something. I decided that I was going to write at least one book and that it would be easy to read and have fantastic parts and apply to life.

It took him 30 years, finding time in a busy life to develop the story. The two main characters are young reporters fresh out of college, which Will said was probably “the funniest time, so far,” of his own life.

Will envisioned an eight-book series, but he didn’t write in a linear fashion, instead writing scenes that interested him and then linking the scenes together. “I have a scattered thought process,” he said.

The fourth book would have taken readers “through the looking glass” to explore different visions of reality. Book Eight is said to have looked at Will’s experiences in treating cancer.

Will was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2017 and underwent surgery at the University of Alabama Medical Center in Birmingham.

“I started writing it because I was bored,” he said of the plan for the eighth novel. “I was supposed to rest, but I found that if I wrote down my thoughts it helped me mentally, emotionally and even physically. It was a scary time and I don’t think I’ve covered everything yet.

The long round trips to Birmingham for treatments also gave plenty of time to think about future scenarios, he said.

Will returned to work at the News Herald in 2018, taking charge of editorial pages. When Hurricane Michael destroyed our office that year, Will and I found ourselves sitting back to back in the temporary office space. It was then that I learned of his interest in astronomy and music remixing. Mix tapes were apparently a thing for him.

He was always surprising and deeply sensitive to others. That’s why he wanted the second book in his series, “The Traveler – Star Flower & The Other Side,” to have a more upbeat theme.

“I was doing chemo and watching election news,” he recalls when he was writing the novel. “Chemotherapy alters the mind to begin with. Everything seemed dark. I wanted the second book to be a tunnel between the darkness we’ve been through and the light that will certainly come in the future – and could come as early as tomorrow. “

He thought our digitally connected world was strangely isolated, comparing it to living on a small farm outside of a big city, as the news would reach you of events in the city, but you might never get there. down to discover this larger world.

“I kinda feel like we live far away and I’m ready to go to the right city,” he said during our podcast chat.

Have a nice trip my friend.

Tony Simmons is a writer and editor for The News Herald. His column appears most weeks in the Entererer.


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