Today, Nov. 19, is a special day here at the Davis Clipper, as R. Gail Stahle, our president and publisher, turns 80. He has lived almost all of his life in Bountiful, with the exception of a few years in the Phoenix area where he also owned and published newspapers. Like his father and grandfather, Gail has had the “newspaper” bug since he was a child. He started working at the Clipper when he was 10 years old.
The accomplishments of Gail Stahle as a publisher are legendary. He has been named a Master Publisher by the Utah Press Association. The Davis Clipper was honored earlier this year as “Small Business of the Year” by the Davis Chamber of Commerce. The hallways of our building are lined with hundreds of awards the newspaper has won from the UPA and the Society of Professional Journalists. Many of our writers, both past and present, have been honored by the industry for writing, photography and design. But this birthday message is more personal.
As a salute and tribute to him, we asked two of his children who work here at the Clipper, sales manager Reed Stahle and office manager Lorie Matern, to share their feelings and some memories about their father.
“Dad has been involved in the community from his youth,” Reed said. “As a youngster, he helped organize little league baseball in Bountiful. He has always loved baseball, being partial to the old New York Giants. He was a successful pitcher, even trying out for the Brooklyn Dodgers when they came looking for talent here in Bountiful. When he was 16, in an impressive moment reminiscent of the movie “The Natural,” Dad struck out one of the pro scouts. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to play catch with my Dad, and he still throws hard!”
“Our Dad turns 80 today, and while he might take issue with this, particularly the first statement, his mind is good and his body is strong,” Lorie said. “I have every reason to believe that he will be with us for a long time yet, and that is our fervent hope. I can say without hesitation that I have been deeply blessed and privileged to call the finest man I have ever known ‘Dad.’ It is with no fear of contradiction that I say that whatever I am or may become, by way of a worthwhile human being, I owe first and foremost to my parents, and to my Dad first as leader of our family.”
Reed said his father helped to organize the South Davis Community Choir, which each year performed “The Messiah” at the old Valley Music Hall, which is now the LDS Church regional center. He said Gail has “a wonderful tenor voice and has instilled the love of music in his children.”
He served in the National Guard in the 1950s, in both the Engineer Corp and also as a military policeman. He has held various positions in the LDS Church, and has been a temple worker in three different LDS temples over the past 30 years.
“Probably the most important thing is that he has been a good father,” Reed said. “I consider it a real blessing in my life that I have the opportunity to work with him on a daily basis. My Dad is my hero.”
“Our father is a man of immense integrity,” Lorie said. “He is a man of his word. I don’t remember Dad ever making a promise to me which he failed to keep. He is polite and friendly, and treats others as he’d want to be treated. I learned what integrity was by watching my father live.”
“One of the things I hope you are sensing is that Dad is a ‘doer,’” Reed said. “He has been an organizer and in many ways a pioneer. He is one of those rare individuals who has pursued his dreams fearlessly.”
And both Reed and Lorie added that above all else, Gail Stahle has priorities in life that “begin with God,” as Lorie said. “There are so many examples I could give to illustrate Dad’s commitment to the Lord, of course, and every one of them would testify that he is a humble man with a heart of servitude to God.”
As Lorie puts it, “these words have done little justice to the rich legacy of a great man, but on this milestone birthday, Reed and I wanted to share just a little about this treasure of a man who we call our Dad, husband, brother and friend.”
Happy Birthday, Gail, from all of us here at the Davis Clipper.