âWhen I think about the time I spent working with Jill, the first thing that comes to mind should be her quiet skill with editing; his discreet ability to point out something that didn’t make sense; his dry sense of humor, usually about pop culture stuff that didn’t make sense to me; fluency with colleagues and with the editors of member newspapers across the province, âsaid Cox.
âBut that’s not what I remember first,â she said, recalling the day a horse saddle arrived in the newsroom from Italy.
âSo when this thing came out of the box, it took my breath away,â she said. âIt was the creamiest caramel leather, hand-sewn and smooth, a thing of beauty. It was also a level of luxury that Jill never seemed to care about.
The saddle wasn’t for St. Louis, it was for his daughter Teresa, Cox said.
âI learned a lot from her as a journalist,â she said. “I learned a lot from her, however, about family dedication.”
St. Louis, who was born in Vancouver, has had a hard time.
Her husband of nearly 40 years, Richard West, died in May.
In January 2006, her 18-year-old daughter Lisa West died in a car crash in Richmond, British Columbia, which also killed two other teenagers. The accident happened the day before her daughter left to participate in equestrian competitions in the United States.
Horses, equestrian competitions and everything related to animals were deep passions for Saint-Louis. The family home in Richmond and in recent years in Langley in the Fraser Valley were glorified stables, friends say.
Her obituary published this week in Vancouver newspapers lists family members and deceased survivors, including two grandchildren, but she also names several animals, including horses Eddy and Doc; the dogs Ollie, Fanny and Charlie; Thunder and Lightning cats; and the donkey Ron.
Donations in memory of St. Louis can be made to the BC SPCA or Pacific Riding for Developing Abilities.
Colleagues and colleagues have described St. Louis as a quick, calm, and thorough editor who kept copy afloat under pressure-laden deadlines, but also liked to make jokes and knew the latest back and forth from the world of. professional wrestling.
“She was dedicated, hard-working, and had a big, kind heart and a wicked sense of humor,” said retired Canadian Press photographer Charles (Chuck) Stoody, who has worked with St. Louis for more than two decades.
âShe loved the news,â he said. “She liked the office and working the office and the office.”
Vancouver Sun columnist Daphne Bramham said she remembers St. Louis as unfazed in all situations, including bizarre incidents in the newsroom involving strange dogs entering the office from the street.
âI also loved the terse sound of his voice,â she said. “She never seemed to be stressed, even though Heaven had reason to be.”
Susan Duncan, former editor of the Kamloops Daily News, said St. Louis maintains relationships with newsroom directors across the province.
âWhether she was talking to the editor of a major daily or a small town newspaper, Jill was inclusive, fun and respectful,â Duncan said. âRegardless of their size, all media were important customers to Jill and all journalists were valuable. “
She said their meetings with clients often went beyond the news, as St. Louis was fascinated to hear about the many tragedies happening in a small town in British Columbia.
âSome people stay in your heart for years after you’ve lost sight of them,â Duncan said. “Jill was one of those people.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on June 25, 2021.
The Canadian Press