Judith Fay

Obituary of Judith Fay

    Judith S. Fay, 70, Jacksonville, died Monday, December 25, 2017, at her residence after suffering from a prolonged neurological disease. 

    She was the retired vice president of the Jacksonville Journal Courier Company and represented the fourth generation of the Fay family to serve that institution in an executive capacity stretching from just after the end of the Mexican War until 1982 when the family sold the company to Thomson Newspapers, Ltd., of Toronto, Canada.  She then served as a newspaper consultant to the Thomson Corporation for over a decade. Ms. Fay was also the retired vice president of the Jacksonville Radio and Television Broadcasting Corporation, owner of Radio Stations WLDS-AM and WEAI-FM.

     Ms. Fay was born in New Haven, Connecticut, May 13, 1947, daughter of Robert Allan and Carmen Isabel Rutoli Fay. She graduated from Jacksonville High School in 1965 and from Nasson College in Springvale, Maine, in 1969 with a degree in English literature. While in college she spent a semester in Vienna, Austria, studying German language, philosophy, and literature.

     Following college, Ms. Fay worked for the well-known Boston bank advertising firm, the Burke Agency, and remained there until summoned home to assist her ailing father in management of the Jacksonville Daily Journal, the Jacksonville  Courier, and the Jacksonville Journal Courier. She also supervised development of a number of new publications, including The Shoppers Guide, a “total market coverage” free publication used to supplement the paid publications the newspaper already produced. She also helped develop the newspaper company’s plans to start and then build up a local cable television network with Jacksonville as its center and West Central Illinois as its eventual focus.

     Ms. Fay married John R. Power in Georgetown, District of Columbia, March 20,  1978; Mr. Power survives. Also surviving are a daughter, Phoebe Jane Power (Mrs. Steven Googe), Canton, Georgia; a son, Litton Worth Power, Ammon, Idaho; a sister, Mrs. Jane (Stephen) Finn, Hinesburg, Vermont; and two cousins, Mrs. Emily (Fred) Osburn, Jacksonville, and Ann Fay, Skokie.

     Ms. Fay served many years as a member of the Jacksonville Public Library Board of Directors and was very active in the Jacksonville Art Association, writing scripts for the Beaux Arts Ball and directing the annual Childrens’ Art Fair which used to be put on as a part of the city’s Preservation Fair.

     Ms. Fay took a special interest in landscape design and historic building preservation and never saw a bird or a squirrel she didn’t fall in love with. She also collected paintings by local painters, especially Charlotte Cleeland, Nellie Knopf, and Hazel Greene. She especially enjoyed attending local country auctions and sales and scoured antique and design shops around the world.

     Ms. Fay was a member of the Jacksonville Congregational Church. She was descended from a number of Jacksonville area pioneer families, including that of Revolutionary War Captain Elijah Smith who is buried in East Cemetery and after whom the Jacksonville Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution is named, the Littons, the Camps, the McCulloughs, the Putnams, etc.

      Memorial services will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 20, at Trinity Episcopal Church. Private burial services will be held at Diamond Grove Cemetery at a later time. There will be no formal visitation.

     Memorial contributions are suggested to the W.A. and R.A. Fay Communications Scholarships at Illinois College.  The Williamson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.  Condolences may be left online at www.airsman-hires.com.