Dale Davenport, who oversaw the editorial pages of the Patriot-News for many years and was a friend to so many of us in journalism, lost his battle yesterday and died way too young.
I worked with Dale for 18 years, moving from the Bucks County Courier Times to start as one of his assistant city editors. At the time he was city editor, but that changed in a few years as he moved to the editorial pages.
He built the pages with voices from the community, and all along he supported journalism and journalists and was a trusted friend and colleague.
Many staffers at the Patriot-News were hired by Dale and worked closely with him. Many grew under his leadership, becoming focused on careers they would build.
Dale gave me a chance to work the city desk, after working as night editor for a few years in Bucks County. I enjoyed every minute of that work, becoming city editor and overseeing state government news and several bureaus.
I thought about Dale Tuesday night, a day before he passed away, during the historic Pennsylvania election night. Sen Arlen Specter's loss, and quick calls in the governor race on both sides, would have him talking and reminiscing.
He was a loyal Penn Stater, who loved returning to campus for games or to speak at journalism events. I know many in the Penn State community will miss him.
I can only wish the best to Sherry and his family, and to his friends at the Patriot-News and throughout journalism. We've lost a friend and a mentor.