Dick Emerson, longtime newspaper publisher, dies at 82

Jan 1, 2023


Wisconsin Newspaper Association

Richard “Dick” Emerson, a longtime Wisconsin newspaper publisher, died on Friday, Dec. 2, at his home in DeForest. He was 82.

Emerson was born on July 28, 1940, in Madison to Earl and Alice Emerson. His parents owned the DeForest (Wisconsin) Times-Tribune, and when he was a child, his family lived in the flat above the office, as he recalled in a column he wrote for the newspaper’s 125th anniversary in 2020.

He began his newspaper career in elementary school, going to various houses around town and collecting information about visits and other local news items, he wrote. In high school, he reported on school activities and sports for the paper.

After high school, he enrolled at Madison Area Technical College, where he studied for a semester before being offered a job at Madison Newspapers. He worked there for nine years, helping out at the Times-Tribune on his days off.

On Sept. 12, 1964, he married Mollyann Buschkopf at Trinity Methodist Church in Beaver Dam.

The couple moved to DeForest in 1965, and in 1968, purchased the Times-Tribune from Dick’s parents. In 1986, they bought the Poynette Press and added it to the DeForest Times Publishing Co., which also included the Prairie Valley Shopper.

After a 30-year career in publishing, they sold the newspapers to Art Drake in 1998. Emerson continued to sell advertising and write his column, “D News.”

In 2017, he was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Mollyann, who is enshrined on the WNA’s Memorial Pylon (https://bit.ly/3uNQogL). He is survived by two sons.

A memorial service was held at Dec. 13, 2022, at Christ Lutheran Church, 220 S. Main Street, DeForest. Visitation was at the Dec. 12, at Ryan Funeral Home, 6924 Lake Road, DeForest, Wisconsin.