Carol Wilcox Stiff, 73, of Idaho Springs, died March 20 at her home from acute heart failure. She was born Carol Ann Wilcox June 9, 1939, in Omaha, the daughter of Dr. Clyde William and Ethelyn Verna (Ellis) Wilcox.
She was raised in Broken Bow, where her father was a country doctor and her mother was a former reporter at the Omaha Bee-News. Wilcox Stiff attended Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., and obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nebr-aska, a master’s degree in journalism and Latin American Studies from the University of Texas, and a PhD in journalism from the University of North Carolina.
Among several other newspapers, both in the U.S. and France, she worked as a reporter for The Denver Post, where she met her husband, Cary P. Stiff II. They were married Sept. 3, 1967 in Fairplay, Colorado.
In addition to raising their three children, Wilcox (the name she used professionally) and Stiff founded The Clear Creek Courant in Georgetown, Colo., in 1973, and published it for 26 years (they eventually moved the Courant from Georgetown to Idaho Springs). During this time, they also published another weekly, Evergreen Today, for three years.
In the first year it was eligible to enter the Better Newspapers Contest of the Colorado Press Associat-ion, The Courant was named as the best weekly paper in the state. Over the years it won more than 50 Colorado Press awards for its news coverage, columns, editorials and general excellence. And it twice was named the outstanding community weekly in Colorado by the University of Northern Colorado.
The publishers received the Lowell Thomas Award of the Colorado chapter of Sigma Delta Chi, the professional journalism fraternity. And they were given the Eugene Cervi Memorial Award of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors (ISWNE) in 1997, recognizing a lifetime of aggressive community journalism.
More recently, Wilcox Stiff worked as a professor of journalism at Virginia State University and was a contributing author of a book, Knights of the Quill, about Southern Civil War correspondents. She retired from teaching in 2012. After 40 years of marriage, her husband and business partner, Cary Stiff, passed away in Virginia in 2008.
She is survived by her brother, Dr. Clyde W. (“Bill”) Wilcox Jr. of Virginia Beach, Va.; two daughters, Meg Spodick of Framingham, Mass., and Catherine (“Katie”) Stiff Andrzejewski of Baldwinsville, NY; and one son, Cary P. (“Chip”) Stiff III, of Boise, Idaho. In addition, she had eight grandchildren: Isaac, Stasia, Helena and Eden Andrzejewski; Paige, Lauren and Natalie Spodick; and Cameron Stiff.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the United Church of Idaho Springs, Colo., where she was an active member. A memorial service will be held there Aug. 31.
Published in Custer County Chief, June 27, 2013