Carol Hector, editor and publisher of The Argonaut newspaper, died early Sunday, Sept. 5 at her Los Angeles home. She was 62.
Hector was diagnosed with lymphoma in January, when she began treatment for the disease, and until recently she had been expected to fully recover. The cause of death was believed to be complications of lymphoma.
Hector was employed by The Argonaut for more than 31 years. She was manager of the production department until May 2006, when she became editor and publisher after the death of the paper’s founder and owner, David Asper Johnson.
The Argonaut, Inc. board of directors has named Hector’s partner, Arlene R. (Evie) Ruiz, to succeed Hector as publisher of the newspaper.
Hector was born May 6, 1948 in Hamilton, Ontario. Her family moved to the United States when she was 3. She was educated in Michigan and moved to Los Angeles in 1976.
Her career with The Argonaut began in the advertising production department in 1979 and she soon became production manager, a position she held until Johnson’s death.
She and Ruiz were together 32 years, and they were married Oct.14, 2008 in a ceremony performed by Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl.
Hector was an artist and enjoyed painting “until she discovered the Mac computer, which became her passion,” Ruiz said. “She learned how to use computers on her own and was involved in keeping The Argonaut technologically advanced. In recent years she became very proficient in PhotoShop and would spend hours restoring old photos for family and friends,” Ruiz recalled.
“Carol loved traveling and wished she could have done more. She also enjoyed spending time at home with me and our animals. Her good pal Fred, our dog, will really miss her.
“More recently, she began using Facebook as a means of locating old friends and keeping in touch with her current friends while recovering from chemotherapy.”
Shortly before he died in 2006, Johnson announced that he had chosen Hector to be editor, publisher and owner of The Argonaut upon his death, saying, “I am able to make this decision in part because of the strong abilities and commitment of Carol and the other executives and staffers who are running The Argonaut. Carol Hector has been a strong member of the Argonaut production departmentÖ”
Johnson, who founded The Argonaut in November 1971, said he wanted to assure the public that The Argonaut would continue to be locally owned as an independent local newspaper, and new publisher Ruiz says it was Hector’s wish to continue Johnson’s legacy. Hector had left instructions concerning the future of the paper that would assure its continuing as a locally-owned and -operated independent community newspaper, Ruiz added. Details were not available at Argonaut press time.
The newspaper is owned by The Argonaut, Inc., in which Hector was the sole stockholder. Ruiz is now president and secretary of The Argonaut, Inc., chairman of the corporation’s board of directors, and publisher of The Argonaut.
In addition to Ruiz, Hector is survived by her father Russel Hector, sister Sherry Hector, brother Gary Hector and niece Jennifer, all living in Florida; as well as an uncle, Gorden Hector, who lives with his family in Canada.
At Argonaut press time there were no plans for a public memorial service, though Ruiz said there would be a private memorial for family, friends and Argonaut staff.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to VITAS Innovative Hospice Care, 100 S. Biscayne Blvd., Suite 1500, Miami, FL 33131; (305) 374-4143; www.vitas.com/.
Because of the long Labor Day weekend there was no time to gather community and colleague reactions to the tragic news. These will follow in a future issue of The Argonaut, along with more information about the new Argonaut publisher and plans for the future.