Doyle McGinley, former Glenwood Post journalist and friend to all, dies at 70
Retired Glenwood Springs journalist Clarence Doyle McGinley, known to all as Doyle, died Wednesday at Heritage Park Care Center in Carbondale. He was 70.His body was used up, literally. Because of diabetes, he’d lost both feet. But he continued to hobble around town, continued to have good words for everyone he met. Last year, a heart attack put him in the hospital and then the nursing home.He was a man of many hats: electrician’s mate in the Coast Guard, a newspaper plate maker, a letter carrier, a bail bondsman, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter.His story began on Jan. 2, 1933, in Old Glory, Texas. He was a Texas boy all his life. His Panhandle accent never left him.In 1951, fresh out of high school, he entered the Coast Guard and was stationed at Port Angeles, Wash. At a service dance one night he met Vanelta Luttrel. They were married in 1954 and had three boys: Doyle Wayne, Drew Scott and David. Doyle also became father to Vanelta’s four kids: Danny, Diane, Dennis and David Botts.Although he left his wife five years later and moved east, halfway across the country, he never lost touch with his children.”He was very loving to us,” said Doyle Wayne McGinley, who lives in Port Angeles.The prize-winning storyAfter mustering out of the Coast Guard in 1954, McGinley moved to Akron, Ohio. His journeyman skills as a plate maker for newspaper presses got him a job with the Akron Beacon Journal. When presses were automated and his skills became obsolete, the paper gave him a crack at reporting. Although he lacked a college degree, Doyle could cobble a story together.He wrote obituaries and corrected copy. He learned reporting.McGinley was one of the old school reporters, a Damon Runyon type who smoked and drank too much by today’s standards, who maybe couldn’t spell his way out of a paper bag, but who could chase down a story.In May 1970, at the height of the Vietnam War, a growing opposition movement was erupting on college campuses across the country. Kent State University became a rallying cry for anti-war protesters when the president of the school, fearing campus rallies would erupt into violence, called out the National Guard. The guard responded by shooting down four students.McGinley and five other reporters were sent out to cover the melee. Their reporting won the Pulitzer Prize, journalism’s highest honor. He’d only been on the job for two years.`A friend to everyone’In the 1980s, McGinley came to Glenwood Springs to take care of his aging parents, who ran the M&M Truck Stop for many years. “Archie and Elsie were loved by the whole town and everyone adopted Doyle when he came here,” said his longtime friend Doug Britten.McGinley worked with Britten in his bail bond business for 15 years, doing everything from serving warrants to letting Britten’s dog out.”He would have taken a bullet for me,” Britten said. “We were that close.”While working for Britten, McGinley also kept his foot in journalism, covering the Garfield County Courthouse for the Glenwood Post. He was paid $25 a story.In the late ’80s, his diabetes caught up with him. Blood circulation to his feet was so poor one of them had to be amputated. A few years later doctors took the second one. But that didn’t stop McGinley.He still managed to hobble around town, stopping in at the Eagles Hall to tip a few with friends.”He was a friend to everyone. He would help anyone who asked for help,” said his son, Doyle Wayne. “He was a loving son to his parents and very loving to us, although we were many years apart. And he loved the newspaper business.”
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