Back in 1962, Dave Soucy, just out of high school, was working full time on a freight dock in St. Paul. The year before, while still a student at Anoka High, Dave worked in the Anoka County Union’s press room and still, even while working on the freight dock, he’d be called on to help out with emergencies back home in the press room.
Wasn’t long before Willis Castle – the paper’s business manager at the time – told Dave they were going to hire an apprentice printer and he wanted Dave to apply.
Well, Dave got the job and he’s been with the paper ever since.
Last week, Dave Soucy’s 50-year career with ABC Newspapers was recognized by the Minnesota Newspaper Association (MNA) and he was formally inducted into the MNA Half Century Club.
“It’s an honor to belong to a group like that, to belong to an organization that’s been around since 1867. It’s pretty cool, I guess,” Dave said, his characteristic humility tempering the deserved pride in his heart.
On May 1, 1962, Dave’s career with the Anoka County Union and Shopper officially began. That’s the date he began working as apprentice printer under publisher Arch Pease.
Dave went on to work in nearly every capacity in the “back shop.”
“I started as apprentice printer, then assistant foreman, then foreman, then production manager, then facilities manager. It’s not like I sat in one place making widgets for 50 years. I’ve done a lot of different things over the years,” Dave said, sitting at his desk in an office that had once been occupied by Arch Pease himself.
These days, Dave’s the one who salts the sidewalk on these icy winter days.
Dave’s the one who toggles with the thermostat and adjusts the fans until everyone can work comfortably in the 90-degree summer heat.
If mice are threatening to take over the graphics department, if there’s a leak in the kitchen sink, if sheetfed’s got a glitch, Dave’s the one who will trap the mice, fix the leak, repair the press.
Dave takes care of the “little things” around the newspaper – those details that are necessary for the day-to-day operations of the newspaper.
And it doesn’t go unnoticed.
“We all know we can count on Dave. You’ve got a problem, you call Dave. He’s going to be there, figuring things out and making things work,” said Michele Kluntz, head of ABC Newspapers commercial printing.
But those “little things” aren’t the only things Dave tackles, and though he’s been part of ABC Newspapers for such a long time, it doesn’t take long to see how much he means to the operation.
Tom Murray, ABC Newspapers general manager, recognized Dave’s value immediately.
“From the first day I started here, I have relied on Dave’s knowledge and assistance related to our newspapers, our business, our processes and even the buildings themselves,” Murray said.
Through the years, Dave’s dedication and loyalty to ABC Newspapers has become a family trait. His two daughters, Theresa and Jodi, both worked for the paper back in the ‘80s. Why, even his wife, Fern, has done some odd jobs for the paper over the years.
Dave’s definitely made a home for himself at ABC Newspapers. And he said he loves being involved in the production of his hometown newspaper – and plans to continue on “as long as they’ll have me.”
Murray seems to think that wouldn’t be a bad idea.
“He has been, and continues to be, a great asset on so many projects as we work to change the way that newspapers report and disseminate news and information,” Murray said.
Sue Austreng is at [email protected]