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JOURNALIST IN BOX ELDER RETIRES AFTER CAREER SPANNING 60 YEARS

SHARE JOURNALIST IN BOX ELDER RETIRES AFTER CAREER SPANNING 60 YEARS

It started as a high school job - writing a social column for the weekly Garland Times in Box Elder County. That was 1930 and the beginning of a 60-year career in journalism for Flo Munson.

Munson retired her typewriter this month after a career as correspondent to the Deseret News, seven other Utah papers and one radio station.She covered President Ford's visits to northern Utah and an occasional fire, injury or accident. But, more frequently, readers saw her homey coverage of everyday happenings to everyday people. A lifelong resident of Fielding, Munson has written tens of thousands of stories - all from her front room.

She also started working for the Logan Herald Journal in 1930, where she wrote society news and later helped write a cooking column.

In 1940, Munson joined the staff of the Tremonton Leader. In the early '60s she briefly was a feature writer for the Standard Examiner in Ogden.

In September 1962, John E. McCormick, Deseret News regional editor, and Golden H. Buchmiller, the paper's state editor, invited her to join the Deseret News team. Over 28 years as a Deseret News correspondent, she worked with four state editors.

In 1971, Munson left the now combined Tremonton Leader-Garland Times to write for the Bear River Valley News in Tremonton. In 1972, she started writing for the Box Elder News-Journal in Brigham City. She later returned to the Leader and employed her skills on the Cache Citizen in Logan as well.

During the 1970s, her experience expanded to radio journalism as she wrote and broadcast news from the Bear River Valley on KVNU in Logan.

Her stories have ranged from national to the back yard. The highlight of her career was coverage of then-Vice President Ford and his wife, Betty, with numerous contacts and interviews. Munson's articles and pictures about the Fords and their visits to friends in Tremonton were carried statewide in the Deseret News and printed in both Box Elder County weeklies.

Another favorite but different experience came from a Deseret News assignment to get an article and picture of a buffalo in Liberty, Weber County. The owner of the animal, Charles Storey, said no one was allowed to walk through his cattle to get to the buffalo. But Munson's determination persuaded him to let her venture in. Her interest in a story seemed to override her fear of animals; she used spunk and a bucket of grain to acquire a close-up photograph of the animal.

Munson produced 38 feature stories for the Deseret News one month. In the Box Elder county weeklies, Flo has written community columns for Fielding, Tremonton, Garland, Bothwell-Thatcher-Penrose, Plymouth and Riverside.

She has served as vice president and president of the Box Elder Branch of the National League of American Pen Women.

Family history is a favorite hobby. Munson plans to devote increased energy to this hobby now that she is retired.

She married Elmo Munson, of Tropic, Garfield County, in 1938. He spent many of their 50 years together inspecting grain elevators in Idaho, Wyoming and Nebraska for the Pillsbury Co. He died in 1987. Their son, Forrest, is an accountant who has been chairman of the Box Elder County Democratic Party and active in Fielding city government.

- Glen Curtis, former publisher, Tremonton Leader.