In memory of Chris Qualls

Former co-worker and editor Chris Qualls left us earlier this month. I first met him when he took an El Dorado News-Times feature picture of my toddler and me as we read magazines in the library. Years later I worked with him. Many former co-workers wrote comments about him following a couple Facebook postings about his passing. A select few follow:

Mike McNeil: “Chris was an intern during my second and last summer at the News-Times and was coming to work full time just before I moved to Malvern. He was the core of the news department for three decades. A great loss to all of us who have worked at the News-Times since the 70s.”

Jim Warnock: “I followed high school classmate Chris Quall’s career with interest when he became the religion editor for the El Dorado News Times and later served as their editor. I was always impressed with his thoughtful articles that sometimes gave a hint into his own spiritual journey. He was a kind person and a good friend to all. I’m thankful to have known him.”

Janice McIntyre: Chris was a great lay-out man at the News-Times and a great friend!”

James Patterson: “You are among the kindest, gentlest, purest souls I’ve ever encountered … and more having had the honor of calling you friend. This world will be a smaller, meaner place without you, but I guess this world really doesn’t deserve people like you.”

Kaitlyn Davis: “He was so kind to me and patient with me for the short time I worked with him.”

Lauren McCarn Cross: “Chris was a great boss and such a sweet, happy person. He made my years at the El Dorado News-Times good ones.”

Jim Lemon: “He was religion page editor and night editor at the News Times in El Dorado. When Shea Wilson left for another job, Chris was picked to take over as managing editor. I often gave advice to Chris about how he should manage the department. He, of course, ignored everything I said. He had trouble with anxiety attacks and was generally tightly woven. Chris didn’t have an easy life, I bet that was the reason he was so kind to everyone. You will find a lot of comments about how kind he was to people, that is true not just something people say about the dead. Chris’s father died just a short while ago and since then he has been full time care giver for his mother who is blind. Chris was a very spiritual guy. Chris explored several religions and finally settled on being a Catholic. We shared that in common. I gave Chris a statue of Jesus … in a glorified state. Chris, I bet you look like that now.”

Sara Mitchell: I used to call him “the Pope” because of the religious icons in his office. I loved sharing Catholic stories with him.”

Allison Sims: Before Kevin and I married, I joked with him that he should come to my dress fitting so we could have our “Say Yes to the Dress” moment. We were doing the fitting in Shreveport … when he walked in the shop… He was so much more than our editor.

Brad McLelland: “A good friend of mine and a great man has passed away. Thank you for being such a loving friend and beautiful soul.”

John Worthen, editor of the Pine Bluff Commercial, “For those of you who knew him, you knew he was a very good man. Our 1a daily dedication in The Commercial for Tuesday will honor a former colleague and friend. RIP, Chris.”

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