Well-done, Steve Parker!

By Scott Carlson 

This issue of the Bugle marks the end of an era: After 17 years as this newspaper’s graphics coordinator and production manager, Steve Parker is retiring. 

During his tenure, Steve has served three editors, designing and producing more than 200 issues of the Bugle. Each month, Steve took stories, photos, graphics and ads and crafted creative and sparkling page layouts. Even when it seemed impossible, he managed to get everything to fit.  But then, I guess, that is the work of a true pro. 

From the time he was kid, Steve knew he wanted a career in commercial and fine art. Steve grew up in Blackduck, a small Minnesota town north of Bemidji. He studied commercial art in the early 1970s at the Alexandria Technical College. Then it was off to a string of commercial art jobs at newspapers and an occasional trade publication. 

One of Steve’s notable jobs was working for the millionaire philanthropist Percy Ross, handling production of a truck-equipment publication. He was also a package designer for Ross’ B.F. Nelson Corp. 

Before starting his own freelance business, Steve worked at Skyway News and the St. Paul Pioneer Press.  

When Steve learned that the Bugle needed a graphics coordinator and production manager in 2002, he interviewed with then-editor Dave Healy, armed with a portfolio of work. Healy was impressed and the rest, as they say, is history. 

“Many Bugle readers probably don’t know Steve’s name,” Healy said. “He labored behind the scenes, but his handiwork was visible every month. For 17 years, Steve made the Bugle look good—better, in fact, than any comparable neighborhood newspaper. It was my privilege to work with Steve for eight years and to benefit from his expertise, his care and his good humor. I hope retirement treats him as well as he treated his colleagues.”

 After Healy left, Steve worked with his successor, Kristal Leebrick. 

“Steve Parker has worked on the Bugle longer than anybody in its 45-year history, and I am sure his deep institutional knowledge will be missed,” Leebrick told me. 

“Not only did he know how to design and produce a newspaper, Steve’s a very talented artist. People probably don’t realize that some of the drawings that illustrated certain stories or advertisements were Steve’s work. 

“I’ve had a lot of jobs and co-workers over the years, and I put my time working with Steve at the Park Bugle at the top of my favorites list.”

Steve has been collaborating with me on the Bugle since September. His easygoing personality and dedication to the Bugle have helped smooth the transition . 

“I loved working on the Bugle,” Steve said of his tenure. “It’s been fun, and I cherish the friends I have made.”  

After years in commercial art, Steve now plans to spend more time pursuing fine art and travelling to art shows with his wife, Cindi. 

We wish Steve well is in his retirement and new pursuits. Thanks for the journey and a job well-done!

Steve Parker at work designing page layouts for the Bugle.

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