Former Herald ad director dies

Published 10:28 am Friday, January 25, 2013

Jack Munson, seated, was advertising director at the Daily Herald for a number of years. Pictured with him are his advertising staff, including: Rita Kester, second from left; Gail Peterson, third from left; Dave Thorn, third from right; Annie Tubbs, second from right; and Cindy Samuel, far right. Photo Provided

A former Daily Herald employee passed away last Friday.

John “Jack” Munson, 80, worked in advertising at the paper and was an active member of the Austin community for 17 years. One of his daughters, Cheryl Howard, remembers the Iola, Wis., resident as an easy-going man who could talk with anybody.

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“Dad liked a good joke, liked a good story,” she said. “He enjoyed being around people a lot.”

Julie Guckeen, another of Jack’s daughter’s, said he was very considerate of others.

“He was a real caring person,” Guckeen said. “He was always conscious of everybody else’s needs above his own.”

John was born in St. Paul on Aug. 25, 1932, to Harry and Dorothy Munson. He would go on to graduate from Harding High School in St. Paul, and later married Shirley House in 1956. Early on in his life, Jack served in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict and worked as a traveling salesman for Charles Fox Co.

“He sold candy and tobacco for a number of years with them,” Howard said.

In 1976, Jack started working at the Daily Herald as an advertising representative. Only 18 months into his job, Jack was promoted to ad director at the Herald. Guckeen said he had a knack for seeing the big picture.

Apart from knowing Jack as her father, she worked under him for about a year in the Herald’s ad department when she was hired in 1983.

“It was kind of a different relationship,” she said. “He always stood up for his staff, and he was a very fair man.”

Jack left the Herald to work in an Ohio-based newspaper in 1984. Several years later, Greg Smith, son of Ed Smith, one of the Herald’s publishers, called Jack up and invited him to move to Iola. Greg worked with Krause Publications and asked Jack to come work along with him. Jack took up a job there in 1993, where he worked until his retirement in 2000.

Outside of work, Jack was an avid reader and stamp collector. He was into fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities. He coached a peewee hockey team for a number of years. Once the team went on a trip to play in Finland, and later a Finnish student they met there came to stay in Austin so she could see the U.S.

Howard remembers family vacations with her father, which typically led them up to the Hackensack area in northern Minnesota.

Jack’s memorial service will be held at the Voie Funeral Home, 120 S. Main St. in Iola at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Visitation will be held an hour before the service at the funeral home. Online condolences may be sent by visiting