BEAVERCREEK [Ohio] - Chris Mitsoff, who
bought a four-page rural weekly shopper in 1960 and nurtured it into what is
now the daily Beavercreek News-Current, died Friday at Trinity Community of
Beavercreek retirement home. He was 76.
Mr. Mitsoff, who in 2000 self-published
a book called The Saga of the Kidney Stone Kid dealing with his long
struggles with heart and kidney disease, had been debilitated in recent
months by a series of seizures, his son Tom said Saturday. When doctors
determined he would not regain consciousness, Tom Mitsoff said, his family
decided to stop dialysis and life support.
Mr. Mitsoff was one of the original
members of the Committee of 11, a group that in the 1970s led the campaign
to incorporate Beavercreek as a city to deflect annexation efforts by
surrounding cities. Mr. Mitsoff used the editorial page of his Beavercreek
Daily News to champion incorporation. "He felt that was a real important
part of Beavercreek becoming what it is today," Tom Mitsoff said. "I know he
felt the paper had a big part (in the city's incorporation)."
Born in Cincinnati on Dec. 17, 1925, Mr.
Mitsoff grew up in Middletown, becoming a sports reporter for the Middletown
Journal at age 17. After high school graduation, he was drafted into the
Army and served as a paratrooper in Germany during World War II.
After the war, he studied journalism at
Northwestern University and Miami University of Ohio, but didn't get a
degree. He worked in the 1950s as a public relations official and magazine
editor at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
In 1960, Mr. Mitsoff and his wife, Ruth,
purchased a weekly shopping newspaper from a group of merchants in
Beavercreek [Township]. Under the Mitsoffs' leadership, the paper expanded
and began including news articles instead of just advertising. With Mr.
Mitsoff as publisher and editor, it grew from a weekly to a twice-weekly
In 1975, Mr. Mitsoff turned the paper
into the Monday-Saturday Beavercreek Daily News, and he continued to serve
as its publisher until it was purchased in 1986 by Ohio Communications Corp.
As part of the sale, Mr. Mitsoff agreed not to start a competing paper. But
in 1988, two of his children, Tom and Christine, launched the Beavercreek
Current. That paper was purchased in 1992 and merged with the Beavercreek
Daily News. The Beavercreek News-Current is now owned by Brown Publishing
After he sold the Beavercreek Daily
News, Mr. Mitsoff worked for a time as home builder, then he and his wife
published the weekly Greene County Messenger. Mr. Mitsoff is survived by
Ruth, his wife of 51 years; sons Lee, David and Tom, and daughter Christine.
Public visitation will be from noon to 2
p.m. Monday at Tobias Funeral Home, 3970 Dayton-Xenia Road. A private
funeral for family will follow. Donations can be made to the Chris Mitsoff
Scholarship Fund in care of Fifth Third Bank.
(Dayton Daily News, Dayton, OH,
10 Mar 2002, Page 1B - courtesy of Tedd Cocker)