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CHRIS MITSOFF

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 paper.

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 Co.

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)