It is the way it’s supposed to work. A sports editor takes part in APSE contest judging, gains inspiration from colleagues’ best works, collects a bunch of new ideas and returns home reinvigorated — and sometimes triumphant. 

That’s how it had been going for Donn Walden these past few years. The Lewiston (Idaho) Tribune sports staff had been rolling, and like all proud SEs, Donn was exuberant in praising his hardworking staff and celebrating the year’s achievements on Facebook, Twitter, and anywhere he could. 

Donn took great pride in his involvement in APSE, and that, too, is the way it’s supposed to work. Our organization, which consists of more small publications than large ones, has always needed more Donn Waldens. He was visible in his participation and enthusiasm, and that in itself made him a recognized leader among our editors. Donn was vice chair of the Northwest Region, and it was not hard to envision him becoming a national officer.

Donn died on April 15 at age 50. His loss has been a shock to our profession.

APSE would like to remember Donn each year by contributing $1,000 in expenses for a selected sports editor from a small-circulation publication to attend the summer conference. We will call it the Donn Walden Leadership Grant. Details on how to apply for the grant are to come.

Our hearts go out to Donn’s family and friends, to the staff at the Lewiston Tribune, to Donn’s friends and colleagues at APSE, and to friends and coworkers at his previous jobs. 

Donn’s viewing is today at the Mountain View Funeral Home in Lewiston, Idaho. A memorial service will be held in Ohio at a later date. Here is the obituary that ran in the Tribune.