Former publisher Art Statt remembered
Former Madras publisher Arthur Statt passed away at his home Jan. 19, at the age of 87.
Born July 3, 1914 in Upstate New York, Statt went on to have a colorful career in many fields.
The amiable Statt worked primarily in the newspaper and radio media, but had also owned a tourist museum which offered mini-train rides to children in New Mexico, and prior to World War II worked as an advance man for Barnum and Bailey Circus.
While still in New York State, he learned to fly on a plane with floats, so he held certification as both a sea and land pilot. He was a veteran of World War II, serving as a guard for prisoner of war camps in the U.S.
In May 1969 Statt was hired as the advertising manager at The Madras Pioneer. There he met bookkeeper Violet Nemechek, and they were married on Aug. 30, 1975 in Reno, Nev.
When publisher William Robinson died suddenly in 1974, Statt was named The Pioneer's new publisher and continued in that position until his retirement in 1979.
Mike Williams, Statt's co-worker at The Pioneer and personal friend for 32 years, said they shared many interests including flying and boating. Statt was also an amateur radio operator.
"He was just learning radio code when I came to Madras in 1971. Later, his house often resembled an antenna farm and he talked to people all over the world," Williams said, noting with his radio skills Statt also helped with emergency communications for the Sheriff's Search and Rescue team.
People would often remark on Statt's smile and polite manner. "He was an old-fashioned gentleman," Williams said.