Carol Wilcox Stiff, 73, of Idaho Springs, died March 20 at her home from a suspected cardiac arrhythmia.
She was born June 9, 1939, in Omaha, Neb., the daughter of Dr. Clyde William and Ethelyn Verna (Ellis) Wilcox. She was raised in Broken Bow, Neb., where her father was a country doctor and her mother was a former reporter at the Omaha Bee-News.
Wilcox Stiff attended Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., and obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska, a master's degree in journalism and Latin American studies from the University of Texas, and a doctorate in journalism from the University of North Carolina.
Among several other newspapers, both in the United States and France, she worked as a reporter for the Denver Post, where she met her husband, Cary P. Stiff II. They were married Sept. 3, 1967, in Fairplay.
In addition to raising their three children, Wilcox (the name she used professionally) and Stiff founded The Clear Creek Courant in Georgetown in 1973 and published it for 26 years. They eventually moved the Courant from Georgetown to Idaho Springs.
During this time, they also published another weekly, Evergreen Today, for three years. In the first year it was eligible to enter the Better Newspapers Contest of the Colorado Press Association, The Courant was named the best weekly paper in the state.
Over the years, it won more than 50 Colorado Press Association awards for its news coverage, columns, editorials and general excellence.
It twice was named the outstanding community weekly in Colorado by the University of Northern Colorado.
The publishers received the Lowell Thomas Award from the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and they were given the Eugene Cervi Memorial Award by the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors (ISWNE) in 1997, recognizing a lifetime of aggressive community journalism.
More recently, Wilcox Stiff worked as a professor of journalism at Virginia State University and was a contributing author to a book, "Knights of the Quill," about southern Civil War correspondents. She retired from teaching in 2012.
After 40 years of marriage, her husband and business partner, Cary Stiff, passed away in Virginia in 2008.
She is survived by her brother, Dr. Clyde W. ("Bill") Wilcox Jr. of Virginia Beach, Va.; two daughters, Meg Spodick of Framingham, Mass., and Catherine ("Katie") Stiff Andrzejewski of Baldwinsville, N.Y.; and one son, Cary P. ("Chip") Stiff III, of Boise, Idaho.
In addition, she had eight grandchildren: Isaac, Stasia, Helena and Eden Andrzejewski; Paige, Lauren and Natalie Spodick; and Cameron Stiff.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the United Church of Idaho Springs, where she was an active member. A memorial service will be held in Idaho Springs later this summer.
Published in Clear Creek Courant from Apr. 3 to Apr. 10, 2013