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Lewis Auburn Little

1933 - 2019
Lewis Auburn Little Obituary
Lewis Auburn Little

Fort Collins - Millions of people have had breakfast with Lewis Auburn Little of Fort Collins, Colorado.

He died on November 21, 2019. Some of the world's best-known comic strips were discovered by Little during a career spanning 80 years.

He launched "Wee Pals," the first integrated comic strip by Morrie Turner, and "Tumbleweeds," a wild west spoof by Tom K. Ryan. His most famous discovery was that of "Garfield" by Jim Davis, while he was an executive at United Features Syndicate in New York.

Little was born on September 1, 1933, the tenth child of strawberry farmer Christopher Columbus Little and Susie Eppler Little of Dayton, Arkansas. His father read the newspaper comics to him at age 6.

He was educated at Los Angeles Valley College in San Fernando, California, where he started in the newspaper syndicate business. He was responsible for the syndication of dozens of comic strips and text features. He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in photojournalism and received other prestigious news awards. He worked as an executive at major newspapers including the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union. He worked as national news director for the Christian Science Monitor News Service. He taught college-level journalism. He served as a corporal in the Army Reserves.

He was married to Marguerite Forrey, and then to Mary Moore Little, before finding his wife of 45 years, Mary Ellen Corbett, a fellow journalist who called him her "Funnypaperman."

Little is survived by his wife, Mary Ellen Corbett of Fort Collins, Colorado. He is preceded in death by his parents, nine siblings, and two children Edward Lewis and Devon Ann. He is survived by four sons and two daughters: Steve Little, Scott Little, Alan Little, Eric Miklas, Terri Roetker and Pamela Henry. He is survived by one grandson and eight grand-daughters: Mathew, Dina, Karla, Auburn, Melissa, Rose, Virginia, Kristen and Aislin.

He was an enthusiastic restorer of old homes, and with Corbett moved a 10-ton Victorian mansion from the village center of Brandon, Vermont, to the edge of town. He loved dogs, particularly cocker spaniels. An early riser, he assured family members and friends that "Everything is in Divine Order."

Memorial services will be held in San Diego, California, and Rutland, Vermont, at later dates.

Family and friends may visit to share memories or leave a message of condolence for the family.
Published in The Coloradoan from Nov. 25 to Dec. 1, 2019
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