For many years and for many longtime Richmond Hill residents, Miriam Potter’s name was practically synonymous with the Bryan County News. Potter, 84, died Aug. 13 at her Mill Hill Road home.
She was surrounded by family, her daughter Patty Kandel said.
Potter is fondly remembered by current and former News staff members who worked with her during the time she was actively involved with the paper. They respected her integrity, her news judgment and her fairness.
Among them is Richmond Hill City Councilman Steve Scholar, who was general manager for the paper when it was known as the Richmond Hill-Bryan County News.
“Miriam was my supervisor when I was general manager of the Richmond Hill-Bryan County News from 1996-2000. I respected her business acumen and her enthusiasm for the newspaper business,” Scholar said. “I learned a great deal from her. She cared about the business but she cared more about the people that made the newspaper go. She taught me lessons that I still use to this day in my business and interpersonal relations with people.
Miriam’s roots in Richmond Hill go back decades. If I ever needed to know anything about the area’s history, she was the first person I went to. I’ll miss her a great deal.”
The News' current editor, Jeff Whitten, recalled editorial meetings with Potter and her occasional phone calls to suggest stories or pass along information from people in the community. He also heard from those people himself, sometimes.
“I remember when I got a phone call from a longtime resident who said I should take lessons from her on how to be an editor,” said Whitten, who began working as editor for the News in 2006. “She had that kind of impact on people.”
Miriam helped make the paper better just by being there,” he added. “She would tell you what she thought, she was always kind and she knew what she was talking about. And it was clear from her talks about her travels that she truly was the kind of person who loved life and lived it to its fullest. I admired her and I hope I learned something from her.
Potter, who grew up in what would become Richmond Hill, had a long and successful career with Morris Multimedia, and later traveled the world with her friend, Judith Roales, an acclaimed reporter and science writer who went on to become publisher of the St. Petersburg Times before retiring in 2000.