Carol Stark, editor of the Joplin Globe, died Wednesday, Aug. 14, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis after a long battle with cancer. Services are pending.
Ms. Stark, 61, was a recent past president of the Missouri Press Association and will be inducted into that organization’s Newspaper Hall of Fame in September. She is only the second person from the Globe to receive that honor.
Ms. Stark began her journalism career in 1977 at the age of 17 for The Carthage Press, and the Joplin Globe hired her in 1983.
Over the years, she has served in a number of reporting and editing positions for the paper, including assistant city editor and as metro editor from 2003 to 2007. In 2007, she was named executive editor, becoming the first female executive editor in the paper’s then 111-year history.
In 2018, she was named regional editor as part of the expanded news leadership structure announced by CNHI, the Globe's parent company.
Recently, the Carol Stark Excellence in Journalism Scholarship was established in her name for students at Missouri Southern State University.
Ms. Stark is survived by two sons, Craig Stark and his wife, Christen, of Pilot Grove, and Joe Stark and his wife, Katy, of Ozark; six grandchildren; two sisters and extended family.
Mark Maassen, executive director of the Missouri Press Association, worked with Ms. Stark at the organization for six years. He said she was "extremely professional."
"She was an unbelievable mentor to lots of young journalists," Maassen said. "... Her leadership is unparalleled. She also was so gifted in her role as the editor of The Joplin Globe that she was recognized throughout our state."
Doug Crews, Maassen's predecessor at the press association, also called Ms. Stark an "excellent leader" and said he was admired in her community and in the press association family.
Crews said that Ms. Stark worked as editor while fighting cancer until about two months ago, when she had to step away and focus on treatment.
Crews recalled that Ms. Stark led her newspaper's coverage of the tornado that ripped through Joplin eight years ago, destroying much of the city and claiming 161 lives. The tornado happened after 5 p.m., but Ms. Stark's staff by 1 a.m. had published a comprehensive series of reports.
Crews was executive producer of the documentary “Deadline in Disaster” about the Globe's coverage that won an Emmy Award in 2013.
"I watched her from a distance during that time — the tornado and the recovery — and she was just amazing," Crews said. "She was highlighted and spotlighted throughout that."