Graham Taylor was a good newspaper reporter and editor.

More importantly, Graham was a terrific person.

We at The Courier know the impact Graham had on our newspaper. And we understand the impact he had on the community.

Graham passed away Wednesday, at the age of 81, leaving a legacy of caring deeply about his community.

Graham was old school. He didn't have fancy computers or digital cameras. His tools of the trade were a knack for writing and a caring attitude about the people he encountered as he went about his job.

Graham worked at The Courier for 32 years - 18 as sports editor and 14 as managing editor before retiring in 1997.

Editing a community newspaper is an honor and reward few will ever experience. Graham understood that.

In that time he wrote thousands of stories and columns, mentored many reporters who passed through the Courier's doors - all the while never losing his love for the community where he was born and raised.

What many people remember about Graham was that he was a gentleman. He had a kind smile and a hearty laugh. Working in a newsroom can be hectic and frustrating at times, but Graham's even temperament kept the Courier ship righted.

Graham earned the respect of the community because he respected those he came into contact with.

Madison resident Lou Knoble wrote a letter to the editor upon Graham's retirement. "We would like to see our talented young people follow his example of choosing to live in Madison and using their talents to make our town a better place," Knoble wrote.

"Graham had the talent to work on a larger newspaper, radio station or some nationally known publication, but chose to stay the course to help promote and influence the growth and development of Madison," he wrote

Graham was a fair and accurate newsman, but he didn't hide his love of local sports teams. He was a bonafide Madison Cubs fan, and in the fall and winter he was often seen wearing a red sweater showing his allegiance to Indiana University basketball and football.

Graham also was instrumental in the growth of the Madison Regatta. He served as Regatta president in 1979 and race chairman in 1980. He and his wife, Madelyn, continued to serve the Regatta over the years in many capacities.

Graham was a dedicated family man. He, Madelyn and their daughter, Carol, enjoyed attending ballgames and traveling throughout the U.S.

We thank Carol, for sharing her dad with us for those many years.

Graham enjoyed his life ... family, friends, work, community. We will miss him.

Godspeed Graham.