Anne Salmons was a little woman in physical stature.
But she was a giant in what she accomplished, the impact she made and the legacy she left.
In fact, she is the reason The Suburbanite – as you see it today – exists, buying a tiny weekly, the Green Views, from fellow Green resident Jean Chalmers 50 years ago and, all by herself, putting the paper on the map while operating it out of her home. She then continued to push the paper forward and make it thrive after she sold it and it adopted its current name while increasing its coverage area.
She also wrote for other publications, including the Akron Beacon Journal, and presented community news on the local cable TV station, Marks Cablevision, now part of Time-Warner.
She was a one-woman powerhouse at a time in history when females didn’t have that many opportunities at all, particularly in media.
Anne died last Sunday after a short illness. She was 93.
The cause of death?
“It was heart failure,” Beth Marie Schoonover, one of her two surviving daughters, said.
But as she quickly pointed out, “It was more that Mom just got tired and was ready to go.”
That’s understandable, for she had completed everything she had set out to do – and more.
“Anne was my very first professional colleague here in the Portage Lakes,” Coventry Township resident Lynn Stamp, former assistant publisher of South Summit Publishing, doing business as The Suburbanite, said in recalling the years she worked with her. “I was her fellow journalist at The Suburbanite, and right from the start, I was inspired by her. I thought she held the keys to the three townships we covered (Coventry, Green and Franklin).
“I was awestruck by what she had accomplished – running a newspaper from her kitchen. She had made such a success of it that the owner of South Summit Publishing (Ron Thrash) wanted to partner with her and take the publication to the next level.
“I helped the paper transition from the Green Views to The Suburbanite, and out of her kitchen and into the South Summit Publishing office (located in Green on South Main Street, at the Moore Road intersection). Anne was always zooming in and out of our offices with her steno book clutched under her arm.”
Stamp added,” I grew to know the community on assignments with Anne. We traveled every inch of the territory, reporting on the small and big things that were shaping the Portage Lakes.
“She had connections everywhere, and good news judgment.”
Born Ruth Anne Arman on Oct. 4, 1925 in Bellaire, Ohio, a factory town located in coal country along the Ohio River, she graduated from Bellaire High School in 1943 and moved to Akron to work at Goodyear Aircraft in World War II airplane construction.
She married Edward M. Salmons in 1949 and they built a home in Green, where they raised three daughters. She lived in that home for 65 years, finally selling it in 2015 and moving to North Canton, where she celebrated her 90th birthday.
“She was very tough. She lived independently right up until the very end,” Schoonover pointed out.
The truth is, Anne did most things independently. That was just her individualistic spirit, which was extremely important to her.
But she valued her family even more and was cognizant of how her busy work scheduled affected the ones she loved.
“When Mom was working on air for Marks, I think my dad got a little jealous of all the attention she was getting,” Schoonover said. “So she arranged to go out with Dad and have him film Green High School football games that were shown on the station. That made him happy.”
Schoonover said the family remained her mother’s main focus to the very end.
“Her health began to decline and it became apparent that she needed some help to get along, so the Wednesday before she died, we told her, ‘Mom, we’re going to have to put you into the hospital,’ ” Schoonover said. “She said ‘OK,’ but after she was admitted, a nurse came into her room and found her sitting on the recliner next to her bed. She had removed all the tubes and wires. She said, ‘I don’t want those things!’
“By that Friday, she had gotten a lot of worse and we were forced to put into hospice. Shortly after that, we agreed to have her taken off any life-support. Still, she kept hanging in there. She kept fighting. Her body was so strong.
“On Sunday, I was in there with her and a nurse came in and said to me that Mom should already be gone. She had no idea how, from a medical standpoint, she was still alive.
“The nurse then said that in those types of situations, it’s almost always that the patient has a reason for not dying. ‘They are waiting for someone, or something to happen,’ she said.
“I had called my boyfriend (John Ingold) and told him that if he wanted to see Mom alive one last time, he needed to get in here. He had an hour’s drive. About 10 minutes after he walked into the room, Mom passed.
“Mom was waiting on him to get there. She didn’t want me to be all alone when she died.”
Preceded in death by her husband, daughter Amy Horvath, grandson Edward Hall, granddaughters Elicia Hall and Elissabeth Hall and only sibling, Erma Lingrel, Anne is survived by, in addition to Schoonover, daughter Lee Ann Hall, grandchildren Julia Horvath and Ben Horvath, great-grandson Connor Nicholson and nieces and nephews.
According to Anne’s wishes, there will be no calling hours or formal services. Cremation has already taken place.
“Anne was such a warm, encouraging editor, and later a gracious, supportive colleague,” Stamp said. “She was witty and wise and so much fun, and I will miss her joyous spirit.”