By: E&P Staff
Ron Filkins, publisher of The Kentucky Standard, a thrice-weekly in Bardstown owned by Landmark Community Newspapers Inc., died June 25 at age 57.
Filkins’ wife, Kathleen, told his newspaper that its publisher collapsed outside his home after picking up that day’s edition.
An Iowa native who delivered the The Daily Nonpareil as a young man, according to that Council Bluffs newspaper, Filkins studied history and journalism in Arkansas before returning to earn a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa.
Filkins began his career in 1974 at a weekly in Bald Knob, Ark. In 1985 he moved into management at a Walls group twice-weekly in Texas, where he remained for 10 years before becoming publisher of two other Texas papers. He joined Landmark in 1996 as publisher of The Perry County News and Tell City (Ind.) printing plant. He joined the Kentucky Standard in 2002, also serving as regional manager for four other newspapers.
Remembered as serious but always good-natured, Filkins was regarded as a fine writer, columnist and businessman who, as Don Porterfield, the regional manager who hired him, told the Standard, “was always looking out for his employees.”
In addition to relating Filkins’ love of the local social scene, politics and peoples’ stories, Standard reporter Stephanie Hornback quoted the publisher’s daughter, Rachael Turner (also in the printing business) on her father’s passion for smoking meats. Turner remarked that when she left for college, Filkins warned her not about partying or drugs, but about becoming a vegetarian.