Longtime AP Journalist Jake Booher Dies

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Jacob O. Booher, who worked for The Associated Press for 35 years and retired as a bureau chief in Ohio, has died at age 69.

He died Tuesday at home in Maryville, Tenn. He had been hospitalized previously with congestive heart failure.

Booher joined the AP in Albuquerque, N.M., in 1964, worked on the national desk in New York and was news editor in Salt Lake City. He became bureau chief in Louisville, Ky., in 1976, and was appointed to the same post in Columbus in 1981. He retired in 1999.

“Jake lived a full life and saw his sons grow into men that he was proud of,” said John Lumpkin, AP vice president for U.S. Newspaper Markets and a fellow bureau chief with Booher for almost three decades. “He was a devoted husband. If he didn’t also have a great career as a journalist, those two facts would justify a heavenly reward.”

Booher, a graduate of the University of Tennessee, worked for the Knoxville News-Sentinel before joining AP.

He was born Sept. 20, 1937, in Birmingham, Ala., and served in the U.S. Army for three years.

Survivors include sons Joel, of Canal Winchester, and Neil of Yuma, Ariz.; his mother, Sue Smith, of Maryville; sister, Ginger Smith, of Dana, N.C.; and brothers, David, of Davis, Calif., and Robert, of Maryville. His wife Mary died in 1996.

The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Reynoldsburg Church of Christ in suburban Reynoldsburg. Interment will be in Violet Cemetery in the suburb of Pickerington. Calling hours will be 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at Dwayne R. Spence Funeral Home in Pickerington.

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