By: Shawn Moynihan
Stuart Awbrey, a former newspaper editor whose award-winning community journalism revitalized The Cranford (N.J.) Chronicle in the 1980s, died Jan. 11 in Piscataway, N.J. He was 66.
Awbrey purchased The Chronicle with his wife, Beverley, in 1978. The husband-and-wife team rejuvenated the nearly century-old newspaper, with Beverley managing the advertising section and Stuart handling editorial duties.
Awbrey’s reporting and editorial writing earned him dozens of awards over his 11 years at the Chronicle. Among the paper’s most prestigious awards was the 1980 New Jersey Press Association’s Enterprise Award for a series on a tenure scandal in the Cranford school system, and the superintendent’s use of private investigators to spy on faculty members.
Born in Kansas, Awbrey began his journalism career on the sports and copy desks of The Parsons (Kan.) Sun. He later attended Columbia University’s school of journalism and worked on the metro desk of the Chicago Daily News.
Awbrey countinued to remain active in journalism after selling the Chronicle in 1989. He joined Forbes Newspapers as the founding editor of The Westfield Record, and editor of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Press. He ended his career as editor of The New Jersey Lawyer, the newspaper of the New Jersey State Bar Association.
Throughout his career, Awbrey was active in the New Jersey State Press Association, serving as a director for eight years and holding several committee positions.
Awbrey was also a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and of the National Newspaper Association and the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors.