Roger F. Coleman, former publisher of the Kane County Chronicle, died Monday at his Kentucky home. He was 61.
He had worked for the Kane County Chronicle and its predecessors for 20 years, until 2002. He quit after a management shake-up, according to friend and former Chronicle editor Dave Heun, now a columnist for the Daily Herald.
After that, Coleman became publisher of the Independent in Ashland, Ky.; president of Conley Media in Wisconsin; and then publisher of the Hudson-Catskill Newspapers in New York.
Heun recalled meeting Coleman when Heun was sports editor and Coleman was an advertising manager in the early 1980s, when the Chronicle was published as four separate semiweekly papers in St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia and Elburn.
"He was always a pretty strong supporter of me," said Heun, the Chronicle's former managing editor.
Explaining Coleman's approach to the business, Heun said: "He understood that relationships were the key. He made sure we were all very present in the community, and that people liked us."
Coleman set the example by being active in the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce and the St. Charles Noon Rotary Club, Heun said. Coleman was also active in his former church, St. John Neumann Catholic in St. Charles.
Coleman grew up in LaSalle, Ill., and attended Illinois Valley Community College and Southern Illinois University. He was an advertising salesman for the News-Tribune in LaSalle, then for the Tampa Tribune.
A wake will be held Friday at the Hurst Funeral Home in LaSalle, and the funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday in Utica.
Coleman is survived by his wife, Christie; two daughters; two grandchildren; and a brother.