When I started at The Journal Gazette in the 1980s, one of the first people I met was a guy named Dailey Fogle, a name just odd enough to make it easy to remember.
Dailey Fogle was one of a stable of photographers at the newspaper, a short, older guy who walked with a limp that I later learned was the result of an elevator accident that almost killed him when he was a young teenager.
One of the things that set Fogle apart from others in the newsroom is that he was almost always smiling.
Newsrooms aren’t grim places. People smile and laugh from time to time, but they curse and get mad now and then, too.
Except for Dailey Fogle. I never saw him upset, not once.
That was probably because, as his son, Bill said, He loved it there. He told me once, find a job you love and you won’t have to work. He loved his job. It wasn’t work to him.
Fogle, who worked at The Journal Gazette for 33 years before retiring in 1987, died Tuesday at the age of 91 after a brief illness.
Fogle had served as a photographer with the Army Air Corps in World War II, and after the war he worked for a time at General Electric making gears for motors. But then he entered a photo contest and won a national award.
In 1953, he started with The Journal Gazette, lugging a heavy Speed Graphic camera, the kind all news photographers used, shooting the news. Back then he shot a lot of staged shots, check-passing pictures or what people in the business called machine gun shots, people lined up for a group portrait.
The news business changed a lot during Fogle’s career. The staged shots gave way to more news-related photographs, and the old Speed Graphics cameras gave way to compact 35 mm cameras with electronic strobes instead of flash bulbs. Bill Fogle remembers his father having to carry a heavy battery, about the size of a motorcycle battery, on a strap over his shoulder with a wire connecting to the flash unit.
It was probably hard for him, given the results of the injuries he had suffered when he was young. But in 1973, Fogle got a hip replacement, a still new procedure back then, and returned to work after just a few weeks, more lively than ever.
Over the years, Fogle produced some iconic photographs for The Journal Gazette, including one photograph of a muddy, soaked and obviously exhausted teenager lugging two heavy sandbags during sandbagging efforts during a flood in February 1985. It stood as a symbol for the efforts that young people contributed during that flood-prone era when neighborhoods throughout the city were threatened.
In a column announcing Fogle’s retirement in 1987, Editor Craig Klugman recalled a large fire in Woodburn just a month before. The newspaper had sent its newest reporter to cover the story, and Fogle was sent to take pictures. One would be hard pressed, Klugman wrote, to say who was more enthusiastic and energetic about covering the story, the young reporter or the 65-year-old photographer.
Fogle, by the way, returned with a package of photos so good that the newspaper tore up two pages to make room for them in the final edition, Klugman noted.
Surviving is his wife of more than 66 years, Alverda Bine Geiger Fogle; a son, William L. Fogle of Fort Wayne; a sister, Sarah Corrigan of Baltimore; and two grandsons, Zachary (Lynn) Fogle and Travis Fogle.