Thursday, April 24, 2014
Sad news for many in Tucson's journalism community who learned the recent passing of former Tucson newsman, teacher and mentor Walt Nett.
Nett's Facebook page was filled with heartfelt goodbyes and reminiscences.
Nett's last gig was covering courts for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal in Texas. Many of us who followed him on Facebook enjoyed his posts about the cases he covered, but mostly we loved his posts about his dog Chester and of course, music.
The Avalanche-Journal newsroom is a little quieter, hearing fewer booming laughs, stories of Tucson and bulky fingers typing furiously.
There's a deep sense of loss.
Longtime newspaper reporter-editor Walt Nett died Wednesday in his home in West Lubbock.
He was 59.
Walt's 35-year career included stretches as a reporter and editor in Arizona and California, including as a journalism instructor at the University of Arizona.
He most recently covered the courts beat as a reporter in Lubbock, writing about local, state and federal courts. Nett was a pinch-hitting reporter whose knowledge of every topic a journalist could write about made him a newsroom sage.
I and his other colleagues in Lubbock hoped to see more stories from him. But it wasn't meant to be.
We still don't have all the details about how he died.
The A-J learned of his passing after authorities discovered him in his home while conducting a welfare check when he didn't show up to work.
A couple of A-J reporters checked on his beloved dog Chester, whom he brought with him when his tenure at the A-J began in December 2008.
Chester will stay with Walt's landlord for the time being. Walt's landlord told our reporters that Walt appeared to have died from natural causes.
Walt was genuinely loved and respected by his co-workers.
News of his passing is very painful.
Looking at the messages on Walt's Facebook page expressing sadness and loss about his death, I'm touched and impressed by the impact he had on so many.