Longtime former Sun press operator passes away

Published 10:29 am Tuesday, March 7, 2023

As Clark County’s voice for over 130 years, the Winchester Sun is accustomed to finding what happens in and around Clark County.

Like all publications from time and time, the Sun itself can sometimes be attached to a story – even if unfortunate.

Paul Zane Williams, a former 42-year employee of the newspaper that served as its long-time press operator and supervisor, passed away on February 19, 2023.

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He was 83.

“I just know the kind of man he was. He was an excellent and patient teacher,” said Steve Berryman, who worked for Williams for approximately 25 years. “He was just one of those good guys.”

Other former Sun employees also fondly recalled Williams

“He had a way to make everyone feel like you were his best friend. He was just so genuine and personable,” said long-time Winchester Sun photographer James Mann. “He’s a big loss to the community.”

In his role, Williams sought over the publications of newspapers at a time when editions were published daily.

As such, he was instrumental in people receiving their news on time.

Although he did not receive his name next to articles or photo credits, his work behind the scenes was thus instrumental.

Yet Williams was also an innovative force.

In the days before the Winchester Sun produced color images, Williams’ talents led him to make the first attempts to do so beginning in the early 1980s.

“We had talked about trying a hand at it. At this point in time, there was no such thing as Photoshop. Everything had to be done [manually],” Mann said. “We got together and figured out what we [needed] to do it.”

Williams and Mann eventually convinced management to let them try.

When, in the early days of the Pioneer Festival, Mann took colored photos of hot-air balloons, he met Williams in the press room.

“I’d process the film and make a print, and I would meet Paul in the press room, and he would get the different angled screens and different colored filters we’d need to separate the image,” Mann said. “I was very familiar with the press operation [and] how it worked, but not how to do a color separation. Paul stayed up on it.”

Working through the night, Williams ensured Sun subscribers had something to look forward to.

“People got to see the first colored picture produced locally in the Winchester Sun,” Mann said.

Williams’ work in image printing even won him national recognition during different contests, as he could mix various ink shades to produce multiple colors.

Through the years, Williams interacted with many employees – even on outings to places such as Red River Gorge.

He also looked into resources that could best equip and develop the press room and was willing to travel wherever needed to obtain them.

“We took a trip out to Seattle together to look at the press [machine] that’s down there now,” Berryman said. “Originally, that room was actually built for a guy’s community press. We ended up doing…better inventory control.”

Yet, while Williams’ professional efforts will be remembered, he devoted himself to family and faith.

The father and grandfather of three is also survived by Carol, his wife of 56 years.

“You just don’t replace someone like Paul,” Mann added. “He was one of a kind; a wonderful person.”