Storm Lake community remembers a legendary newsman, civic booster
Phil Jarnagin was the last of his kind - an old newspaper pro who believed in manual typewriters and handset type; an active community supporter who had 56 years worth of perfect attendance to Kiwanis meetings; a protector of the local environment long before that cause came into vogue; a husband, son, father and grandfather who loved his family and always remained close.
Jarnagin died early Thursday. He was 98.
Longtime Storm Lakers certainly know the name Jarnagin - a name tied closely with the Pilot-Tribune and the old Storm Lake Register for half a century. Those new to town certainly walk in some part of Jarnagin's legacy, even if they don't know it.
Phil G. Jarnagin was born May 3, 1904, in Cedar Falls, the son of William C. and Jean Jarnagin. W.C. Jarnagin worked at several Des Moines news-papers before moving with his family to Storm Lake in 1921.
After a year at Buena Vista College, son Phil went on to Drake University where he graduated in 1926.
The following year, he married Jennette Olsen, the daughter of A.P. and Anna Olsen of Storm Lake. They had one daughter, Jean Anne Seagren, who died in 1982.
Phil Jarnagin continued to work at various newspapers in the Des Moines area before returning to Storm Lake in 1930 to work at the Pilot-Tribune with his father.
His stay was short, moving to the Spencer News-Herald in 1931 and then to the Sheldon Sun later that year. He remained there until 1943, when he once again returned to Storm Lake where his father published both the Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune and Register.
He had various duties in the Pilot offices, from writing sports to managing the books.
Jarnagin was recognized for his contributions to journalism, being named a Master Editor-Publisher by the Iowa Newspaper Association in 1965, an award his father received years earlier.
Get your copy of the Pilot Tribune and learn about this man life.