Induction, honors are bittersweet

Saturday, October 16, 2010

There's something very bittersweet about this week. The late Tim Jaynes will be honored this week with his induction into the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame in Washington, Mo.

The city of Sikeston will also honor Jaynes with a special observance in his honor.

Tim Jaynes was a longtime member of this newspaper family. He died suddenly at the age of 38 and in many ways, his loss is as fresh today as it was then.

Tim was a community leader who just happened to be a news photographer. His involvement with the Sikeston Jaycees, the Kenny Rogers Children's Center and the Community Christmas Campaign are well documented.

I well remember the first time I met Tim when he was a 19-year-old starting a career with this newspaper. His photo skills were self-taught. But it wasn't his photography that first caught my attention. It was the way he interacted with others that drew you to him.

With an engaging smile and a willing attitude, Tim could charm the socks off of anyone. And charm he did.

Tim worked so closely with the Department of Public Safety that they embraced him as one of their own. And that is no easy task. His tireless devotion to his career and his endless drive to improve provided a lesson for all of us.

Many of us have fond memories of Tim and far too many to list here. Suffice to say that Tim in his lifetime made a positive impact on more lives than others could match.

Tim will take his place in the Hall of Fame this week among an elite corp of news photographers from throughout Missouri. He will be the youngest inductee. And that alone should say something.

You measure the life of a man by the people he touches and the legacy he leaves behind. By that measure, Tim Jaynes was an exceptional young man who left us far too soon. Yet in those few years the imprint he left on this community will live for years to come.

As a community, we miss Tim's dedication and energy that touched so many lives. As a newspaper, we remain with broken hearts over the man who touched our lives on a daily basis.

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