David Meredith Chism, former owner/publisher of the North Little Rock Times and Maumelle Monitor during a period of great technical innovation and award-winning journalism for both papers, died Wednesday, Feb. 17, at his home in Maumelle. The cause of death was a pulmonary embolism, but he had been battling a rare but virulent form of sarcoma cancer as well as Parkinson's disease. He was 71.
The son of a hardware store owner, he was raised in the tiny town of Rushsylvania, Ohio, and earned his bachelor's degree in biology from Bowling Green State University in 1960 and his MBA from George Washington University in 1971. He was an officer in the Supply Corps of the U.S. Navy from 1961 to 1981, retiring as a commander. He then parleyed his Navy specialty into several high level jobs in supply-side management for Fairchild Industries and Unisys Corp. in the Washington, D.C. area.
He moved to Arkansas to buy the North Little Rock Times with his journalist wife, Kitty, and managed the business, advertising, circulation and production arms of the newspaper. The Chisms purchased the Maumelle Monitor in 1996 and sold both papers in September 2005.
He had a natural business savvy that he quickly transferred to the newspaper world, insisting immediately on converting the entire operation of the North Little Rock Times from mechanical to digital and doing so before any other newspaper, large or small, in the state. He believed in the importance of a quality local news product to a community, but he also accepted the responsibility of a publisher to work for the community in other ways, serving on the board of the Argenta CDC and its downtown revitalization efforts, among other things.
His favorite pastime was bass fishing, which he did in various lakes around the state, but especially at Harris Brake Lake. While he enjoyed traveling, his most beloved vacations were the fly-n fishing trips he made to Aikens Lake in Manitoba, Canada.
He is survived by his wife, Kitty, one daughter, Krista Chism, of Denver, one son Douglas Meredith Chism and wife Elena of Arlington, Va., and one granddaughter, Nora Louise Chism of Arlington.
A memorial concert and celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Lakewood United Methodist Church in North Little Rock. The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Sarcoma Foundation of America, 9884 Main Street, Damascus, MD 20872, or the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York, NY 10018.
Arrangements by North Little Rock Funeral Home, 1921 Main, 758-1170. Online obituary and guest register at www.nlrfh.com.
2:00 PM (CST)
Lakewood United Methodist Church
1922 Topf Road
North Little Rock, AR, 72116