Observer founder Kay Peaslee has died

Less than two years after moving to Indianapolis, Kay Peaslee, the founder of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Observer, a weekly paper whose muckraking set a standard for 1980s and 1990s Charlottesville, has died, according to a Bryan McKenzie story in the Daily Progress.

While Peaslee was well known, along with late husband Alexander "Sandy" Peaslee, for her support of the reversion of Charlottesville to town status, it was just one of several causes she embraced. Her lengthy obituary in the Daily Progress recalls her "audacity to publish such items as civil and criminal court records" and her push for open government.

Less controversial but no less notable was Peaslee's extensive involvement in charitable organizations, including the Salvation Army, the League of Women voters and the local chapter of the National Organization for Women, which voted her woman of the year in 1995.

The woman who traveled the world– living in Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Halifax, Nova Scotia, while raising four daughters as Sandy worked in the foreign service– continued traveling into her 80s and, according to her obit, "crammed a full life of committed service to mankind on a personal and big picture level."

That giving continued in death, according to her obituary, as Peaslee donated her body to the Indiana University Medical Center and left $10,000 each to NPR affiliates in Richmond and Roanoke and to the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society.

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1 comment

Kay set the standard for not shying away from
local stories that were tough on those in power. Her words "
I discovered bad news is always more interesting than good news to people. If I wrote something about someone’s child being involved in a reckless car accident or something, the parents would always criticize me for writing about it, not their children for being involved in the first place. "

She would applaud the Hook's motto which carries on the fine example she set for our community.

" You can handle the truth "

Thank you Kay -
We will always remember you