Jesse M. Fentress, 75, newspaper printer

August 20, 2002

Jesse M. Fentress, a retired printer who worked for the Washington Star and Washington Times during a newspaper career that spanned more than 40 years, died of Alzheimer's disease Sunday at Genesis Eldercare's Spa Creek Center in Annapolis. He was 75.

Mr. Fentress, who lived in Edgewater, was born into the newspaper business in Central City, Ky., where his father was owner and publisher of the Times Argus and owned a printing plant in Gulfport, Miss.

After graduating from high school in Central City, he enlisted in the Navy and served aboard landing craft during the Normandy invasion.

After his 1946 discharge, Mr. Fentress apprenticed and worked for his father in Gulfport before going to work for the Washington Star in 1948. He eventually was responsible for the makeup of the newspaper's front page.

"The other printers used to say he was the No. 1 man for the No. 1 page," said his wife of 52 years, the former Jean E. Smith.

The Star ceased publication in 1981, and he became a printer for the Washington Times the next year. He retired in 1992.

Mr. Fentress also raised and bred thoroughbred horses. "He loved to hang on the rails at racetracks and play pinochle," his wife said.

Plans for a memorial service are incomplete.

In addition to his wife, survivors include three sons, J. Murray Fentress, Leo L. Fentress and Stewart C. Fentress, all of Edgewater; a daughter, Jean M. Fentress of Edgewater; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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