By Rob Wheary, Staff Writer • firstname.lastname@example.org
VALLEY VIEW – John W. “Bud” Angst, the Valley View man with ties to journalism, broadcasting and politics throughout several counties, passed away April 26 at the age of 93.
Angst, a former contributing editor for The Citizen-Standard, was known for his no-nonsense style of writing and was once taken to court for his editorializing on the radio by several Schuylkill County attorneys.
The story, according to his obituary, was that 17 attorneys petitioned Schuylkill County Court to hold Angst in contempt of court for every broadcast he made, a total of 475 counts of contempt.
The court cleared Angst of all the charges and paved the way for radio editorializing.
Born in Pine Grove the eldest of 18 children, Angst left home at 13 to work in Florida, sending home money to his family before joining the Coast Guard, serving as a radio operator in the Mediterranean during World War II.
After returning home, Angst became an entrepreneur and the owner-operator of a chain of AM radio stations, including WLSH in Lansford, WPAM in Pottsville and WMBA in Ambridge, hosting several talk shows there, including “Air Your Opinion,” “Ask Your Neighbor,” and “Dutch Trader.”
He then moved into newspapers, founding the Midweeker, a weekly newspaper in Lansford. After retiring from being a newspaper owner, Angst kept his hand in the newspaper business, serving as a contributing editor to The Citizen-Standard and covering Schuylkill County government.
In addition to his time writing for the paper, Angst became a mentor to many of those at the paper’s editorial staff, as he worked to teach Elderhostel courses in journalism, writing and American History.
“I used Bud here at The Citizen-Standard each week for several years to work with our editorial department, be it a seminar type instruction or actually joining in and being a part of our news reporting team. Bud was the consummate professional who understood the ins and outs of the newspaper business, journalism ethics and the importance of having some fun, too, while working hard to produce a new product every week”, said Greg Zyla, former Publisher of The Citizen-Standard from December of 1982 to December of 1999.
Many current and past staff members remember the advice that Angst gave them over the years, including this writer, who will still re-read sentences in his voice to see if there are any extra words like ‘that’ which are not needed, and the advice that still rings true if given subject matter you do not agree with, “Do the assignment first, then complain about it.”
Former Citizen-Standard publisher and advertising director Linda Schlyaske, recalled both sides she knew of Angst, the “curmudgeon-like” stubborn newspaper man and the caring individual underneath.
“When I first came to The Citizen-Standard as an advertising salesperson I was a bit intimidated by his harsh, critical manner as I listened to him berate the editorial staff,” Schlyaske said. “When I served as publisher/editor of the paper, Bud encouraged me to write — editorials, sports, human interest and outdoor events. He also gave me tips on fishing, since he was a fly fisherman, and me a worm dunker.”
“One secret he shared with me is something I follow to this day. When you are at an important corporate meeting or a political event drink tonic water with a slice of lime, keep your ears open, your mouth shut and your wits about you,” she said.
Schylaske said some of her wonderful memories of him were when he showed his human side.
“I was privileged to know Bud well enough to witness him cry three times — as he talked about his devotion to his mother, his deep love and respect for his beautiful and talented wife, and his pride in his brilliant grandchildren. He fought for and against controversial issues he truly believed in and did not know the meaning of compromise,” she said.
Angst served as Carbon County Commissioner for four terms, winning elections despite never being endorsed by his party. He helped to mentor several area office holders as a political consultant and once served as the campaign manager for former Sen. Arlen Specter.
Angst leaves behind his wife, the former Alice Tomchany. The couple celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on the morning of his passing. Two children, Bonnie, of St. Clair, and Lisa Long of Nottingham, and three grandchildren.
“God speed to you, Bud. I hope you have good books, a great fly rod, and a worthy opponent to argue with you. Catch the big one!” Schylaske said.