Vadis Wylds Jr., a longtime employee of The Augusta Chronicle who for years supervised the newspaper's delivery as its circulation director, died Wednesday at Trinity Hospital in Augusta. He was 83.
"Vadis Wylds was one of the finest men I have ever worked with," said William S. Morris III, the chairman of Morris Communications Co. and the publisher of The Chronicle. "He worked for three generations of Morris family members with competence and distinction.
"He was a good leader, a good manager, and admired and respected by all who worked with him. His record of accomplishments was outstanding. All the Morris family will miss him tremendously."
Mr. Wylds, one of the longest-serving employees in The Chronicle's 224-year history began delivering the newspaper at age 12 in the 1930s. After serving in the Navy during World War II, he returned to newspaper work, taking on an increasing number of supervisory responsibilities and eventually becoming circulation director.
"I've never seen a man more devoted and loyal to the job," said Ed Skinner, a longtime Chronicle manager and newspaper executive. "Vadis was as loyal as any employee we've ever had. A good man. You just don't find many like that anymore."
Will Morris, the president of Morris Communications, recalled working with Mr. Wylds in the 1990s at the Athens Banner-Herald, another Morris newspaper.
"I think Vadis was an incredibly dedicated and loyal associate who had the opportunity to work with three generations," he said. "I will greatly miss him dropping by the office."
Mr. Wylds was a member of Damascus Baptist Church. He was a member of the John S. Davidson Lodge No. 677 F & A M, a member of the Augusta Shrine Club, and he was the oldest living active member of the Shrine Club go-cart unit. Mr. Wylds was also a member of the American Legion Post 63 for 62 years.
He was married to the late Inez Wylds, who served as an Augusta city councilwoman.
After retiring in 1992, Mr. Wylds continued to work as a part-time relief manager and single-copy assistant.
"Vadis never really stopped being a very important part of this department and newspaper," said Jeff Hartley, The Chronicle's director of circulation. "His work ethic was an inspiration to all of us and his knowledge of the newspaper business continued to be an asset."
A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday in Hillcrest Memorial Park, with the Rev. Joe Hester officiating. Pallbearers will be Augusta Shrine Club members.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. today at Thomas Poteet & Son Funeral Directors, 214 Davis Road, Augusta.
Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.