Longtime Press-Republican Outdoors Writer Dennis Aprill died unexpectedly Saturday from an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer.
Aprill's "Outdoor Perspective" column first appeared on the pages of the Press-Republican Sept. 9, 1990, and has been there every Sunday since, more than 1,000 weeks in a row.
"Dennis Aprill did something almost nobody was able to do before him: broaden the appeal of the Outdoors pages to reach every demographic category. Men and women, young and old followed him every week for 19 years," Press-Republican Editor Bob Grady said.
"He was especially proud that in all that time he'd never missed a week, whether to illness, vacation or life's emergencies. For me, he'll be hard to replace as a contributor to the paper, but impossible to replace as a friend."
Aside from anchoring the Press-Republican's Outdoors page, Aprill contributed to Vermont Outdoors magazine, Adirondack Life, Sports Afield, Country Journal and Conservationist; he also authored several books, including "Paths Less Traveled" and "Good Fishing in the Adirondacks," and co-authored the field guide "Mammals of the Adirondacks."
Aprill, a licensed guide for 20-plus years and member of the New York State Outdoorsmen's Hall of Fame, was also involved in many state and national organizations, including Trout Unlimited, which honored him with the State Professional Communicator Award in 2004.
"The North Country has lost a great friend with the passing of Dennis Aprill," said William H. Wellman, Region 5 vice president for the New York State Council of Trout Unlimited.
"Many of us love the outdoors but few of us can express it the way Dennis did."
Aprill, who taught English and journalism courses at Plattsburgh State, is survived by his wife, Kathy; son, Colin; and daughter, Karalyn.
Among his other honors were numerous writing and photography awards from the New York Outdoor Writers Association, including two first places for columns in 2004; in 2000, he was recognized by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Earth Day Media Partnership; and in 1999, the Woodmen of the World named him their Conservationist of the Year.
The Press-Republican's Outdoors page received the "Best Outdoor Coverage by a Newspaper" award from by The New England Outdoor Writers Association in 2008.
No information on funeral arrangements was available Saturday night.