“It is with sadness but also with gratitude that we note the departure of Rick and his contributions over the years,” said Founder and President Jimmy Chamoures. “Rick exemplifies the best in community journalism and is the essence of what a managing editor should be. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
Under Lemyre, the Press papers – which include the Brentwood, Discovery Bay, Oakley and Antioch weekly newspapers – set out to capture the achievements of individuals from all walks of life and to provide a mirror for the community to see itself.
“The tricky thing isn’t finding things to point the mirror at – it’s making sure the mirror is flat and doesn’t distort things,” said Lemyre.
It’s a mission that has guided the Press ever since and will continue under the direction of new editor and longtime Press writer Ruth Roberts.
“To say there are some big shoes to fill is an incredible understatement,” said Roberts. “My hope is to be able, in whatever way I can, to maintain the community vision and integrity of the paper that my friend and mentor so epitomized.”
“My decision to go tilt at windmills for a time would literally not have even come to mind if Ruth hadn’t been working so closely with me for more years than either of us want to admit,” added Lemyre. “The same goes for Ger, Samie and Kyle. The Editorial Department is probably going to run smoother in a lot of ways.”
A former Brentwood Citizen of the Year, Lemyre’s name is synonymous in East County, and especially Brentwood, with community service. His resumé includes involvement in the Brentwood Regional Community Chest, Brentwood Kiwanis, Brentwood Diversity Committee, East Contra Costa Historical Society, Relay For Life and Antioch Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day celebrations, to name a few.
According to Lill Pierce, longtime friend and Brentwood Regional Community Chest colleague, “Rick’s connection and dedication to the BRCC is tremendous. He has been the backbone of our organization for many years. He wears so many hats for us. He will be greatly missed by our community.”
Lemyre said that the parting with longtime friends and colleagues Chamoures and Publisher Greg Robinson, was inevitable: “If the Press is to be what I hope it can be, it has to out-live me sooner or later.”
For much of the Press staff, it’s the little things that will highlight Lemyre’s absence.
“I will miss finding his coffee cup in the microwave,” said Production Manager Lonnie de Lambert. “Seeing him walk past my desk multiple times a day, hearing him laugh with his team at the end of deadline on Wednesdays and seeing him wear his flag shirt on the 4th of July.”
Robinson said he will miss Lemyre’s good humor and easy demeanor around the Press building: “It has been a great honor and privilege to work with Rick. He will be greatly missed.”
Lemyre hopes to eventually relocate to San Diego to be closer to his three grandchildren, but in the meantime is grateful for the opportunity to relax and enjoy life – without a deadline.
“It’s going to be a remarkable time,” he said. “In a way if feels like I went to work in August of 1999 and I just got back from the office last Friday. In another way it feels like I’ve been getting away with something, doing what I love to do, with so much support for so long.”