Utah publishing community mourns passing of Martin Conover
Martin William Conover, longtime publisher of the Springville Herald, Mt. Pleasant Pyramid and Eureka Reporter newspapers, died Tuesday, March 8, 2011 after suffering cardiac arrest. He was 75.
Martin was born Feb. 27, 1936, in Provo, Utah, to Margaret Bird and Harrison Conover. Martin was a lifelong resident of Springville and a proud graduate of Springville High School, where he served as yearbook editor, and Brigham Young University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration with a minor in journalism.
He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Tahiti and as a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve and National Guard. He married Patricia Olsen on Aug. 25, 1961, in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple. They have three children and two foster children.
Martin took over as publisher of his three newspapers in 1967 after helping his father run them for many years. Over the course of more than three decades, Martin grew the papers into strong and well-respected parts of their communities. He was continually involved in city matters, covering politics and council activities for the newspaper and supporting causes that have improved the quality of life for Springville residents.
His business, Art City Publishing, also printed books, yearbooks, pamphlets and other items for many different clients, including history books for Springville and other cities and areas in Utah.
He sold the newspapers to Pulitzer Inc. in 2003 but continued to work as an ad salesman for the Daily Herald newspaper until 2010 when his health declined.
Martin was a strong believer in volunteer service and, through his business, frequently provided free and reduced-price advertising in support of local causes. His personal service, however, extended far outside of the business office.
He served as a member of the Utah State House of Representatives and as president of the Utah Press Association. He also served as president of the Springville Area Chamber of Commerce and as a board member of the Spanish Fork Chamber of Commerce.
He was a member of the Springville Kiwanis Club for more than 45 years, serving as its president multiple times. He was also a member of the Sons of Utah Pioneers organization. In 2002, Art City Publishing was named Business of the Year by the Springville Area Chamber of Commerce.
Martin was an ardent supporter of the Springville World Folkfest from its beginning and served on its board for many years, most recently as chairman of the board. He was named as a board member emeritus shortly before his death. Much of the success and longevity of the Folkfest can be directly attributed to Martin and his work to see it succeed.
He was a member of the LDS Church and served in many callings within his church. He greatly loved serving as a member of the branch presidency of an international branch at the LDS Missionary Training Center in Provo.
Martin loved the Boys Scouts of America program, serving as a Scoutmaster for 10 years. He was a district chairman for the Boy Scouts and received the National President's Scoutmaster Award.
Martin is survived by his wife, Pat, of Springville; children Craig (DeAnne), Christi Babbitt (Ray) and Marcia Harris (Todd), all of Springville; two foster children: Camille Duffin (Mike) of Springville and Maritta Tekala of Orem; 10 grandchildren; sister Mary Cox, of Springville; and father-in-law O. Staker Olsen, of Salt Lake City.Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 12, at 11 a.m. at the Hobble Creek West LDS Stake Center, 555 S. 600 East, Springville.
A viewing will be held on Friday, March 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Wheeler Mortuary, 211 E. 200 S., Springville, and the next morning from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the church.
Interment will be in the Springville Evergreen Cemetery.