Howard Query, longtime publisher of the Mason City Globe Gazette, died Tuesday, Sept. 22, due to complications from several health issues. He was 62.
Query was named publisher of the Globe Gazette in 1995, his second stint in Mason City.
In addition to the Globe Gazette, he oversaw three weekly newspapers: the Britt News Tribune, Mitchell County Press-News and Forest City Summit. All four publications are owned by Lee Enterprises.
Query led the publications through the most difficult changes in industry history, moving them from print-only products to multi-media ventures. He embraced the challenges.
In a column published in 2002 on how the shift was impacting operations locally, Query was adamant that the Globe Gazette would always have a strong presence in Mason City.
The Globe Gazette received national awards for its website from the Inland Press Association and the Suburban Newspapers of America, and statewide from the Iowa Newspaper Association.
In 2003 the Globe Gazette received the general excellence award from the Iowa Associated Press Managing Editors and was a finalist for the Enterprise of the Year for Lee Enterprises. In 2004 it was named Newspaper of the Year by the Suburban Newspaper Association.
Query was given the Master Editor-Publisher Award in 2008 by the Iowa Press Association.
But the motive behind Query's work was making North Iowa better.
In Mason City, he wanted to create an event that would give the area a unique attraction. Following his love of competitive barbecue, the North Iowa Up in Smoke BBQ Bash was founded.
The event rapidly grew to become one of the area’s top summer attractions and celebrated its 12th anniversary in July.
He credited the Globe staff for its tireless work to put on the event and the town for embracing it.
A 1971 graduate of Mason City High School, Query began his career with the Globe Gazette as an advertising consultant and was later promoted to classified advertising manager, marketing director and advertising director. He then worked for eight years as the classified advertising manager for the Quad-City Times in Davenport before returning to North Iowa.
In 2011, he was named the grand marshal for the North Iowa Band Festival.
Having grown up in Mason City, Query remembered the 1962 band festival, when the movie version of “The Music Man” premiered at the Palace Theatre downtown and celebrities were in the parade. And like many in the real River City, Query took great pride in his community.
Query was active in several boards and organizations, including the Lee Endowment Foundation, Muse-Norris Charitable Foundation, YMCA, Mercy Hospital Foundation, Cheer Fund, TownNews.com, Mason City Chamber of Commerce, Iowa Newspaper Association, North Iowa American Cancer Society, Iowa Barbecue Society, Mason City Economic Development Corp., and the Christmas Cheer Fund.
Query was fond of Volkswagens and was past president of the Vintage Volkswagen Club of America.
Query and his wife, Mary Lou, have three grown children, Jason, Justin and Jessica, and four grandchildren.