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Elsie M. Havness, newspaper owner

Elsie M. Havness, former co-owner and editor of the Gulfport Gabber, a popular weekly newspaper, has died at age 65.

Mrs. Havness died Sunday (June 25, 1995) at Palms of Pasadena Hospital. The cause was lung cancer, said her husband, Ted.

From 1979 to 1992, she ran the Gabber with her husband, building the free publication's circulation from about 4,500 to about 10,000 when they sold it to Deb and Ken Reichart. Pages increased from about a dozen to about 48, her husband said.

"She was a great lady," her husband said. "It was her life's blood to do this."

At the Gabber, started in 1968 by George Brann and published every Thursday, Mrs. Havness made up the pages and handled the front desk while her husband gathered news and did the photography.

An experienced proofreader and newspaper production manager, she came here in 1978 from Kinnelon, N.J. She was an assistant manager for 20 years at Suburban Trends, a newspaper in Butler, N.J.

Mrs. Havness, a St. Petersburg resident, was a Protestant and a Jersey City, N.J., native.

Survivors in addition to her husband of 47 years include a son, James, Ojai, Calif.; two daughters, Linda Davis, St. Petersburg, and Lisabeth Northrop, Pittsburgh; a brother, John Mullin, York, Pa.; and seven grandchildren.

A memorial service will be at 7 p.m. Friday at Gulfport Memorial Funeral Home, 5601 Gulfport Blvd. S, Gulfport, with the Rev. Edward Fine officiating.

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