Albina Aspell, former editor and publisher of The Catholic Post of Peoria, Ill., and a past president of the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada, died in Peoria April 11. She was 92.
A pioneer for women in the Catholic press, Ms. Aspell encouraged Church officials to be more open in providing information.
“A free flow of information has the power to avert problems,” she said in a 1987 address to Pope John Paul II and a World Synod of Bishops at the Vatican. Addressing the gathering as CPA president, Ms. Aspell said access to information and newsmakers “can stop rumor and erase suspicion” and called it the “lifeblood of Catholic communications.”
She was a 1992 recipient of the St. Francis de Sales Award, the highest honor of the Catholic Press Association, for her “distinctive and eloquent leadership in the Catholic press and for her role as a dynamic force and inspiration.”
She retired in 1995 after 21 years with The Catholic Post. She was the first layperson named editor of the newspaper of the Diocese of Peoria in 1982 and its first lay publisher a decade later.
Born in Cleveland, she joined The Cleveland News upon graduating from high school. She studied journalism at John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio. She was a correspondent for Fairchild Publications.
She married William Aspell in Cleveland in 1952. After moving to Peoria, they co-founded The Penny Press, a weekly publication, in 1971. Mr. Aspell died in 1976.
A son, William, a daughter, Ann Aspell, and four grandchildren survive her. Her son, Daniel, also predeceased her.
A Funeral Mass was offered April 15 at St. Vincent de Paul Church, Peoria. Burial was at Resurrection Cemetery, Peoria.—CNS