With a heavy heart we say farewell to Twana Pinskey, an incredible woman whose legacy of exceptional writing and familiar warmth will be remembered by the ESG newsroom for years to come.
Twana passed away Sept. 21 at 8:21 p.m., in Beaumont Hospital surrounded by family and friends after a battle against breast cancer, which she had been diagnosed with in June.
She was predeceased by husband, David Pinskey Sr., and is survived by two daughters, a son, seven grandchildren, and a newsroom.
Twana’s involvement at the Erie Square Gazette seemed to be so rooted that you’d have thought that they had always existed together. She served multiple positions in the editorial crew including three semesters as editor-in-chief.
Twana was as much of a mentor as she a role model. Many students turned to her for guidance on writing and reporting, myself included.
The “lede of the issue” recognition that ESG advisor John Lusk always announces every issue was magnetized to Twana’s stories, and I often found myself reading her pieces over and over hoping that I could find the secret formula that made her stories so successful.
A day before she passed, Lusk visited the hospital with a copy of the latest issue of the Gazette. “It’s beautiful,” she said as she flipped through the pages.
Her daughter, Julie, said those were some of the last words that Twana was able to say.
I choked up hearing that. One of the unspoken thoughts drifting around the newsroom is the Erie Square Gazette has been notoriously underpublicized and ignored by SC4 students.
And it’s tough. Journalists don’t become journalists for the large pots of inexistent money at the end of the bachelor-degree-rainbow.
We write for the impact our writing has on others.
Sometimes we feel like our messages are falling on deft ears. It can be discouraging.
But sometimes we also forget that in the end, the people who are affected the most are the writers themselves. To Twana, the paper was one of the most important elements of her life.
Twana’s life is a reminder to our writers that sometimes leaving the newsroom isn’t even necessary to make an impact on someone.
And Twana’s passing reminds us that even after leaving, our writers will always be a part of the newsroom.
We’ll miss you, Mama Bird.
Erick J. Fredendall