San Diego Society Columnist Bequeaths Journalistic Thanks

Burl Stiff, the retired San Diego Union-Tribune society columnist who passed away May 20th at age 83, was one of the last remaining vestiges of the pre-Internet version of the profession. He began covering the city’s high society circles in 1976.

The celebs written up by Stiff generally behaved with more class than many of today’s reality TV soaked attention seekers. So it’s delightful to hear, via an item in the San Diego Reader, that the departed boldface chronicler shared some final in-kind sentiments in his will:

Stiff left $10,000 to Trish Barr, who had been his editor at Union-Tribune. “I adored him. He was my confidante. I was surprised and thrilled to be one of his heirs,” says Barr…

Stiff left $10,000 to Jerry Windle, former U-T photographer who was Stiff’s exclusive lab technician, working on photos for publication. “We had a great working relationship,” says Windle. “The photographers loved him.”

Another old school element about Stiff: his salary. He was reputed to have been receiving $1,000 for each column, which he wrote as often as three times a week, before the paper was purchased in 2009 by LA’s Platinum Equity group.