Former Advocate editor Gary Couvillion dies

Gary Couvillion, an old-school newspaperman who worked at The Advocate for more than three decades, died Tuesday.

He was 63.

Couvillion, a longtime copy editor and page designer, maintained a high journalistic integrity while reluctantly enduring industrywide changes over the years.

“He took great pride in being old school,” said Ken Duhe, online news editor who worked with Couvillion for more than 20 years.

Duhe and some of Couvillion’s other former co-workers described the outgoing character as a man who cared deeply about his family, always talking about his grandchildren and checking in on his elderly mother.

“He had kind of a playful quality,” said Art Adams, a former editor who, for decades, worked alongside Couvillion.

Adams recalled Couvillion’s keen news judgment following the death of Princess Diana in 1997, when Couvillion demanded the story run high on the front page.

“I had some doubts,” Adams said of the decision. “But then he was proven right. That story had legs.”

Couvillion designed opinion pages during his last few years at The Advocate.

“His career spanned the emergence of the Internet, but he retained a real passion for traditional print,” columnist Danny Heitman said.

His wife, Ellyn Couvillion, is a longtime reporter for The Advocate.

Couvillion also had an interest in ham radios and spent many years as a volunteer for Baton Rouge area Boy Scouts.

Services for Couvillion will be held Saturday at the Greenoaks Memorial Park Funeral Home on Florida Boulevard.

Visitation will begin at 9:30 a.m. until services begin at noon.