Friends, family and colleagues have paid tribute to former Straits Times deputy editor Felix Soh, who died of pneumonia at home yesterday morning. He was 63.
The veteran newspaperman, who retired last November, had also been suffering from motor neuron disease, which causes nerve cells to gradually break down and die. He was diagnosed with it in April last year.
His wife, Mrs Genevieve Soh, 58, said her husband was unresponsive when she tried to wake him up at around 10am yesterday. Paramedics later pronounced him dead at the scene.
Those who knew Mr Soh said he was a dedicated newsman who loved journalism.
Mrs Soh, a housewife, said: "Work was his life. He worked 365 days. Even if he was at home, he would be preparing for work. For him, work would come first and I accepted it."
Mr Soh's journalistic career spanned more than 30 years. He started as a sub-editor and went on to hold various positions, including news editor, foreign editor and deputy editor at The Straits Times. He was also the consulting editor for free bilingual newspaper My Paper.
His most recent role was digital media editor of Singapore Press Holdings' (SPH) Digital Division.
Citizen journalism website Stomp and RazorTV were his brainchildren. He also taught journalism at Nanyang Technological University's Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information.
Mr Patrick Daniel, editor-in-chief of SPH's English/Malay/Tamil Media Group, described Mr Soh as a "multi-talented editor and journalist".
"He had a sharp nose for news, was great at layout and design, brought his creative flair to everything he did and took to digital media like a duck to water. And he had boundless energy," he said.
"We are all deeply saddened by his death."
Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez added: "Felix was a titan of the ST newsroom, and indeed journalism in Singapore... He played a key role on many desks in the newsroom over the years, and was well-respected for his newspaper design skills, but most of all he was instrumental in building up ST's network of overseas bureaus and Asian coverage.
"He was dedicated to his job, had boundless energy and enthusiasm for it, and was often the last to leave the newsroom and the first to arrive the next morning."
Mr Leslie Fong, senior executive vice-president of SPH's Marketing and Digital Divisions, called Mr Soh the "finest page designer of his generation".
"He did not believe in drawing pretty pages for their own sake. His approach had always been to project in the most visually arresting way stories according to their worth. This required fine editorial judgment," said Mr Fong, who was editor of The Straits Times from 1987 to 2002.