Daily News systems editor remembered fondly by all
By Lisa Mascaro, Staff Writer
For his 40th birthday, Tim Fairholm got Paris.
It was just a whirlwind tour through the City of Lights, but the one-day excursion arranged by his best friend was the perfect end to his trip to London to celebrate the big 4-0.
Fairholm, computer systems editor for the Daily News, died Feb. 6 at UCLA Medical Center from complications of lupus, an autoimmune disease he had battled quietly for much of his adult life.
Jen Martin, his former roommate and longtime friend who arranged the birthday getaway last spring, said he had been debating between London or Paris - but she decided he should see both.
"He was the best friend that everybody should have," Martin said. "When I found out Tim was gone, my first instinct was to call Tim. I can't do that anymore."
Tim had just celebrated his 10th anniversary with the Daily News, where he worked as systems editor for the Daily News and seven other Southern California papers that comprise the Los Angeles Newspaper Group. He was known in all the newsrooms as an unflappable computer guru who could solve just about any request with his quick wit and easy style.
"Tim's loss is like a death in the family," said Daily News Editor Ron Kaye. "He had a gentle spirit and light humor that made him universally loved. He was a skilled member of the team and always helpful to everyone on the staff."
Timothy Rex Fairholm was born April 25, 1965, in Orem, Utah, the youngest of five children born to Rulon and Barbara Fairholm. He graduated from Weber State University in Ogden, and later went to work at the Utah County Journal.
Fairholm came to Los Angeles in 1994, while working for a company that provided computer training to newsroom personnel at the Daily News. One look at Southern California's glorious weather and he was hooked.
He was hired in 1995 as the Daily News' systems editor, handling the range of computer and technical needs faced daily by reporters, editors and designers. He later worked as the paper's pre-press manager, before being promoted to systems editor for LANG.
Martin recalled him explaining his interest in L.A. to her relatives.
"He said, 'One of the things that I absolutely love about Los Angeles is there are a million different languages, a million different people of different colors,"' she said. "He loved that about Los Angeles, that there were all walks of life here. On every street corner you could see everything."
Fairholm began experiencing health problems in his 20s, suffering symptoms that would later be diagnosed as lupus. However, he rarely let family or friends see him struggle.
"He tried to not let it rule his life," said his eldest sister, Diana Hall of Provo, Utah. "He just tried to be happy and do the things that made him happy. Being with friends and family made him happy. Being with people who cared about him and he cared about."
Once he moved to California, his siblings and their families frequently visited.
"I'm sure he was sick to death of Disneyland, but still he would meet us there two or three times a year," Hall said.
Hall's daughter, Wrandi Greenwalt, now 31, of Orem, remembers wanting a clown for her birthday party as a kid. Her then-teenage Uncle Tim learned to juggle and do magic tricks then donned a clown suit for her big day. He could already ride a unicycle.
The two also had an ongoing war of wits, and once he collected all of her right shoes in retribution for one of her earlier pranks.
"All of my cousins, my sisters, they all think they're Tim's favorite. I know I'm Tim's favorite. If you talk to anyone in the family, they'll say the same thing," said Greenwalt.
"When you're with Tim he just gives you all of his attention. He listens to what you have to say. He just makes you feel just so important.
"He took the time to get to know all of us and love all of us."
In addition to his parents, Fairholm is survived by his siblings, Diana Hall, David Fairholm, Susan Ferran and Kenny Fairholm.
A funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Orem. Flowers can be sent before 5 p.m. Monday to Walker Sanderson Funeral Home, 646 E. 800 N., Orem 84097.
In Los Angeles, a memorial is scheduled for 11 a.m. Feb. 18 at Will Rogers State Beach, 17700 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades.
Lisa Mascaro, (818) 713-3761