Arthur Robert McQuiddy, former editor of the Roswell Morning Dispatch and longtime community leader, died Tuesday afternoon.
McQuiddy, 95, gained international fame for being the newspaper editor during the 1947 Roswell UFO incident, but locally he was known as a strong advocate for many local organizations and institutions.
“He always had a smile on his face and probably was the most knowledgeable person there was about the UFO incident of anybody around,” said Charles Fischer, publisher of the Roswell Daily Record. “If you ever met him, he made everybody’s day feel brighter.”
In 1948, he left the newspaper to become public relations director of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association and later joined U.S. Steel as director of media relations.
In the early 1980s, he returned to Roswell after retiring as senior vice president for corporate relations at International Harvester. McQuiddy was very well known outside Roswell.
McQuiddy also has an Internet Movie Data Base entry for his role in “The Roswell Incident,” a 1995 TV documentary where he played himself.
McQuiddy was born in Sedalia, Mo., in 1918. After serving as a Naval aviator during World War II, he moved to Roswell in 1946 to become the editor of the Roswell Morning Dispatch.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Aleen Hinkle McQuiddy, who was a native of Roswell and was the granddaughter of pioneer New Mexico Gov. James Fielding Hinkle.
After returning to Roswell in the early ’80s, McQuiddy served as president of the Chaves County Historical Society, which is now the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico. He also served on the boards of the United Way, the Roswell Symphony, the Roswell Museum and Arts Center, the state of New Mexico Humanities Commission and the New Mexico Rehabilitation Center Foundation.
He also served as director of Conventions and Visitors Bureau and Economic Development specialist for Roswell through the Chamber of Commerce.
“Whether you knew it or not, he probably touched most of the people’s lives in Roswell, either through his work on the museum, the Walker Museum, the rehab center at base, and the historical society,” Fischer said.
“Art McQuiddy and his wife, Aleen, returned to Roswell following a successful corporate career,” said Phelps Anderson, president of Sun Valley Energy. “Art contributed his time and energy to making Roswell a better community.”
McQuiddy was unselfish in his many causes to build a better place to live, Anderson said. “He was a veteran who served his country during a time of war, and he was a proud American.”
A date has not yet been announced for the memorial service.
Arrangements are being handled by Ballard Funeral Home.
“Art McQuiddy lived a long life with great achievements and all of us who knew him were blessed to know such a great American,” Anderson said.
Record Staff Writer Jill McLaughlin contributed to this report.