D. Anthony “Tony” Botkin, who worked as a reporter for The Delaware Gazette from March 2016 to February 2020, passed away Nov. 4 at the age of 59.
Botkin covered numerous beats during his tenure with The Gazette. His passion, however, was photography.
“As The Gazette’s lead photographer, Tony was willing to go the extra mile to get the shot, even if that meant pushing the boundaries or risking his own safety,” Gazette editor Joshua Keeran said. “If I ever needed a photo, no matter whether it was a parade, sporting event, or just a simple feature photo, Tony was always the first to volunteer.”
Gazette assistant editor Gary Budzak added, “Tony was that rarity in our profession — a photographer who wanted to be a reporter — and he excelled at both.”
Botkin’s photography skills were noticed by the Ohio Associated Press Media Editors in 2018 when he earned a third place AP award in the Best Feature Photo category for his “Multitasking” submission. In the photograph, which was taken during the 2018 Delaware County Fair, Botkin captured a shot of Jenna Johnson milking her goat, Buttercup, while simultaneously texting on her cell phone.
After four years with The Gazette, Botkin moved to Florida with his girlfriend in 2020. He was working as a vehicle photographer for Cox Automotive.
“Tony was a Jack of all trades,” Keeran said. “Besides being one of the hardest working journalists I’ve ever worked with, Tony was also the first to volunteer his skills to fix any issue that came up in the newsroom. If a computer needed fixed, he would stop what he was doing to fix it. If something needed moved or required some sort of handyman skills, Tony would run to his car to grab some tools or bring them the next day. When my car failed to start while on the scene of an apartment fire, Tony was there a few minutes later to jump-start my car. Simply put, Tony was the guy you could always count on. His friendship and advice meant the world to me.”
Gazette reporter Dillon Davis added, “From the first day I walked into the newsroom at the Delaware Gazette, Tony treated me with kindness and respect. Everyone in a career hopes they will be fortunate enough to come across someone who will forever be influential to their growth. That person, for me, was and still is Tony Botkin.”
Michael Williams, who served as managing editor of The Gazette from 2014-2016 and hired Botkin, said, “Tony was a great addition to The Gazette’s newsroom and, more than important than that, was just a really good person. He was one of those rare people who always had a smile and made friends wherever he went.”
Gazette reporter Glenn Battishill, who worked with Botkin his entire tenure with The Gazette, recalled a day not long after Botkin was hired when “we both unintentionally wore bright floral shirts on the same day, which I took as a message that we were meant to be good friends.
“Tony was a wonderful reporter for The Gazette and an even better friend. We learned a lot from each other during his years at The Gazette, and I appreciated his willingness to teach and his willingness to learn. I will always remember his kindness and enthusiasm, and I will value the time we worked together for the rest of my life.”
Botkin was born Oct. 31, 1962 in Muncie, Indiana, the son of William and Judith (Corn) Botkin.
“He will be remembered for his great sense of humor, kind spirit, and big cheesy grin,” Botkin’s obituary reads. “Tony was a loving and devoted father, grandfather, son and a dear friend to many.”
Botkin is survived by his loving girlfriend, Lisa Everman; his children’s mother, Angie Botkin; parents; eight children, Darryl Botkin, William Botkin, Katherine (Daniel) Christy, April Botkin, Amy Botkin, Christopher (Viktoria Ostendorf) Botkin, Joshua (Chelsea) Botkin, Matthew Botkin; grandchildren, Aidan Christy, Mitchell Christy, Nolan Christy, Oliver Christy, Everett Christy, Warrick Christy, Mercy Miller, Gavin Bruderer, Vanessa Botkin, Marley Botkin, Nicholas Willis, Milania Willis; two brothers, Tim Botkin, Andrew Botkin; as well as extended family.
A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13, at the Belton-Stroup Funeral Home, 422 E. Dayton-Yellow Springs Road, Fairborn. The family will receive friends from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service. Burial will follow at Byron Cemetery.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by the family to cover the cost of his headstone.
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