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Burl Stiff, former society columnist for the Union-Tribune who died recently, left money and gifts to San Diegans, according to his estate trust.

Stiff left $20,000 to socialite Judith Harris, who frequently appeared in his columns, and was executor of the estate. He left $10,000 plus furs, fabrics, flowers and costume jewelry to Lael Kovtun, who is also socially prominent. Stiff left his costume sketches to David Copley, former owner of Copley Newspapers. Copley had hired Stiff as social columnist on the Copley payroll; Stiff was not technically a U-T employee.

Stiff left $10,000 to Trish Barr, who had been his editor at the U-T. "I adored him. He was my confidante. I was surprised and thrilled to be one of his heirs," says Barr, who has left the paper. Stiff had given her gifts, including statuettes of Bedlington Terriers. She is a Bedlington fancier.

Stiff left $10,000 to Jerry Windle, former U-T photographer who was Stiff's exclusive lab technician, working on photos for publication. "We had a great working relationship," says Windle. "The photographers loved him."

Stiff left larger sums to family members. Thanks to Matt Potter for passing along this item.

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Burwell June 17, 2011 @ 11:39 p.m.

There's a 1946 article in the Victoria Advocate about Burl helping a stray dog. There's a front page picture of Burl with the dog.



Don Bauder June 18, 2011 @ 1:03 p.m.

Those who dealt with him said he was a very kind person. Best, Don Bauder


Duhbya June 20, 2011 @ 9:52 a.m.

Hiya, Mr. Pup - you can do a search in "Google News" archives and customize it for any time period you need. On this one, if you type in Burl Stiff, then set the parameters from 01/01/46 to 12/31/46, you'll see the desired result.


Burwell June 18, 2011 @ 10:58 p.m.

It looks like Burl has gone to his maker with a clean name, and free from the stench of having been a Copley hack.


Don Bauder June 19, 2011 @ 9:54 a.m.

I suppose a lot of us have that same stench. Best, Don Bauder


Twister June 20, 2011 @ 4:02 p.m.

Not you, Don. Certainly not the "hack" part . . .

The phenomenon might be worthy of discussion, but not, with respect, to someone no longer here to defend himself. Facts, however, are something else again, but not mere name-calling, please.


Don Bauder June 21, 2011 @ 6:44 a.m.

It is said that Burl had a sense of humor about covering the Beautiful People. He was not the sycophant that he sometimes appeared to be. In some of his columns, I thought he was secretly laughing at the BPs. Best, Don Bauder


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