Hottest story of 14: Couple that died a day apart after 60 years of marriage
Ed and Floreen Hale’s story went viral around the world
The story about Ed and Floreen Hale’s 60-year marriage and their death a day apart was the most popular story in 2014 on Orleans Hub.
The story was published near Valentine’s Day and showed the couple’s long-term commitment, especially Mr. Hale’s determination to join his wife in the same hospital room for their final days.
Mr. Hale was in a Rochester hospital and made a miraculous recovery so he was well enough to be transported to a hospital in Batavia. His wife Floreen, an Albion native, died on Feb. 7, with her husband by her side. Mr. Hale died the next day.
Orleans Hub talked with his family and posted the article – “A love story to the very end” – on a Sunday evening on Feb. 15. The story quickly gained traction and within a few days went viral around the world. Numerous news sites around the country and overseas linked to the article or wrote their own story.
The traffic to Orleans Hub caused our server to crash – several times. We ultimately had to upgrade to our own dedicated server. We recorded 11,328 clicks for the story, but that number isn’t accurate. We had to move the story off the Hub server to its own dedicated spot that didn’t count the hits.
The Hales were featured in The Daily Mail in London and quickly racked up 61,000 shares on the site, and more than 500 comments. USA Today named the Hales one of their five most inspirational stories of that week.
Albion mourns loss of popular teacher
The death of Wayne Burlison on March 26 was devastating to the Albion community and Burlison’s many friends. Burlison was an elementary music teacher at Albion. He was diagnosed with colon cancer in December 2013 and would die from the disease on March 26 at age 36.
An article – “Albion schools mourn loss of beloved ‘Mr. B‘” – about Burlison’s life and impact in the community was the second biggest story of the year on Orleans Hub. That story was posted on March 27 and had 7,447 individual page views last year. That is more than 3,000 from the third most viewed story.
Burlison was the assistant high school marching band director at the school and helped lead the jazz band. In addition to teaching Albion students, Burlison played with several groups, including the Batavia Concert Band, The Hit Men and the Mark Time Marchers in Kendall.
Burlison was also a leader of the Albion Running Club and led a Run for God program that prepared people to run a 5-kilometer race. He played in the praise band at the Albion Free Methodist Church.
He is survived by his wife Lisa and their son Adam, now 8. Mrs. Burlison is a second grade teacher at Albion.
Other top 20 stories in descending order include: