Minnesota Broadcast Obituaries A - M
(2013 - 2016)
Geo (Skip) Aldrich
, retired KARE 11 chief engineer, died quietly in his sleep January 26, 2015, at age 75.
Good husband, father, son, brother, in-law, community servant, friend, and TV engineer. Survivors: wife of 54 years, Phyllis; children, Mitchell (Shelley Willis), Stuart, and Charlene Swanson (Scott); grand-children Michael Swanson (Lindsay), Quinn, Brandon, Blake, Alix, Amber, and Melissa; sister, Janice Johnson; brothers, Stephen (Myrna) and Byron (Shawn Paulson); nieces/nephews and families. Highly regarded among his peers, Skip could fix any technical problem.
Senator Bill Armstrong
Bill Armstrong 1956
Bill Armstrong, "The All American Disc Jockey" and one of Todd Storz' original Top 40 disc jockeys, passed away July 5, 2016, at the age of 79.
Armstrong was born in Fremont, Nebraska, March 16, 1937, and graduated from Lincoln Northeast High School. He worked at Storz' KOWH/Omaha and WTIX/New Orleans while still in his teens. In February 1956, when Storz bought WDGY in the Twin Cities, Bill joined Herb Oscar Anderson, Jack Thayer, Bill Bennett, and program director Don Loughnane on the first staff of the "New" WDGY. He was only 19 at the time.
When Thayer became WDGY manager in 1958, Loughnane transferred to Storz-owned WHB/Kansas City and Jack named Bill program director. The two eventually had a falling out and Bill moved to Colorado at the age of 21 where he bought KOSI in Aurora, which he owned for 25 years. He became involved in several businesses and pursued a political career, serving in the Colorado State House of Representatives (1963-64), Colorado State Senate (1965-72), United States Congress from Colorado (1973-79), and U.S. Senate from Colorado (1979-91).
Armstrong was President of Colorado Christian University at the time of his death, having served in that position since 2006.
James Daniel Ball
, age 73 of Mesa, Arizona, passed away on February 28, 2015, at Banner Baywood Hospital.
J.D. was born June 7, 1941, in Bemidji, Minnesota. J.D. was a loving husband, father and best friend who enjoyed downhill skiing, boating, fishing, singing (Frank Sinatra), golfing and traveling. He was a devoted husband and best friend to his wife and a wonderful father to his children. He is dearly missed and if you were lucky to know him, you know how much he enjoyed telling his long, short stories.
He was a DJ for the local radio station KBUN in Bemidji, Minnesota and was a drummer for local bands. He taught broadcasting for 26 years at Minneapolis North High School. J.D. is preceded in death by Peter Ball, father and Bess Youngstrom, mother. He is survived by Eileen (Lee) Ball, wife, Jimmy Wahl, son, Heather-Lea (Darrold) Re-DeGunia, daughter, Marcus Perez, Grandson (son of Jimmy Wahl), J.D. Wahl, grandson (son of Jimmy Wahl), Danielle Hamilton, grandaughter (daughter of Jimmy Wahl), Jacob Re, grandson (son of Heather-Lea DeGunia), 3 great grandchildren. From http://affordablecremationaz.com
Gilbert E. Barnhill Jr.
June 12, 1928 - November 28, 2016. Gilbert grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, graduating from Benson High School in 1946. In the early fifties he moved to Minneapolis for a job at WTCN Radio before moving over WTCN Channel 11 (now KARE) Television. Gilbert’s passion for movies was reflected in his thoughtful editing of films and television shows for decades. He was fascinated by the technological changes in the industry, moving from film to tape to digital, when his form of editing disappeared. He moved on to camera work and other things until his retirement. He met his wife, June at WTCN where she worked in radio. He was working overnights and would pick her up in the morning and take her to work. It wasn’t too long before he proposed to her in the parking lot. They were part of an exclusive group known as the “Legends of Broadcasting” since they were both there from the beginning of television. They were married on December 17, 1955, in the midst of a huge blizzard in Sioux Falls, SD. They moved into their house in Prospect Park where they raised their family and were part of the fabric of the neighborhood. Known as a class clown in high school, he carried his love of humor throughout his life. He wrote funny pieces and was published a few times in Mad Magazine and TV Guide, among other lesser known magazines. His last seven years were spent at St. Anthony Park Home where he continued to spread his good cheer and benefitted from the wonderful care provided by its devoted staff. He was always good-natured, level headed and hard working. He never missed a day of work, was deeply devoted to his wife and children and never had a bad thing to say about anyone. He was the best dad ever and we will all miss him. Survived by son, David Shepherd Barnhill (Ruth Hritzko), daughter Lisa Barnhill Peterson (Craig Peterson), grandsons Nathan Peterson and Brett Peterson, nephew Stephen Champlin, niece Lynn Lloyd and many great and great-great nieces and nephews.
, Longtime West Bank music fixture, accordionist, folklorist, ethnomusicologist, teacher, and radio broadcaster – died November 9, 2013, at the age of 74. He had suffered from Parkinson’s disease for many years. He taught ethnomusicology in British and American folk music at the University of Minnesota from 1979-'86; produced and hosted Folk Music and Bernstein
from 1961-'78 on National Public Radio. He also hosted The Jewish Program
featuring news and commentary on a variety of Minnesota radio stations. He was founder and organizer of Cedar-Riverside's Snoose Boulevard Festival which drew 100,000 people in 1974. He was part of the Ollie Skratthult Research Project with Anne-Charlotte Harvey from Sweden, who was the singer for Bernstein's band for all the Snoose Boulevard Festivals. He produced three albums featuring the music from the festivals.
He is survived by his sister Melody.
, the longtime radio announcer whose familiar voice reached listeners throughout the Grand Forks area for decades, died Wednesday, May 27, 2015, at the age of 80.
Bollman worked for 55 years in radio, the last 45 in Grand Forks, according to a 2012 Herald story. At the time of his retirement he was working a morning shift at KNOX-1310 AM. Bollman was also a play-by-play announcer for UND football and basketball games.
Although a star in his own right, Charlie Boone
is perhaps best remembered as half of one of the most successful partnerships in radio.
Boone and Erickson, Boone’s 37-year collaboration with Roger Erickson, was one of the most popular shows on radio, consistently attracting more than 60 percent of Minnesota’s radio listeners.
Born August 21, 1927, in Rutland, Vermont, and raised in New London, Connecticut, Boone served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1945 to 1948. He then spent several years with the San Francisco Repertory Theatre before his first job in radio at KWAD in Wadena, Minnesota, in 1954. After a year at KVOR in Colorado Springs, Colorado, he moved to KFGO in Fargo, North Dakota.
Just before he came to Minneapolis, Boone was scheduled to emcee a show by Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens in Moorhead, Minnesota, when he learned that the rock stars had been killed in a plane crash. Needing a replacement act, he scrambled to enlist a local band called the Shadows, headed by 15-year-old Robert Velline, later known as Bobby Vee.
In 1959 Charlie Boone joined WCCO Radio, hosting a late afternoon show as the station’s first disc jockey, playing records instead of introducing a live orchestra.
“The first thing I did on July 15, 1959, was introduce Cedric Adams on the Noon News,” he told Paul Bergly in 2004.
Boone’s natural curiosity made him a great interviewer and he soon began chatting and trading jokes on the air with Roger Erickson who hosted the show just before his. It took a couple of years and a lot of prodding by sponsor Miracle White laundry bleach, but in 1961 they teamed up to form one of the great radio partnerships of all time, a union that lasted 37 years.
Boone and Erickson put Charlie’s skills in acting, voices, and dialects to good use. Together they created skits and routines that defined Minnesota as they poked fun at politicians, lampooned current events, and parodied old radio shows. One of their most popular bits was “Minnesota Hospital,” billed as “the best place to get sick in.”
Although the show ended in 1998, Boone continued to do a Saturday morning program on WCCO until his last show on December 18, 2010.
During his 51-year career at WCCO, Charlie Boone received numerous honors on behalf of the station, including the Columbia, Dupont, and Peabody Awards. He hosted countless charitable events benefiting education, the arts, and health research and was a member of numerous nonprofit boards, including the Pavek. He was always ready to do anything we needed and he always did it with style.
Former WCCO Television anchor Don Shelby said of Boone, “He was a thoroughly articulate, wellstudied, serious man, who could, thank God, be funny at the drop of a hat, but his internal workings were those of a serious broadcaster.”
After radio he remained active as a volunteer, recording talking books for the blind and supporting numerous other organizations and events in the community.
Charlie Boone passed away November 22, 2015, at the age of 88.
In addition to his twin sister, Charlotte, Charlie is survived by his wife, Dr. Carol Heen; daughter Jaimie (Eric) Lavanger; son Christopher (Shelly) Boone; grandchildren Hadley (Luke) Wilcox, David Lavanger, Calvin, and Charlie H. Boone; and greatgrandson Sullivan Wilcox.
loved Edgar Allan Poe's "The Telltale Heart." An actor and co-founder of KFAI Fresh Air Radio and longtime host of the weekly program "Spoken Word," Brin enjoyed adopting different characters with his memorably sonorous voice every Halloween week.
On Tuesday, at the request of Beryl Greenberg, Brin's co-host and life partner of 46 years, KFAI played a recording of him reading the story one last time. He died January 29 at age 92, following a life rich with theater, music, laughter and an unflagging, gregarious curiosity.
Brin grew up near Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis, where his mother, Fanny, was a noted suffragist and peace activist. After leaving the University of Minnesota to pursue an acting career in New York, he won an Off-Broadway best supporting actor award for "The Dybbuk" in 1954. He also performed on Broadway alongside Tony Randall in "Inherit the Wind."
After moving back to Minneapolis in 1960 to care for his ailing mother, Brin developed another of his many passions — psychodrama, or the practice of using performance in therapy. He went on to co-found and direct the Minnesota Institute of Psychodrama.
Brin was also a violinist, painter and a gifted chess player, recalled his niece, the dancer and author Judith Brin Ingber.
"He was my dramatic, eccentric uncle and I adored him," she said. "He made a point to attend every local performance I did."
He also continued acting in later life, landing a few roles in locally shot films including "Grumpy Old Men" and the Coen brothers' "A Serious Man," in which he played a Hebrew-school teacher.
Brin and Greenberg were familiar figures at Seward Co-op and the surrounding neighborhood, where they lived for the past 22 years. He was famous for wearing two sets of glasses because he didn't like bifocals, and polling other patrons at restaurants about their meals before ordering his own.
"The whole place would know him before we even ordered," Greenberg said. "He interacted with everyone and made a lot of friends that way."
The two began their romance on a Monday in 1969, when both were habitués of the Minneapolis West Bank scene. Greenberg remembers the date because Brin was at the Mixers, a popular bar, with friends when they decided to call on her to check out a variety show called "Laugh-In" and she was known to have a television set.
Brin was preceded in death by his parents Fanny and Arthur, brother Howard and sister Rachel Helstein. In addition to Greenberg, he is survived by many nieces, nephews and friends. A celebration of his life that was held at the Illusion Theater on Feb. 1 filled the house.
"If Michelangelo had four souls, Charles had at least 12," Rabbi Sharon Stiefel of Mayim Rabim Congregation, which counted Brin as a member, said in the eulogy.
Brin was active through the week preceding his death, attending a pizza party at KFAI and playing his violin with the Minneapolis Northeast Orchestra.
"His way of slowing down still made the rest of us look like schlubs," said KFAI general manager Leah Honsky.
Greenberg said that Brin died peacefully at home, five days before his 93rd birthday. "We got out of bed, he was doing his thing, I was doing mine. I called out and said I wanted a glass of orange juice, and he didn't answer. That was the end. It was so fast. That was a blessing."
Courtesy legacy.com and startribune.com
George Luxton Brooks
died peacefully on January 21, 2015, after a long battle with Alzheimer 's disease. He was born November 1, 1926, to LeRoy J. Brooks and Edna (Ulhorn) Brooks.
A 2001 charter inductee into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame, George Brooks used the drive that put him on the air at age 16 at KOVC Valley City, North Dakota, to become a master of broadcast management and a leader in the community. After his first appearance in 1940, he worked his way up and became the KOVC's program director. He later served as program director and news director at KDIX Dickinson, North Dakota, and at KFGO, Fargo, North Dakota. In 1952 he moved to Minnesota and became news director at KSUM Fairmont. In 1956 he became general manager of KMRS Morris, moving to KOTE Fergus Falls in 1959. In 1962 he acquired KCUE Red Wing and made it one of the most successful in the region. He added sister FM station KWNG in 1965, and owned and operated the two stations until selling them in 1981. He has served as a director of the Minnesota Broadcasters Association and the National Association of Broadcasters, and as president of both the Minnesota and North Dakota Associated Press organizations. He is recognized as the most prolific writer of resolutions in Minnesota broadcasting history, and was also instrumental in establishing Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
George is survived by his beloved wife Marjorie and five children, James (Patricia) of Overland Park, KS, Robert (Alene) Gilbert, AZ, William (Nicole) of Chicago, IL, Geri (Robert Parks) of Gastonia, NC and Jeanne Zyck (Robert) of Leawood, KS. Also surviving are his six grandchildren; Edward and Emily Welsch, David, William and Alexandri Zyck and Tyler Brooks. Two brothers and two sisters also survive; David (Joyce) of Longmont, CO; Delmar (Joyce) of Fort Collins, CO; Elizabeth Makoda of Coon Rapids, MN and Carolyn (Edward) Gruber of San Antonio, TX. Preceding him in death are a brother, Pastor L. James Brooks and two sisters, Joan Lighties and Sybil Duncan.
passed away on August 27, 2014, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 64.
Russ started at KSTP-TV in 1972 and worked there until his retirement in May. Even after covering countless stories Russ never lost his passion for the job.
"He had such a big heart, a huge heart. He was always one of the first ones here and the last ones to leave. He loved the TV news business," said Joe Caffrey, KSTP-TV chief photographer. Russ covered everything from Watergate to the collapse of the 35W Bridge. He’s been a great teacher and inspiration to other photographers and reporters in the business. His legacy will live on in our newsroom and other newsrooms across the Twin Cities. From kstp.com
Youtube piece about Russ Brown
Victor Allen “Buck” Buchanan
, 91, of Longville, Minnesota, passed away peacefully on August 26, 2014. He was born on May 1, 1923, to Victor S. Buchanan and Anne (Davis) Buchanan in Hinsdale, Illinois.
Buck was raised in several places including the Kenwood area of Minneapolis and Wayzata. He graduated from Wayzata High School and then attended the University of Minnesota. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps during WWII and also served in the Army Signal Corps.
Throughout his career in sales, he worked for Sports Afield Magazine, Midwest Radio and TV, WCCO Radio (eventually as sales manager) and the CBS Network. During his working years he was on the board of directors of The Minneapolis Athletic Club, The Minneapolis University Club, The Twin Cities Advertising Club and The Association of Manufacturers Representatives. He had been president of The Twin Cities Radio Broadcasters, president of The Uncle Fogy Conservation foundation, and a member of the WCCO Radio Salesman’s Hall of Fame. He also served on the advisory board of the Long Lake Conservation Camp at Aitkin, the Sports and Attractions committee of the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce, the Minneapolis JCs, and The United Way.
Ernest "Allen Gray" Bundgaard
, born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on November 13, 1920, passed away on December 8, 2013. In his more than 60 years in broadcasting, Ernest "Allen Gray" Bundgaard rose from student announcer to station owner, doing it all with honesty, charm, integrity, and style.
His career began at WSUI at the University of Iowa in 1939. where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Radio Broadcasting. He then joined KMA in Shenandoah, Iowa, while still in school.
After graduating from the University of Iowa in 1943 he immediately enrolled in Officer’s Candidates School at Fort Benning, Georgia, graduating and becoming a Second Lieutenant in the infantry on September 6, 1943. He married his longtime girlfriend, Mary Lee Burden, on September 10, 1943. Gray served in the Armed Forces for three years, mustering out in 1946. While in the service he joined the Second Replacement Depo and become Information and Education Officer. He was offered several opportunities in the broadcasting field with the Armed Forces, but chose rather to go home when he had sufficient points.
In 1947 he went to work at KFAB in Omaha, Nebraska, where he was named one of the top twelve radio announcers in the nation. In 1950 he moved to WCCO Minneapolis/Saint Paul, where he served as director and talent for the CBS Housewives Protective League and also hosted the late-evening Starlight Salute" program. He was then asked to join WCBS in New York City where he was on the air until 1963. After returning to the Twin Cities he operated an advertising agency and did freelance radio and television work before building his own station, KLKS FM in Breezy Point, in 1984. Gray was chosen Minnesota Pioneer Broadcaster of the year in 1997 before being inducted into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2001.
Henry Busse (Senior & Junior)
Henry Busse Jr.
passed away November 23, 2013, at the age of 82. The son of hot trumpeter Henry Busse, Henry Junior was a living encyclopedia of jazz and shared it enthusiastically throughout his career in broadcasting, which included stints at KMSU, KYSM and KTOE in Mankato.
For more see http://www.mankatofreepress.com/local/x517504906/Life-Remembered-Busse-was-all-jazz-all-the-time.
Also see http://connectbiz.com/2001/11/shuffle-rhythmcom-henry-busse-jr/.
Longtime Twin Cities radio personality and 2006 inductee into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Johnny Canton died December 31, 2016, at the age of 75.
When Johnny Canton visited a Warrensburg, Missouri, radio station as a teenager, it inspired him to begin a broadcasting career that lasted nearly fifty years and made him an important figure in Twin Cities radio and television.
He got his first on-air job at age 16 at KLEX AM in Lexington, Missouri, and for the next several years worked in radio at stations in Colorado, Kansas City, Pennsylvania, Rochester, and Cleveland. In 1966 he joined the staff of WDGY as music director and became a much-loved and widely popular rock ‘n’ roll disc jockey and concert emcee. After 11 years at WDGY, he moved to WCCO FM (now WLTE 102.9 Lite FM), where he hosted a popular weekend show. The former host of Bowling for Dollars on KSTP TV and Bowlerama! on KMSP TV, he has appeared in numerous national and regional television and radio commercials, as well as such films as Airport and Mad Dogs and Englishmen. He has participated in many charity golf tournaments and other community events, and since 1978 has been president of the advertising and production firm Canton Communications. One of his many claims to fame is that he was the first DJ to play John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
He retired from the business in 2011.
Away from work, he loved to bowl, play golf and pool, and to travel, especially to Hawaii, his family said.
He is survived by his significant other, Janie Meyer, and two daughters, Jonna and Heather. Services will be held in June or July.
Longtime WCCO personality Dick Chapman
passed away February 27, 2015, at the age of 84.
After studying journalism at the University of Missouri, the Kansas City native came to WCCO in 1957, first as a news writer for Cedric Adams, then as co-host of Honest to Goodness with Randy Merriman, before hosting his own news broadcasts on the station. Chapman spent 36 years with the station until he stepped away from the microphone in 1993.
During his tenure at WCCO Radio, he broke and reported on a number of big stories, including the evening of May 6, 1965, when a cluster of tornadoes barreled through the Twin Cities. He took phone calls from listeners who were seeing funnel clouds and aired the eyewitness reports live, using a metro map to predict the storm’s path and warn listeners to take shelter. “He invented a new way to use commercial radio that night,” said Rob Brown, a WCCO manager at the time who screened phone calls that evening. Sophisticated radar was not available for radio and television weather reports at the time, Brown said, so he, Chapman and Charlie Boone worked six hours without a break triangulating touchdowns and issuing warnings.
The Twin Cities Weather Bureau credited the trio with saving 2,000 lives that night, and the station received three of the nation’s top broadcast journalism awards for public service, the Society of Professional Journalists Award, the Dupont Award, and the Peabody Award.
His interest in public service led to the creation of WCCO Radio’s “Direct Line,” providing a wealth of raw data on changing weather systems.
After he retired he wrote When ‘CCO Was Cookin’, a surprisingly candid, behind the scenes look at the people and the events that defined the golden age of WCCO. To hear Dick Chapman go to http://www.radiotapes.com/default.asp
Dick Chapman was preceded in death by wife, Barbara and parents, Clara and Rudolph. Survived by children: Connie, Candace, Timothy (Tamera) & Michael (Julie); grandchildren: Rhea (Grant), Trevers (Laura), Jesse (Rebecca), Nicholas, Joshua (Tasha), Justin, Andrew (fianceé Jessica); 9 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-grandchild; brother, Stan; nieces, nephews, other relatives & friends.
Philip N. Conklin
passed away July 7, 2014, at the age of 64, after a courageous battle with cancer. Phil was a graduate of Southwest High School in Minneapolis, and went on to attend Brown Institute. He was a disc jockey in rural Nebraska and southwestern Minnesota for a number of years, and also spent time working for KDWB. Phil spent his last 13 years working with Seasonal Specialties as a shipping and receiving specialist. He enjoyed his family, his place in "The Last Mans' Club" and his home, "The Hut" in South Minneapolis. Phil particularly enjoyed his more than 22 year Christmas morning tradition at John and Linda's.
He is survived by siblings, Jim (Beth) Conklin, Debbie (Jim) Vargo, Susan (George) Berg, John (Linda) Conklin; brother-in-law Ed Beck; sister-in-law Annette Conklin; Aunt Jean; 12 nieces and nephews.
Published July 10, 2014, Mpls StarTribune
, born on the farm in Griswold, Iowa, on April 28, 1925, died May 8, 2014 at the age of 89.
In 1954 Tom joined the staff at WCCO-TV in the Public Relations Department where he spent the next 38 years as a key member of the station. He was especially loved by Carol Schaubach and Julie Enroth, organizers of the "Axel and Carmen Fan Club." Tom was a devoted family man and a community volunteer who was recognized twice by WCCO Radio with their Good Neighbor Award, validating his extensive involvement in many organizations from the Boy Scouts to the American Cancer Society. Tom was a good man and he left our world a better place.
Tom is survived by his loving wife of 31 yrs. Evelyn Meyers Cousins and her son Tom Meyers (Meg); brother Raymond (Norma); sons and daughters Danny (Brenda), Ricky (Carol) Randy (Gayle), Tom (Michele) John (Kharmyn), Dave (Lisa), Mary Ann Fink (Brad), Patty Shields, and Jimmy (Angie); and many grandchildren.
from the Mpls Star Tribune
"Dandy" Dan Daniel
Vergil Glynn Daniel (December 18, 1934 – June 21, 2016) known on the air as "Dandy" Dan Daniel and Triple-D. Daniel, the self-described “world’s most adequate swinging disc jockey,” started at age seventeen on Armed Forces Radio with the U.S. Navy. His first commercial job was at KXYZ in Houston in 1955 before moving to WDGY where he stayed until 1961.
His smooth voice and articulate delivery took him to New York, where he spent the next 40 years. He was one of the “Good Guys” on WMCA from 1961 - 1970.
Daniel was heard coast-to-coast on NBC Radio's Monitor in the summer of 1973 and was the announcer on the 1974–1975 game show The Big Showdown. He subsequently worked on WYNY-FM where he hosted the mid-day slot and later morning and afternoon drives. He then did a stint at WHN playing country music before returning to WYNY-FM. Finally, he moved to WCBS-FM in 1996. He retired from WCBS on December 31, 2002. It was done, as always, with class. Listen to a portion of that Dec. 31, 2002, broadcast here.
He is survived by wife, Rosemary; sons Chris, and Paul; daughter, Jennifer Stinga; a brother, Phillip; and three grandsons.
courtesy wikipedia and adweek.com
Mary Davies Orfield
died peacefully on February 7, 2014, at the age of 88.
A 2004 inductee into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Mary’s professional work started on radio, singing on the Dayton Soda Set Show. A winning effort on Stairway to Stardom secured a week's engagement on WCCO Radio. Over the next three years, her enchanting voice and unbridled charm made her a star.
In 1950 she began appearing on WCCO TV with programs like The John Salisbury Variety Show and Country Holiday, the first locally produced color television broadcast. She even had several appearances with Arthur Godfrey on his talent show. But her most memorable role was as one of the longest running children's television characters in Twin Cities' history, “Carmen the Nurse.” Carmen first appeared with co-star Clellan Card on Axel and His Dog in 1954. She went on to host Carmen’s Cottage from 1966 until 1977. A mother of six children, she was able to combine her many talents as an entertainer with the love and understanding that set the standard for children's programming.
passed away September 3, 2016, at the age of 78. Born in Detroit in 1938, he became a merchant sailor, going out on the ore boats in 1956 before getting a job as a bellhop at the Normandy Hotel while attending Brown Institute. Upon graduation in 1960 he was hired by WTCN to work in radio, then moved over to television, where he stayed for 41 years as the station changed from WTCN, to WUSA, and now KARE. He is survived by loving wife of 49 years, Susan; son, Bret Abbott; stepson, Troy Sizer; four grandchildren; other relatives and friends.
Tom Doar loved to pretend he was a country bumpkin lawyer from rural Wisconsin. But he was a savvy businessman who played a key role in helping WCCO-TV become a nationally recognized powerhouse of public affairs journalism in the 1970s and 1980s.
Doar, former chairman of MTC Properties Inc. that owned the television and radio station and who was active on many civic boards, died on June 20. He was 95.
“He was a gentle giant in broadcasting,” said Ron Handberg, news director and then general manager at Channel 4 between 1971 and 1989. “He stood guard at the door of good journalism in those days, and protected us from outside interference and advertisers and politicians and just allowed us to do our jobs.”
Doar was born and raised in New Richmond, Wis., and educated at St. Paul Academy, the University of Colorado and the University of Wisconsin Law School. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II between 1943 and 1946, and joined his father’s law practice in 1947. His marriage to his first wife, Patricia, in 1948 lasted 59 years until her death. “He was an optimist,” said his daughter, Kathleen. “He was always singing ‘Oh, What a Beautiful Morning’ and toasting us kids with his orange juice.”
Doar was soft-spoken, unassuming and humble, she said, but well-known in New Richmond where he earned the nickname “The Inspector” because of his strong interest in questioning people and getting to know them. He maintained the law practice there, but was increasingly drawn into the media and business world of the Twin Cities.
By marriage, he joined the Murphy family that owned part of the Minneapolis Tribune and part of Midwest Radio Television Inc., license holder for WCCO radio and television. Ridder Publications and Minneapolis Star and Tribune owner John Cowles Jr. also owned part of the broadcasting company.
As president of the family’s holding company from 1969 to 1980, Doar figured out a way for the cross-ownership of WCCO to be simplified through swapping ownership interests and a buyout, so that the broadcast company could separate from the newspapers in 1976. Doar became chairman of the newly formed MTC Properties Inc. in 1980 that owned 100 percent of WCCO until after he retired in 1990.
Nancy Mate, former researcher and director of the WCCO-TV public affairs unit, said Doar explained his family’s ownership role as “being willing to let broadcasters run the stations without a lot of interference.”
The station produced “Moore on Sunday,” a weekly magazine-style program during the 1970s hosted by popular anchor Dave Moore. That evolved into prime-time documentaries in the 1980s and I-team investigative reports on news shows. “It was an extraordinary commitment to public affairs for almost 20 years,” Mate said.
Doar is survived by his second wife, Jean Selvig of Naples, Fla.; daughter Kathleen and sons Tom of Chicago and Patrick of New Richmond, Wis.; six grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren.
, whose on-air name was Dan Donovan
, died August 31, after a heart attack, at the age of 73.
A 2006 inductee into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame, “the Geezer,” as he called himself, was a radio veteran whose career dated back to the glory days of rock and roll.
Born in Philadelphia, Donovan got interested in radio growing up in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He began his career there at WGET, later moving to WSBA in York, Pennsylvania. After studying journalism at Penn State, he moved on to WICE Radio in Providence, Rhode Island, in the early 1960s. He then moved to WMEX in Boston and WCBM in Baltimore before beginning a ten-year run at WFIL AM in Philadelphia.
He came to KS95 FM in the Twin Cities in 1979, and joined KOOL 108 FM in 1991, bringing the enthusiasm and style that made him one of the region’s best known and best loved DJ’s with his popular afternoon drive and Sunday oldies shows. City Pages recently named him Best Twin Cities FM Radio Personality of 2006. In 2007 he celebrated fifty years in radio.
passed away July 22, 2014, at the age of 74.
For years he passionately voiced ideas and discussed topics on his KFAI public affairs show, Truth To Tell. His voice was silenced this weekend. For years, Driscoll had lived with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, but in the past 10 months, his health had declined significantly. In September he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, and in March he suffered a series of small strokes. He died Sunday at age 74 at United Hospital in St. Paul.
"He did everything from the heart," said his wife of 27 years, Cynthia Crist, who said Driscoll was an amazing husband and loving father and grandfather. "It was the thing that could make him the most wonderful and the most frustrating person. He was so passionate about everything from the minute he woke up in the morning."
Driscoll graduated from St. Paul Central High School and earned degrees from Brown Institute, the University of Minnesota and Metropolitan State University. Over the years, he took on a variety of roles, including civic leader, community activist, journalist, producer and actor. For a decade, he lived in Detroit, where he was politically active and involved in public media, before moving back to St. Paul in the late 1970s. The producer of various TV projects, Driscoll won a Columbia DuPont Award for his KTCA documentary, "Power Play."
He also wrote for the Highland Villager for many years and served on a variety of public boards and committees, including the St. Paul Human Rights Commission, St. Paul City Charter Commission and West Seventh Center board. He ran for the St. Paul City Council, Ward 2, in 1993 and 1997.
"He was not afraid of labels -- liberal or progressive -- at all," said Crist, who first met Driscoll on Election Night 1980 at a victory party for the late U.S. Rep. Bruce Vento.
Brian Driscoll said his father was always an engaging presence and challenged people to take a hard look at society, especially the disenfranchised. "He was always taking folks to task," Brian Driscoll said. In 2006, Driscoll created the weekly radio show "Truth To Tell" (a production of CivicMedia/Minnesota, a nonprofit public affairs content and civic literacy organization he founded), where he covered local public affairs issues from health care reform to the criminal justice system. Retired Metropolitan State University professor and "Truth To Tell" co-host Tom O'Connell said his friend was committed to his beliefs and wasn't afraid to pick a fight once in a while.
"He was a bigger-than-life character; he was really passionate and a great storyteller," O'Connell said. "We did a lot of meeting in St. Paul coffee shops, and there's nowhere you'd go in St. Paul without people knowing Andy. He just knew a lot of people; he embraced a lot of people. His family was among the pioneer settlers of St. Paul -- the Driscolls and the O'Briens. They were pretty prominent people in the development of the city. He loved the city and loved that history. One thing that he was hoping to get around to was writing about St. Paul history through the history of his family.
O'Connell said that with Driscoll's death, St. Paul has lost a "passionate voice for justice." "He just had a passion for civic involvement and for people understanding how government works and getting involved in local government," O'Connell said. "He did that in a number of ways through boards, commissions, neighborhood groups, running for office. St. Paul has lost one of its most dedicated citizens." Driscoll is survived by his wife, Cynthia Crist; children Brian (Vanessa), Amy (Dale Williams) and Molly, and their mother, Nancy; grandchildren, Madeline and Christopher; siblings Michael (Leah), Susan, Sara and Kevin (Linda).
By Amy Carlson Gustafson email@example.com Amy Carlson Gustafson can be reached at 651-228-5561.
Former Twin Cities radio personality Richard “Dick” Driscoll
(December 20, 1932 - July 14, 2016) died at his home in Cottage Grove from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 84 years old.
“He clearly enjoyed his life on the radio and TV — that was his whole life,” said his son Rich Driscoll. “It meant everything to him. People from other states wanted him — California, New York — but he stayed here. His legacy is here.”
Driscoll was born in St. Paul and graduated from Mahtomedi High School. He did a stint in the Army serving for the Armed Forces Radio in Korea, according to his son. After returning to the Twin Cities, Driscoll went on to have a prolific career in broadcasting, which included being a well-known radio personality along with writing and producing television programs. In the 1950s, he became famous for his “Dracula” radio character. His resume includes stints at WDGY, KQRS, WCCO, WAYL, WWTC, KLBB and WTCN.
During his time in radio, he rubbed elbows with many famous musicians including Elvis Presley and the Beatles. In a 2000 Pioneer Press story in which Dricscoll was described as helpful, witty and creative, he recalled interviewing Presley for WDGY.
“Elvis was on the show, but we didn’t think much of it at the time,’” Driscoll said. “That interview went very well. I expected to find a very arrogant star, but it was the opposite. He was very polite. He called me ‘Mr. Driscoll.’ Yeah, he was a big star, but we didn’t think much of taping it. You just did it live.’”
He also broadcast the initial reports when President John F. Kennedy was shot.
“It was a confusing time because we had reports the president was rushed to the hospital and his condition was unknown,” he remembered in the 2000 Pioneer Press story.
His son Rich says he’ll always remember an interview his dad did in the ‘70s with the Doobie Brothers — a rock band whose name was inspired by a slang term for a marijuana cigarette. “He says to the band, ‘OK, I have a question, guys. I don’t understand the band is called the Doobie Brothers — none of your names are Doobie.’ They broke out laughing on the air and dad just stood there dumbfounded. He had no idea what their name was about. My dad never drank, he never smoked, he didn’t do drugs. Him not knowing the significance of their name was very funny.”
After his broadcast career ended, he ran Mystery Ranch Studios in south Washington County with family members.
Driscoll was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Ann Driscoll, and survived by his three children Rich, Patricia Lee Power and Mary Lynn Olson.
For more pictures and stories of Dick, please see jeanneandersen.net
Courtesy twincities.com and jeanneandersen.net
Don DuChene, age 83, passed away May 14, 2016. Don was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, June 21, 1932. He grew up on Bayard Avenue in Saint Paul, graduated from Cretin High School and attended the University of MN. While serving in the U.S. Army, he was stationed in Austria and Italy. After graduating from Brown Institute (E. Lake St., Mpls.), Don had a successful radio broadcasting career, initially on WSPT in Stevens Point, WI, and WONE in Dayton, OH. During the 1960s, Don was a popular radio personality in the Twin Cities, as one of the "Swinging Gentlemen" on KDWB (Channel 63) and then with his 4-8 pm shift on KSTP (Radio 15). In the early 1970s, Don DJ'd on KQRS and helped transform that station's format from MOR to rock 'n roll. Airchecks from Don's radio days can be heard on his You Tube channel, Don DuChene 1960s Radio.
In 1973, Don and his family moved to Ft. Lauderdale, FL, where he served as director of Brown Institute's Florida campus and taught radio/TV broadcasting and electronics. Preceded in death by his parents, Adolph and Bernice DuChene; brother, Eugene DuChene; and sister, Eleanor Wright. Don was the consummate family man and is survived by his wife of 63 years, Madelyn; children Brian (Dina), Tom (Sara) and Teresa Cassidy (Patrick) and cherished grandchildren: CJ, Patrick, Benjamin, Kara and Lukas. He is also survived by sister, Lorraine Schumacher; sister-in-law, Solange DuChene, and his extended family.
Published on May 28, 2016, Startribune.com
Harley H. Flathers
, 84, of Rochester, passed away on Monday, January 25th, at Mayo Clinic Hospital-Saint Marys Campus following a brief illness.
Harley was born to Homer and Vivian (Raabe) Flathers at Saint Marys Hospital on August 27th, 1931. He was reared on the family farm in rural Fillmore County southeast of Stewartville, attended Dogtown School No. 118, and graduated from Chatfield High School in June 1949. He intended to follow his father into farming but was stricken with polio a month later, which robbed him of the use of his legs. After a lengthy hospitalization at Sister Kenny Institute in Minneapolis and an attempt to co-farm with his father, he was led by what he described as divine guidance to study radio broadcasting at the American Institute of the Air in Minneapolis.
His employment at KAAA radio in Red Wing, Minn., in 1953 was the beginning of a 63-year industry career. An opportunity at KROC radio brought him to Rochester in 1957, and he stayed at the station until 1981. He is particularly remembered for staying on the air round-the-clock during the massive 1978 Rochester flood, broadcasting from KROC's remote transmitter building. He later worked for KWEB and was affiliated with it and sister stations for the rest of his career, through several changes of ownership, different formats and call letter changes. In addition to being well-known for his morning drive time shift, he eventually became equally well-known for selling and producing radio ads.
Steve Moravec, Harley Flathers, Ed Ripley
Harley came to know and understand the community from a unique perspective. His innumerable remote broadcasts — from carpet showrooms to car dealerships; from grocery stores openings to the opening of Methodist Hospital; and from the Olmsted County Fair to the Country Breakfasts on the Farm — enabled him to meet vast numbers of citizens, business leaders, farmers, doctors, and Mayo Clinic visitors. He regularly fulfilled master of ceremonies duties for Rochester Symphony Orchestra concerts, July Fourth band concerts at Silver Lake Park, dairy princess and beauty pageants, Rochester's Summer Music Project and Rochesterfest.
"HF" had a propensity to interview comedians and musicians during the early and middle years of his career, and he took great pride in interviewing the likes of Jack Benny, Red Skelton, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Guy Lombardo. He surmounted his physical challenges and strived to help others, actively participating in the March of Dimes , the National Paraplegia Foundation and many other not-for-profit organizations. And he sold knives and china on the side — sometimes while entertaining clients with his musical saw. Harley's interest in local history and his ability to tell stories in great detail brought him to the attention of the Post-Bulletin, where for several years he wrote two weekly columns for the paper, recounting personal takes on southeastern Minnesota history ("Back and Forth" on Thursdays) and and on places of worship in the area ("As the Spirit Moves Me" on Saturdays).
He received the Exchange Club's Book of Golden Deeds award in 1966, was simultaneously recognized with WCCO Radio's "Good Neighbor Award" and the Minnesota Handicapped Person of the Year Award in 1977, accepted the Rochester Chamber of Commerce's Ag Person of the Year award in 1996, received the Rotary Club's Paul Harris Award in Chatfield in 1989 and in Rochester in 2006, and was inducted into Minnesota's Pavek Museum of Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2002, among numerous other honors.
Harley met June S. Jury, an exchange nurse from London, England, in Rochester on Christmas Day 1958, and they married nine months later. They shared more than 56 years together, though Alzheimer's has compromised her latest decade. During the pair's international travels, they hosted and guided tours of Spain, Portugal, England, Scotland and Wales. They were active members at Homestead United Methodist Church and later at Christ United Methodist.
Harley is survived by his wife, June; his children, Edward, of Minneapolis, Jeffrey (Chaoying Sun), of Monterey, Calif., Jane (Gary Nie), of Springfield, Mo., and Emily (Veronica Taylor), of Phoenix, Ariz.; and grandchildren, Kristina Flathers of New York, N.Y., and Ethan and Kirby Nie of Springfield, Mo.
The family is greatly indebted to Darlene Charland, to the Reflections unit staff at Shorewood Senior Living Campus, to the dedicated nurses and doctors of Mayo Clinic, and to the fellowship of Christ United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested in Harley's name to the local offices of the Alzheimer's Association of Minnesota and North Dakota, the March of Dimes , the Salvation Army, the Olmsted County History Center, or local not-for-profit organizations of your choice.
Douglas H. Fredlund
, age 61, of Cambridge, died of complications of pneumonia October 25th, 2013, at U of M Medical Center.
Doug was born July 23, 1952, in Braham, Minnesota, graduated from Cambridge-Isanti High School, and spent much of his life in the Cambridge area. The oldest son of Jerry and Audrey Fredlund, he worked at the family Chrysler-Plymouth-Dodge dealership, ran his own rust-proofing business, flew as a commercial pilot, graduated from Brown Institute, and worked as a radio announcer at stations in Cambridge, Princeton, Pine City, Indiana, North Dakota, Minneapolis, and most recently as midday host at KBEK-FM in Mora. He was previously employed at Industries Inc., Custom Research Inc., and graduated from Metropolitan State University in 1995. Doug took community service very seriously and was active in local and state Jaycees, served on the Isanti County Fair Board, and the local Airport Commission. He was named to Outstanding Young Men of America and played his bass guitar with area bands, starting at age 13 with the Good Cheer Guild. Doug loved hunting, fishing, Swedish culture, aviation, computers, the blues, trips to Canada, cabins, and gourmet cooking. Doug made medical history when, in 1996 he was kept alive on the heart transplant waiting list for six months with a left ventricle assist device and received a heart transplant. Seventeen wonderfully healthy years followed.
Verne Clarence Gagne
died Monday, April 27, 2015, at the age of 89. A Robbinsdale native, he was seen as one of the pioneers behind pro wrestling's ascendency to widespread popularity.
World Wrestling Entertainment, which inducted Gagne into its Hall of Fame in 2006, described him as "one of sports-entertainment's most celebrated performers and promoters."
Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, better known as the Iron Sheik, wrote on Facebook that Gagne -- who trained him -- "was his first coach, boss and friend in America."
Gene Okerlund, a pro wrestling announcer who worked with Gagne for more than a decade in the Twin Cities, posted on Twitter that there was "never anybody quite like him."
Gagne, a star high school athlete in Robbinsdale, came to the University of Minnesota to play football and wrestle. He won a Big Ten wrestling title as a freshman in 1944, then served in the Marine Corps, before returning to the U of M in 1946, winning three more conference titles and a pair of NCAA championships and earning a spot on the 1948 Olympic wrestling team. He remains a presence in the university wrestling program to this day: His name is engraved on the wall of champions, his picture is up and the team gives out an annual leadership award named for him. "He's an iconic face in the state of Minnesota for wrestling," said Brandon Eggum, head assistant coach for Gopher wrestling.
After college, Gagne was drafted by the Chicago Bears with a late-round pick in 1947. He opted instead to go into professional wrestling, winning his first match on May 3, 1949, beating Abe "King Kong" Kashey" at the Minneapolis Auditorium.
In 1959 Verne and Wally Karbo bought the "Minneapolis territory" from National Wrestling Alliance promoter Dennis Stecher. They called the new association the AWA or "American Wrestling Alliance." Some time in the 1970s it became the "American Wrestling Association."
That transformed him into a successful promoter as well as performer, winning the AWA World Heavyweight Championship title 10 times between 1960 and 1981. He typically finished off opponents with his trademark "sleeper hold" -- a headlock that appeared to make the defeated man pass out.
The AWA drew sell-out crowds to the St. Paul Civic Center during its heyday in the 1970s and early '80s. The AWA and its syndicated "All-Star Wrestling" television show featured performers such as Jesse "The Body" Ventura, Hulk Hogan, Nick Bockwinkel, Reggie "The Crusher" Lisowski and "Mad Dog" Vachon. Gagne's son Greg also performed for his father in the AWA.
Verne was inducted into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2007.
Verne was preceded in death by wife, Mary; brother, Will; sister, Ruby. He is survived by his children; Donna, Elizabeth, Greg, and Kathleen; a brother, Jerry; half siblings; and six grandchildren. His wife, Mary, passed away in 2002. From twincities.com and George Schire's A.W.A. Record Book: the 1960s.
Lori Fink Garelick
, owner of Lori Fink Productions and a former producer at WCCO, died February 8, 2013, in Minneapolis at the age of 58.
She worked at WCCO-TV from 1979 to 1996. She started her production company in 1997 and was the supervising producer for the nationally syndicated television show Rebecca’s Garden. We had the honor of working with her on the Bedtime Newz retrospective that was shot here and narrated by Don Shelby. She is survived by her husband, Rick, her twin daughters, and many friends.
,the former Minnesota Senator, KMSP news anchor, and owner of Talk-KLTF, AC-KFML, and Country-WYRQ (Q92), died of cancer on October 8, 2013, at the age of 65 with his wife, Chris, at his side.
From 1982 to 1991 he was the senior news anchor at KMSP-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Before that he worked as a news anchor/producer for KFBB-TV in Great Falls, Montana; WSAU-TV in Wausau, Wisconsin; and WIFR-TV in Rockford, Illinois.
In 1985 he formed Sun Ridge Builders, a Twin Cities construction and residential development company, serving as its president and CEO. He was involved in architectural design and the use of solar energy in residential homes.
Grams launched his political career by winning the 1992 Republican nomination, defeating Democratic incumbent Gerry Sikorski. A few months into office, he announced a run for the U.S. Senate, where he was elected in 1994. He served one term as U.S. Senator from 1995-2001.
Grams returned to broadcasting in 2004 with the purchase of three radio stations in Little Falls, Minnesota: Talk KLTF, AC KFML, and Country WYRQ (Q92).
"Senator Grams devoted his life to the people of Minnesota. From his time as a broadcaster to his service in the U.S. Senate, Rod remained humble and committed to serving his community and our state," said Senator Amy Klobuchar.
He is survived by his wife Christine; four children; and several grandchildren.
Grant & Bernice Haium
was born to Ella and Grant Haium June 7, 1920, in Clayton, Wisconsin, and passed away May 17, 2014, in Payson, Arizona. She lived her early years in Clear Lake, Wisconsin. She and her parents moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1941 where she and her father, Grant, performed on KSTP's Sunset Valley Barn Dance
as the "Alfalfa Neers." They also traveled by bus throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin entertaining audiences.
Her father passed away in 1953 and her mother died in 1966. During the last few years, Bernice was a member of the musical group “Marvin & Friends” entertaining seniors and shut-ins. She was known as “The Yodelin’ Granny.” She was probably best known in Payson as “The Ice Cream Lady.” She owned and operated the Ice Cream Igloo. She was also a member of “The Little White Church” where she met and married Don Frazier. Don passed away in 1997.
from The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Claude and Beatrice Heisch
, former WCCO Television film editor passed away April 16 at the age of 89.
Claude was born in Enghien Les Bains, France on August 4, 1925, to Rene and Suzanne (Heisctt) Heisch. He grew up in France where he finished his schooling and worked as a photographer in the French military for four years. He moved to the United States in 1950. On September 14, 1963, he married Beatrice White in St. Louis Park. Claude worked as a film editor at WCCO Television for 39 years before his retirement.
Claude is survived by his wife, Beatrice; sister, Nicole Burda; nieces and nephews.
Anton (Tony) Jambor
, age 84, died unexpectedly, Monday February 15, 2016 at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids.
Tony’s love of music started in the 7th grade. After hearing his uncle play the accordion, Tony was hooked. He raised a bull calf and later sold it to buy his first accordion for $15. He learned to play by listening to music on the radio. Tony’s first playing job was at a Farm Bureau meeting. His payment – a free hot dog. From then on, Tony brought his accordion everywhere, including his time in the Navy during the Korean War aboard the U.S.S. Winston, and on the many trips he took with his wife, Dolores, whom he met at a dance and married in 1954.
Polka music was Tony’s life! While working as a tool and die maker, Tony started his band, The Polka Jamboree. With his band, he played many ballrooms and night clubs throughout Minnesota, and recorded five albums. The Polka Jamboree was a big hit and with his band, Tony launched a television show that aired on WTCN Channel 11 from 1964 – 1968. The show was a success and was only surpassed in Upper Midwest ratings by Lassie.
Tony and Dolores went on to buy the Coliseum Ballroom and later the Bel Rae Ballroom. The ballroom was a family affair, with all three kids working in various roles, Dolores working the till and Tony taking tickets. Tony knew how to throw a party and have fun, and always made sure those around him were having fun, too. Throughout the years, many happy memories were made by family and friends at the Bel Rae. In 2015, Tony was recognized for his many contributions to and years in the music industry when he was inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame.
After nearly 30 years in the ballroom business, Tony and Dolores sold the Bel Rae Ballroom and retired to a hobby farm in Bethel, MN where they raised cattle during the summer. But retirement didn’t stop Tony from continuing to entertain people. Up until his death, he was playing his accordion at VFWs, senior centers, local supper clubs and dance halls. As Tony once said, “I like to be with people. Dancing people are fun people to be around.”
Tony will always be remembered for his generous soul, kind heart, wonderful sense of humor and great stories. Preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Dolores; his son, Greg; his parents; 5 brothers and 3 sisters. Survived by his children: Sue Jambor, Robert (Bernadette) Jambor, and Karen (Doug) Bailey; grandchildren, Alina, David and Jack; brother, Jack; and many family and friends.
Myron Floren, Eddie Lewandowski, and Tony Jambor
jamming out during WTCN's Polka Jamboree in the 1960s.
Donald (DJ Don) Walter Johnson passed away November 27, 2015, in Pahrump, Nev., after an 18-year battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
Don was born February 28, 1933, at Ancker Hospital in St. Paul, Minn. He served in the Army during the Korean War and attended Brown Institute in Minneapolis. He worked 40 years as a radio personality, a job that he loved. He also did TV news early in his career. He worked at WMIN, KTCR, and KEEY in Minneapolis, KDHL in Faribault, Minn., KNFF in Shenandoah, Iowa, and was the first on-air announcer for the then-new WIXK in New Richmond, Wis. He completed his career as program director and on-air personality at KXTZ in Henderson, Nev.
Don is survived by his wife of 32 years, Delores (Dodie) Otto Johnson; sisters Marge Knoke Berget (Eagan, Minn.), Sharon (Roman) Gawreluk (Coon Rapids, Minn.); daughter Stacey Lynn Johnson (Battle Ground, Wash.); five grandchildren; two great-grandsons; and many nieces and nephews. There will be a memorial service at 11:00 am on January 16, 2016, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 151 South Washington Ave., New Richmond, Wis.
passed away Friday, October 17, 2014, at the age of 92. Over more than sixty years in broadcasting, Leigh Kamman became synonymous with jazz. He interviewed stars like Duke Ellington for his high-school paper and, while still a teenager, hosted a late-night jazz show at WMIN Minneapolis/Saint Paul. In 1942 he moved to WEBC Duluth, hosting Symphony in Riffs
from the Flame nightclub. He joined the US Army during World War II and produced and hosted shows for KOA Denver and Armed Forces Radio. After the war he returned to the Twin Cities, producing “We Call It Jazz” concerts and hosting The Swing Club
Kamman moved to WOV New York in 1950, where he broadcast live on station WOV from a specially-built studio in the ballroom of the Palm Hotel in Harlem. It was a place to hear great music, and to be seen. He came back to WLOL in 1956, and later joined KSTP, where he premiered Ella Fitzgerald’s rendition of “Mack the Knife” on his program Image: The ‘60s. From 1973 until he retired in 2007 he hosted THE JAZZ IMAGE™ on Minnesota Public Radio. A 2003 inductee into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame, he was known for his poetic, scene-setting style and his vast knowledge and sincere love of the music. He was an outstanding broadcaster and a tireless champion of America’s only original art form.
Timothy D. Kehr
Timothy D. Kehr
passed away on September 10, 2013, after a brief battle with melanoma.
"Timothy D." was a media personality, Hall of Fame record producer, concert promoter, publisher, advertising executive and was known for his many local television commercial appearances and late night movie programs. He was an avid patron and lover of the arts, music and theater and was a passionate world traveler. Preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth and Grace Kehr and his beloved dog, Nico. Timothy is survived by and will be greatly missed by his wife, Nancy; her daughter, Gigi; best pals, Frankie and Johnny and many dear friends. For a more about TDK go to http://www.jeanneandersen.net/kehrtimothyd.html and radiotapes.com
Rodger Edward Vogel
was born June 9, 1924, in Waukegan, Illinois. He passed away November 28, 2014, in Cook, Minnesota, at the age of 90.
A 2003 inductee into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame, his long career in radio and television began at ABC in 1948, followed by a radio job at WCYB Bristol, Tennessee. He moved to the Twin Cities in 1950 as an announcer at WDGY (now KFAN). He then spent five years at KSTP as morning show host, and also appeared on KSTP TV, hosting the first local television disc-jockey show in the midnight time slot following The Tonight Show.
Rodger worked at WCCO for three years before joining WTCN Radio and TV (now KARE TV) as an announcer, newscaster, and meteorologist. In 1964 he created and hosted Outdoor Funland, one of the first weekly outdoors shows, which aired on WTCN TV until 1969. He also called professional wrestling matches on WTCN TV and around the country for over 25 years, and emceed grandstand shows at the Minnesota State Fair where he became famous for "Rodgerisms" like "Old 'n' Bent Rodger Kent, a name I picked and grew into," "Drop your sheets and grab your socks it's daylight in the swamps!" "His face looks like a bag of doorknobs." "Here's to looking up your old address." "And don't forget to pet your newsboy's dog!" Later he returned to Twin Cities radio at WAYL, KTWN, and KLBB. The winner of a Peabody Award and a Clio Award, he also founded the KSTP Pioneers Newsletter. Rodger is survived by his wife of 33 years, Andrea; and children, Kent, Candace Jensen, and Cheryl Sathrum.
Jerome “Bud” Kraehling
passed away June 3, 2015, at the age of 96. Born in 1919 in Warsaw, Illinois, his broadcasting career began while attending high school in Carthage, Illinois, where he helped out a friend who was a radio announcer. After serving in the Army in the Philippines during World War II, he became an announcer at WTCN Radio, then moved to what is now WCCO-TV in 1949.
He started doing the weather in 1950 with a five-minute report sponsored by Taystee Bread. He would squeeze a fresh-from-the-oven loaf and tell viewers it was “baked while you sleep.” He later upgraded to the “Shell Weather Tower.”
His friends and former colleagues recall Kraehling as kind, fun-loving, and a gentleman. “He rarely initiated conversation, but when people did with him, he was very responsive and easy to talk to,” said close friend Allan Lotsberg, best known as WCCO children’s-show character Willie Ketchum.
After leaving the station in 1996, Kraehling kept busy as a greeter at the Minnesota History Center and a performer at nursing homes. His retirement hobbies included photography, and memorizing songs and poetry “to stave off dementia,” said his daughter, Claudia Kraehling. He remained sharp and active almost to the end, she said, still driving himself to the grocery store up until last month.
His first wife, Natalie, from Virginia, Minnesota, died in 1998. He married singer Shirley Lockwood Larson, whom he met while working the lights for Allan Lotsberg’s New Fogey Follies in 2003. In addition to Lockwood, he is survived by four daughters, Candice Swenson (Ralph), Cinda Kraehling, Claudia Kraehling (Paul Engh), Katie Kraehling, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
In 2012 Tom Oszman interviewed Kraehling, who recalled that Moore once asked him where the weather came from. “From the west,” Kraehling replied. courtesy Kristin Tillotson Star Tribune
, April 21, 1944 - Monday, March 28, 2016
, passed away peacefully at home in St. Michael, Minnesota, surrounded by his family at the age of 71. Mike was born in Two Rivers, Wisconsin to Norman and Ruth Kronforst. He graduated from Washington High School where he met his wife, Gloria, of 51 years. Together, they ventured to the Minneapolis area and settled down to raise their two sons. He was a dedicated father and a wonderful grandfather. A 2009 inductee into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame
, Mike spent decades teaching and helping his students at Brown College learn to be broadcasters and launch careers. He touched the lives of many students over the years and will be remembered as a beloved teacher and mentor. In addition to his wife Gloria, he is survived by his sons Stephen and Mark (Jean) and his grandchildren Logan, Charlie, Jaina, and Drew. Mike was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Patrick.
of Minneapolis, age 85, died peacefully on October 30, 2013.
Myron was a creative iconoclast, a visionary entrepreneur, and a connoisseur of relationships, who built a small family business into the world's largest chain of beauty salons, Regis Corporation, a multi-billion dollar company. He is also the majority owner of Curtis Squire, Inc., which holds 85 percent of KQDS Acquisition Corp, Red River Broadcast Co., LLC, and Red Rock Radio Corp. The companies own the FOX affiliates in the Duluth and Fargo markets, the NBC affiliates in the Sioux Falls market, and 25 radio stations in Duluth, northeastern and north-central Minnesota, and northwestern Wisconsin. See more at: www.legacy.com
Joyce Lamont in 1958
passed away December 28, 2014, at the age of 98.
Born in North Dakota on February 23, 1916, Joyce attended the University of Minnesota before going to work at WCCO in 1950 as continuity director, writing copy for others to read on the radio. Once she got her chance to be on the air she never turned back. She became the voice of Dayton's Musical Chimes, the long-running Best Buys, and many other programs, sharing news, music, recipes, community events, and travel notes.
A charter inductee into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Joyce was one of the best-known and most beloved personalities on the most successful station in the region. In her more than fifty years in broadcasting she became a part of the family for millions of listeners throughout the Midwest and a role model for women in the industry. She worked with the most talented personalities in Minnesota broadcasting, and rejoined some of her old colleagues when she moved to KLBB Minneapolis/Saint Paul in 1989.
Joyce is survived by her niece, Sarah Newcomb; nephew, John Lamont Powell; and dear friend, Dee Larson.
passed away February 25, 2014, at the age of 81. Lange, who graduated from St. Thomas Academy and the University of Minnesota, had a fatal heart attack at his home in the Bay Area community of Mill Valley, California.
Lange’s television career began in the Twin Cities, portraying “Captain 11,” in the mid-1950s on WMIN-TV, Channel 11.
After moving to California Lange eventually rocketed onto the daytime game-show scene appearing as host of ABC's The Dating Game through the 1970s, charming audiences with his smooth voice and wide, easygoing smile.
Lange is survived by his wife, former Miss America Nancy Fleming; a sister, five children, two stepchildren, and four grandchildren.
M. Dale Larsen
Marshall Dale Larsen
, retired broadcasting executive with the Minneapolis Star Tribune Company, passed away July 25, 2014, in Aurora, Colorado at the age of 91.
He was born September 21, 1922, in Red Wing, Minnesota. In January 1956 Dale transferred from the Star and Tribune in Minneapolis to its newly acquired television station, KTVH Channel 12, the CBS affiliate in Wichita-Hutchinson, Kansas. Starting as Marketing/Promotion Manager, he became Assistant General Manager in 1958, General Manager in 1959, and President/General Manager in 1974. In 1980, as Vice President for Broadcasting at the Minneapolis Star and Tribune, he retired from active management of the station to concentrate on acquisition planning and affiliate management. Dale served on the Board of Directors for a number of professional and civic organizations during his career, before taking full retirement in 1982.
A particular soft spot in Dale's heart was his hometown, "Pretty Red Wing." In 1987 he began writing a weekly newspaper column of nostalgia and childhood memories for the Red Wing Daily Republican Eagle. In 1990, using those columns as source material, he began a five-day-a-week/twice-daily radio program on Red Wing's AM radio station, KCUE.
He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Evelyn; daughters Lynne Larsen of Prairie Village, Kansas, Judy Larsen of Mill Creek, Washington, and Kathy Larsen Bruner (Candace Hansen) of Aurora, Colorado; a grandson, granddaughter, a great grandson, two sisters and numerous nieces and nephews. from the Mpls StarTribune, August 10, 2014
Daryl L. Laub
, of Minnetonka, passed away Friday, August 28, 2015, at the age of 90. Preceded in death by wife, Nikki, parents, John & Renata; brothers & wives, Lyman (Gladys), John (Mary) & Douglas (Carolyn). Survived by children, Darcie Bruss (Rick); Ethan Adam (Megan), and grandchildren, Erika Billstrom (Mikel), Hans Hedstrom (Jessica), and Heidi Gerten (Tim); Cate, Shannon & Michael; many nieces, nephews and extended family.
Daryl and Nikki formed quite a team when they spent their early years setting up and running small radio stations in the South in the late 1940s. They were the on-air personalities, producing & voicing radio dramas for CBS, voicing commercials, and managing the stations. After returning to Minnesota, they built their home in Sherwood Forest and raised their family, remaining in the house until Daryl moved to The Glenn in Minnetonka. Daryl stayed in broadcasting, as a children's show TV personality (TNTatters & Captain Daryl) & then in radio, taking on multiple sales & management roles in his 29 years at KQRS. He loved his family, fishing, golf & lunch with his broadcast friends, traveling with Nikki, & later, Darcie & Ethan, watercolor painting and watching his grandchildren grow up. He was devoted to his church & volunteered with the Men's Club, read Scripture at Sunday services, and shared his many stories with everyone who was within earshot. The family extends a special thank you to his family of caregivers & friends at The Glenn in Glen Lake.
Herbert H. Lee
Herbert H. Lee
passed away at age 91 in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, on April 4, 2013.
Herb was born on February 20, 1922, in Ellendale, Minnesota. While studying at the University of Minnesota, Herb worked at the Army-Navy Lab (1945-1947) and built his first radio station, KDHL, in Faribault, Minnesota. In 1954 Herb purchased radio station WKTY from the La Crosse Tribune and moved to La Crosse with his wife, Elaine, and two young children. He later began a second radio station, WSPL-FM, and operated both stations until his retirement in 1984. Herb was a humble and quiet philanthropist who was committed to many charitable causes in the Coulee Region. Herb’s generosity and love touched many lives. Herb is survived by his eight children, Stephanie (Robin) Swartz, Mark (Joni) Lee, Roberta (Ed) Johnson, Brian (Connie) Lee, Steve (Susan) Lee, Tom (Carol) Lee, Maureen (Ron) Mangseth, and Melissa (Bryan) Stebel; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Harris Willard “Bill” Linder
passed away October 1, 2013, at the age of 92.
Known to most as Bill, he could trace his involvement in radio back to 1940, when his parents, Harris Sr. and Irene Linder, moved to Willmar to establish KWLM Radio. Bill, then a student at the University of Minnesota, was pressed into service as an announcer for the fledgling radio station. Bill’s father sold advertising and his mother ran the office, Steve Linder said. “My dad did everything else out of necessity.”
After a stint in the U.S. Navy as a radio and radar instructor, Linder rejoined the family business with his brother, Don Linder. Over the next couple of decades the Linder family established KMHL Radio in Marshall, KDMA in Montevideo, KWLM-FM (now KQIC) in Willmar and KMHL-FM in Marshall. The Linders also started the franchising agreement that brought Muzak to west central Minnesota.
Bill Linder’s contributions to Minnesota broadcasting were recognized within the industry. He was on the board of directors of the Minnesota Broadcasters Association and became a charter inductee in the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2001.
Community giving and service were important parts of Bill's life, serving and giving to many charitable organizations in the Willmar area. The Willmar Area Community Foundation awarded him and his family its Award in Philanthropy in 2010.
KTOE and KDOG Radio founder Don Linder
passed away Tuesday, March 10, in Mankato at the age of 89. Don has been an important figure in broadcasting in southern Minnesota for more than sixty-five years.
In 1950 he and his father, Harry, and brother, Bill, built KTOE in Mankato.
Other stations added to the Mankato group include KDOG (now Hot 967), KXLP, KXAC, KATO-FM, and AM1230 The Fan Mankato.
Through the years he has also had ownership interest in radio stations in Marshall, St. James, Montevideo, Worthington, and Hutchinson, as well as in Pella and Fort Dodge, Iowa. Don was inducted into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2001.
Don has been active in many community organizations and has stressed his stations' important role in community life, emphasizing local news and sports, and choosing announcers who are active in the community.
Don was preceded in death by his wife Margaret in 2008, and son, Jeff. He is survived by sons Doug, John, Bruce, and Tom and their families.
died of pancreatic cancer at her home in Glen Allen, California, on February 14, 2015, at the age of 60.
After her first job out of college with a CBS radio affiliate in northern Virginia, she joined the Associated Press Radio Network in Washington, D.C., and covered the White House, the State Department, Congress, the Supreme Court and all federal agencies. Lindquist left radio news for television in 1980 and joined the start-up crew of CNN news, going on to anchor CNN from Los Angeles.
In 1985 she moved to Minneapolis and anchored the news on WUSA/KARE, Channel 11, and then moved to KSTP, Channel 5.
In what was probably Lindquist’s most dramatic experience on Twin Cities television, she and KARE co-anchor Paul Magers were joined by meteorologist Paul Douglas on the set as the Fridley tornado of July 1986 destroyed 68 acres of the Springbrook Nature Center while uprooting century-old trees and mature forest habitat during its 16 minutes on the ground.
Lindquist is survived by her mother, Mickey Cooke, and stepfather Erik Holbek of Glen Ellen; brothers Scott Lindquist of Santa Fe, N.M., and Suren Holbek of Wildwood, Calif., and sister Mona Lindquist of San Anselmo, Calif. courtesy StarTribune Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482
Retired WCCO Radio transmitter-site engineer Al Loehlein
was found deceased in his home in Anoka on November 26. He was a World War II veteran who loved to hunt, fish and make maple syrup, said his nephew, Bart Ward, who is a member of Anoka’s anti-crime commission. “He was 95 going on 75,” said Ward.
passed away at his home in Annapolis, Maryland on October 4, 2013, at the age of 71 due to complications of Parkinson's disease.
Loescher grew up in Chicago and began his career in broadcasting when he was a student at Indiana State University. He broke ground in the late 1960s and the 1970s with his consumer-oriented Action News segment for WCCO-TV. In the 1980s he kept viewers up on important national and world news as chief of the station’s Washington bureau. Loescher, who also worked at KSTP-TV, left journalism briefly to serve as press secretary for then-U.S. Sen. Walter Mondale, but returned to his craft after Mondale became vice-president in 1977. Loescher ended his career as a CNN correspondent in 2004. To see video of Skip Loescher go to http://tcmedianow.com/tag/skip-loescher
passed away September 16, at the age of 61. Grace was with Disco 104 KFMX-FM where she did morning drive and, with partner Kelly Loring (aka Cyn Bolsta), was one the first female duos in Minneapolis/St. Paul. She later worked at Metro Traffic Control as a market-wide traffic reporter appearing on several stations and later exclusively as an air personality on KS95 (KSTP-FM). She was the proprietor of V2 Consulting, cofounder of Whipped Inc., and cofounder, CFO and COO at Frattalone & Associates. Grace’s achievements include multiple media and volunteer awards, hospice service awards, ballroom dance awards, and Corvette racing awards. Grace was a dedicated volunteer for many years at the Matt Blair Golf Classic, Red Cross, Reading for the Blind, and Hospice of the Twin Cities.
Grace was preceded in death by parents, Joseph and Josephine Lorenzi; brother, John; and sister, Dorothy. She will be greatly missed and eternally loved by spouse, Steve Frattalone; sisters, Carol, Joan, and Mary; brother, Al; aunt, Jean Rice; nieces and nephews, Joe & John Lorenzi, Emilia, Dominic, and Armando Lorenzi, Scott Hagerly and Julie Vitmire and countless others who loved her.
Paulene Carol Martin
, born May 6, 1947, to Harvey and Fern Churness in Bagley, Minnesota, died Thursday, June 12, 2014, at her home surrounded by her loving family.
A 1965 graduate of Two Harbors High School, Paulene was set up on a blind date with Dennis Martin in October 1966. Ninety days later they were united in marriage on January 7, 1967, in Jordan, Minnesota.
Paulene and Dennis shared a special life together raising three daughters and working alongside each other at several radio stations that Dennis managed throughout the years, most recently at KGHS-KSDM in International Falls, although it was Albert Lea, Minnesota, that was always considered the family home. Their career also took them to Hibbing, Minnesota, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Brainerd, Minnesota, and Fergus Falls, Minnesota.
She was preceded in death by her parents; daughter, Jaren Rae Martin; and a brother, Mark Churness. Survivors include her husband of 47 years, Dennis Martin of International Falls; daughters Jolene (Steve) Svendsen of Albert Lea, Minnesota, Janelle (Gary) Turbett of Albert Lea, and Jillan (Marshall) Doyle of Clarkfield, Minnesota; grandchildren Joshua, Brandon, Shea, Blake, Drew, Brett, and Emma; brothers Mike (Jaren) Churness of Two Harbors and Mitch (Nancy) Churness of Two Harbors; sisters Charline (Vern) Hentz of Minneapolis, Robin (Greg) Hanson of Two Harbors, and Leslie (Gary) Carlson of Two Harbors; brother-in-law Gene (Cheryl) Martin of Belle Plaine, Minnesota; sister-in-law Diane Martin of Shakopee, Minnesota; and several very special nieces and nephews. from the International Falls Journal
Elizabeth Louise "Betty" May
, age 81, of Minnetonka, passed away October 2, 2013.
A longtime employee of WCCO Television, she was preceded in death by her parents, John and Rose May; siblings, Verena, LeRoy, Richard and Rosemary. Survived by brothers, Elmer and Harvey (Elaine) May; sister, Patricia (Arnold) Utsch; nieces, nephews, great and great-great nieces and nephews; cousins and friends. - See more at: www.legacy.com
, the original WDIO weatherman, died December 8, 2013, at the age of 91. From the 1950s to the 1980s Jack McKenna was the "weatherman to beat" on Northland Radio and TV.
After graduating from Denfeld High School in 1940 he attended the University of Minnesota Duluth before serving as a meteorologist in the Air Force during World War II, predicting the weather for bombing raids. He returned home and began his career in 1946 at WDSM radio, then located on Connor’s Point in Superior.
McKenna ruled the airwaves in the Twin Ports from the time the first television station went on the air until 1989. He was the lead weatherman in Duluth-Superior for over four decades, beginning in 1954 on WDSM-TV. After a short stint in Minneapolis as Sergeant Scotty on WTCN Channel 11 in the early 1960s he moved back to Duluth to be WDIO-TV's first weatherman in 1966.
In a poll taken in 1977 Jack was voted most popular on-air personality in the Duluth-Superior market. He was known for his warm and friendly personality and his ability to sell everything from M & K Clothing and Kentucky Fried Chicken to Bridgeman’s Ice Cream during his commercial breaks.
He was just as famous during the day with kids throughout the region. He hosted a program of afternoon movies, cartoons, and Laurel and Hardy shorts on WDSM, playing the role of Captain Q -- with his rubber parrot Angus and Shortcake the Chimp -- onboard a mysterious pirate ship. Years later he also hosted a program of late-night horror flicks on WDIO, playing the role of Professor Fantastic.
During the 1970s he left the Twin Ports and took his talent to the major markets of San Francisco, Denver, Minneapolis, Tucson, and Houston before returning to his home area again on WDSM-TV (now KBJR) and then another stint on WDIO.
His career spanned 65 years including his 12 years hosting Radio Superior with Lew Martin and the late Ray Paulsen on KUWS-FM in Superior, where he made his home.
Along with his wife Marge he raised three sons -- Brian, John, and Kevin.
courtesy http://denfeldalumni.com/denfeld-hall-of-fame-jack-mckenna.cfm and Steve Iverson CultTVman
, age 66, of Minnetonka, passed away peacefully November 6, 2013, in Minneapolis. Bob spent the first 17 years of his 35 year teaching career as the station manager of KBEM-FM and the coordinator of the KBEM Radio Broadcast Magnet. He ended his career at SouthWest High School.
Michael G. “Mike” Morrissey
, April 2, 1940 – November 30, 2015, was the longtime KDHL sports director in Faribault, Minn.