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Minnesota Broadcast Obituaries N - Z
(2013 - 2016)

N

By Napier
Byron “By” E. Napier, Jr. March 22, 1928 – November 12, 2015, was a nationally recognized writer-producer for WCCO Radio for nineteen years – the last ten concentrated in administration as program director. His University of Arkansas years were focused (“way too much,” his advisors would tell you) on the theatre, motion pictures, popular music – and a bright, comely fellow student of grace and good humor named Mary Gay Greer. He often spoke of lying awake in university days listening to big-band music live from ballrooms across the country on clear-channel WCCO – and dreaming of being part of such a magical world.

By’s work life began at broadcast stations in Oklahoma and Wisconsin. He was a popular disk jockey in Eau Claire, Wis., and hosted one of the early teenage dance shows on local television. By is particularly remembered at WCCO Radio for his extensive bicentennial-year programming, including: America, We Hear You Singing!, a 60- part perspective on two centuries of American music, and an acclaimed series of “conversations” with figures from the nation’s past: Mark Twain, Theodore Roosevelt, Will Rogers, Abraham Lincoln, and Ben Franklin, among others. By shaped the “interviews” from the personalities’ own words; Charlie Boone and Roger Erickson portrayed the guests. His series of 360 vignettes, Northwest Chronicles, won the coveted Bicentennial Award of Ohio State University’s Institute for Education by Radio-TV. Governor Wendell R. Anderson cited By and his wife, Gay, for “outstanding contributions to Minnesota’s observation of the American Bicentennial.”

A literacy advocate, he tutored immigrants in English words and American ways under the auspices of the Minnesota Literacy Council. By was preceded in death by his cherished wife and best friend, Mary Gay Greer Napier. He is survived by sister-in-law Allyene, and nieces and nephews.


Skip Nelson
Skip Nelson, former KSTP news photographer, a pioneer in news and NFL films, died of complications from Parkinson’s disease on October 9, 2013, at the age of 83.

When he was a student at St. Paul’s Mechanic Arts High School, Nelson hung around KSTP on University Avenue, making himself indispensable to the one-man photo staff. He was hired in 1948 and worked there for the next 50 years, retiring as director of photography. “The guy was just a terrific human being and a real photojournalist, one of the first in television,” said Stanley S. Hubbard, CEO of Hubbard Broadcasting.

For more about Skip go to http://www.museumofbroadcasting.org/Nelson.htm


Phil Nolan
Philip E. Nolan passed away on September 4, 2015, from complications related to Alzheimer’s disease. He was surrounded by his family at his home in Naples, Fla. Known to friends as Phil, he lived a full and wonderful life.

He was born on November 11, 1933 in Chicago, Ill., the oldest child of Philip and Evelyn Nolan, and big brother to Mary Jo. Shortly after graduating from Brook High School, Brook, Indiana, Phil joined the Army. He was proud of his service during the Korean war and said he owed much of his character to his time in South Korea. Phil found great joy in his family. He married Kathleen (Fredstrom) in 1956 and shared 40 years raising their four children; Kellie (Bryon McCartney), Tom (Jan), Michael (Dr. Julene Nolan), Anne (David Snow).

After Katy’s death in 1997, Phil found love once again and married his favorite Brit, Lynn (Irving), in August 2000. They made their home in Naples and shared the joys of family, friends, tennis, and travels around the world.

In his own words, Phil had his dream career. Starting as a page at NBC in Chicago, Phil’s lifetime in broadcasting took him and his family from Minnesota to Oklahoma, Utah, Connecticut, Chicago, and back to Minnesota, where he retired as owner of KAUS AM/FM, Austin and KEEZ FM, Mankato. He is remembered by his work families as a caring boss who helped them achieve their best. In his work, Phil crossed paths with many celebrities. His John Wayne and Paul Newman stories, especially, will be passed along and embellished for generations.

Phil was an asset to every community he lived in, and served as a leader for many charitable and professional organizations. He was especially proud of his 20+ years as a Rotarian, his involvement with the Austin Chamber of Commerce, United Way, and the Minnesota Broadcasters Association. He was deeply honored to be inducted into the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

A loving, kind, and remarkable man, Phil was truly one of the good guys. He was a treasure to his family and the many wonderful friends who were part of his life. He will be remembered for his humor and stories, his integrity and fairness, his love of music and knowledge of news. Phil left the world a better place than he found it.

Phil is survived by his wife, Lynn; his four children; nine grandchildren: Justin, Jason, Jack, Meg, Charlie, Caroline, Anna Kate, Avrie, and Emma; two great-granddaughters, Madison and Natalie; three nieces: Jeanne, Nancy, and Sally; and his nephew, Chris.

Courtesy the Nolan family


O

Glen E. Olson
Glen “Big Daddy” E. Olson passed away on July 15, 2013, at the age of 72.

After working at KNOX and WDAZ Radio in Grand Forks in the 1960s Glen came to the Twin Cities where he worked for WWTC from 1971 to 1975, occasionally appearing as G. Edward Foshay before replacing Fast Eddie in the morning. He also worked for WDGY, WCCO (hosting the Top of The Morning Show), WLOL-AM and FM, KMGK, KTWN, and WLTE. He did voice work at KMSP-TV in the mid/late 1980s and into the ‘90s. He is universally remembered by radio people who knew him as a genuinely nice guy with a great sense of humor.

Glen is survived by his mother, Evelyn Olson; wife Delores; children Steven (Heather) Olson, Linda (Jeff) Sullivan, Kristi (Gino) Gori, Kent (Molly) Olson; grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and many other relatives. From Fiasco at 1280 by J.R. Lonto and RadioTapes.com.


Mary O'Neill
Mary O'Neill, age 63, of Roseville passed peacefully September 5, 2016. Mary spent 30+ years in the Twin Cities television and radio industry and was currently an Account Executive with KS95, Hubbard Broadcasting. Mary was involved with a great many charities over the years, both on and off the job. Most recently she was a board member of Twin Cities In Motion, a member of the Minnesota State Leadership Board of the American Cancer Society , and was very involved with Spare Key. Mary brightened any room she entered with her smile and enthusiasm and was an inspiration and mentor to many.

P

Mel Paradis
Mel Paradis passed away on December 12, 2014, at the age of 75, after a yearlong battle with cancer.  Mel was born on June 2, 1939, in Marshall, Minnesota.

Mel's outstanding broadcast career began in 1973, working with KLGR AM & FM in Redwood Falls. He purchased the station in 1976 and later owned KMSR FM in Sauk Centre. In 1986 he sold KLGR AM & FM to CD Broadcasting and shortly thereafter became that company’s Chief Operating Officer. During that time he also became Vice President of Operations for Children’s Broadcasting, both companies based in Minneapolis. In 1988 he and his son Brett purchased KXRA AM & FM in Alexandria and by 2000 had added KXRZ FM. From 1990 to 1995 Paradis and his son Tim owned KBJJ FM in Marshall. He continued to hold ownership in Paradis Broadcasting of Alexandria and remained as CEO and Chairman of the Board. Mel was inducted into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2008.

A key figure in the growth of the Minnesota Broadcasters Association, he served on its board for 12 years, starting as secretary in 1975, and serving as president in 1985 and 1986. A community as well as industry leader, Paradis has served on the Redwood Falls City Council and has been president of United Way, Jaycees, Rotary International, Chamber of Commerce, and Minnesota Inventors Congress, and was recognized with his community’s Distinguished Service Award.

Mel is survived by his wife, Dee; children, Brett (and Barb) Paradis of Alexandria; Jacqueline Paradis of Plymouth; Tim (and Shar) Paradis of Forest Lake; and six grandchildren: Megan, Drew, Connor, Caroline, Zachary and Olivia and sister, Donna Vandeputte of Marshall.


Jane Manske
Patyk
Jane Manske, Jimmy Wells,
Louise Manske, Ardis Wells,
and Lucille Manskeat
at Phalen Park in 1957
Jane Manske Patyk passed away December 23, 2014. The last of the singing Manske Sisters and president of the Jimmy and Ardis Wells Fan Club, Jane was born on June 15, 1930, in Glyndon, Minnesota.

A strong promoter and supporter of country-western music, Jane was the driving force behind many of the Twin Cities gatherings, including the first Country Western Reunion at the Pavek in 1990. Jane is survived by her brother, Franklin, and many nieces and nephews.


Rod PersonRod Person
Rodney (Rod) Person, “The Voice,” was born November 3, 1935, in Elk River, Minnesota. He died March 12, 2016, at home in Minneapolis. Rod enjoyed a career in radio and television in the Twin Cities from 1959-2000. He started at KANO Radio in Anoka in 1959, before going to WDGY where he was a rock ‘n’ roll disk jockey until 1965. During those years he was asked to audition for the local teen dance show "Date with Dino" on Channel 9. In 1965 he became a booth announcer at KSTP-TV Channel 5 where he worked for the next 35 years as a writer, producer, and staff announcer before retiring in 2000. Some of his favorite roles at the station included producing the Viking broadcasts on KSTP-AM during the four Super Bowl years, hosting the Abbott & Costello Show, Ski Scene, Bowling For Dollars, and substitute hosting for Steve & Sharon on Good Company. For over 30 years he was the voice of the Minnesota Marching Band at football games and indoor concerts and he traveled with the band to Spain, Mexico, and England. He also was the announcer for the Bloomington Medalist Concert Band at summer concerts in the park performed throughout the Twin Cities. Rod's love of travel took him to many countries and often to Hawaii.

June Persons
June Persons passed away December 10, 2013, at the age of 97. A charter inductee into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame, June was born on June 30, 1916, in Barnum, Minnesota. She graduated from Duluth Central High School where she was an excellent student, member of the band, and voted the most likely to become the first woman President.  The closest she got was interviewing Ronald Reagan while she and her husband Charlie operated Radio Station KVBR in Brainerd.

June entered broadcasting in 1941 at WEBC Duluth, acting in a locally produced daily situation comedy called The Woman I Love. That is where she met Charles Persons, her husband to be, and also a member of the Hall of Fame. They were married in 1945. June and Charlie built WELY Ely in 1954. They operated the station for five years before selling and moving to California. They returned to Minnesota and eventually built another station, KVBR Brainerd, in 1964. They sold KVBR in 1982, bought it back in 1986, and finally retired in 1994.

Besides her management work, she was also an important on-air figure at KVBR, and was known for her daily program Frills and Fancies. She has interviewed countless celebrities, including President Ronald Reagan, Ginger Rogers, Art Linkletter, Don Ho, the great chefs of Europe, and even the famous TV dog Lassie, bringing the world to Minnesota listeners.

A very active and social person, June was a Board member of the Heartland Symphony, and many civic organizations including Zonta Club, League of Women Voters, Nisswa Garden Club, and American Women in Radio and Television.

June is survived by four sons: Garry of Edina,  Mark (Paula) & Scott (Bozena) of Brainerd, and Robert of Eden Prairie.  Four grandchildren: Paul (Shelly)Persons  of Duluth, Tabatha (Rob) Calvin of Lakeville, Lori (Kevin) Heit and Kara Persons of Helena, MT. She is also survived by 7 great-grandchildren, June was preceded in death by her husband, Charles in 1998, her younger twin brothers Charles and Robert Persons, along with her older sister Virginia Belcher.


Jeanne Arland
Peterson
Jeanne Arland Peterson, matriarch of the musical Peterson family, passed away June 23, 2013, at the age of 91.

A 2005 inductee into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame, musician extraordinaire Jeanne Arland Peterson used her voice and piano talents to become one of the greatest radio and television entertainers in Minnesota history. A child prodigy, she began playing piano at age three, and didn’t have a formal lesson until she was fifteen, learning only then the names of the notes and chords she’d been playing all along. While still in high school, she landed a job as staff vocalist and pianist with WCCO Radio. Backed by her husband, Willie Peterson, who led the station’s orchestra, she delighted WCCO listeners for more than twenty years. After Willie died of cancer in 1969, she took over his gig as Minnesota Twins organist at the old Met Stadium in Bloomington while raising her five children alone. Jeanne was known for her charitable work with organizations such as the Association for Retarded Citizens. She and Judy Garland are the only women members of the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame. Jeanne is survived by her sister, Rita Loken (Herb); children Linda Peterson-DeLaire (John), Billy Peterson, Patty Peterson- Paster (Stuart), Ricky Peterson (LouAnn), and Paul Peterson (Julie); many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


Bob Potter
Bob Potter, age 88 of the Waters of Plymouth, passed away peacefully on May 5, 2016.

Survived by loving wife of 65 years, Kathleen "Kitty"; sons, William Potter, John (Kay) Potter; grandchildren, Natalia (Dylan) Pope, Russell (Abi) Potter, Matthew Potter, Keenan and Kelsey Lilyquist; great-grand-children, Samantha and Madeline Pope. Preceded in death by sister, Joan Frances Potter. Bob was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and came to the United States with his sister Joan at the age of 10. Bob was a graduate of Duluth Central High School and the University of Minnesota Duluth. He served in the military as a Navy pilot. Following Bob's military service he began his announcing career and started racing. He was part of the original NASCAR circuit racing in the First Daytona 500. He began his career with WCCO TV hosting "Let's Go Traveling" and "The Business Scene" as well as other TV shows. After WCCO TV he continued his career as master of ceremonies at the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand Show for many years. He moved on to become the ring master for the Zuhrah Shrine Circus and was a long time master of ceremonies for the Zuhrah Shrine Ceremonial Unit.


Greg Pratt
Greg Pratt, former WCCO TV producer, from 1979 to 1985, died of a heart attack on January 28, 2015, at the age of 64. Described as fearless, tenacious, and curious with a passion for storytelling and a keen ability to put words and pictures together, Pratt tackled compelling topics in the award-winning documentaries he produced for WCCO-TV’s Moore Report and PBS’ Frontline.

“He was brilliant,” said former WCCO-TV anchor Don Shelby. “The Moore Report was the gold standard, and everybody in the business around the country knew it. Greg brought a wonderful eye and style to the Moore Report. ”

Pratt, who grew up in the Buffalo, N.Y., area, earned his graduate degree at the University of Minnesota and participated in University Community Video.

Some of Pratt’s work is archived at the Minnesota Historical Society, the University of Georgia Peabody collection and the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Honors include Scripps-Howard Public Service in Television, a National Association of Television Programming Executives Iris Award and UPI Documentary award.

Pratt is survived by his father, Eugene, of Clearwater, Fla.; brothers E. Douglas Pratt, of Roswell, Ga., David Pratt, of Grand Island, N.Y., and Michael Pratt, of Williamsville, N.Y.; and sister Marcia Martin, of Dallas.     courtesy StarTribune Tim Harlow • 612-673-7768


R

Jim Ragsdale photo courtesy
John Doman,
Pioneer Press

Jim Ragsdale, a former Pioneer Press reporter and editorialist and Star Tribune reporter -- died Tuesday morning, November 18, at his home in Minneapolis, from complications related to pancreatic cancer. He was 64.

Everyone in the Twin Cities news business admired Jim Ragsdale for his gentle wit and seamless writing. His award-winning coverage of Governor Jesse Ventura and the Red Lake school shootings left a mark on the state’s political landscape. Although primarily a newspaper reporter, he also worked for a brief time in the Minnesota Public Radio newsroom in the 1980s and was a frequent guest on TPT’s Almanac program. Along with serious coverage of political topics Ragsdale left his mark on the theatrical front - from producing plays to making mockumentaries to writing poems about parking bans. He is survived by his wife Mary and children Ben, Ann, and Catherine.


Toni Randolph

Toni Randolph, an award-winning journalist at Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) who championed diverse voices in news stories and newsrooms and mentored the next generation of young reporters, died on Sunday, July 3, 2016. She was 53.

Randolph joined MPR as a reporter in 2003 and covered everything from the St. Paul Winter Carnival to homelessness and immigration issues. She was named news editor for new audiences in June 2010; at that time, it was a new position aimed at connecting with ethnically diverse Minnesotans.

In a memo to colleagues Sunday, MPR's executive director for news and programming, Nancy Cassutt, said Randolph died "while undergoing surgery for cancer treatment."

The memo continued, "Because Toni was such a private person, many of us did not even know she was sick but she had been fighting cancer for more than three years. [Her brother] Morgan told me … that she came to work in pain and many of us just didn't know."

Randolph, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., was a news director at her local public radio station and covered state politics at a Boston station before joining MPR. She earned a master's degree at the Columbia School of Journalism and went on fellowships to China and Liberia.

She was a prolific reporter, with 22 stories listed on MPR's web page in 2010 alone. In 2013, she wrote a personal essay about Macy's closing its store in downtown St. Paul. Earlier this year, she wrote an obituary on a Somali youth activist.

She was passionate about training high school and college journalists, particularly those of color. She worked as a mentor for the University of St. Thomas' ThreeSixty Journalism program and was a journalism camp full mentor for the first time in 2013.

A student journalist interviewed Randolph that year, asking what made her want to work with teens.

"Teens are excited about the work they do," she said. "They show up, they want to work and they do the story or project — whatever it is they're working on. And when teens are excited about the work they do, that helps me get even more excited about the work I'm doing."

Randolph was honored with the Widening the Circle Award from ThreeSixty Journalism in 2014. She dedicated the award to her mother.

"I don't feel like I am widening the circle," she said. "I feel like I'm completing one."

In 2015, her Young Reporters Series won a Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media.

She also was active in the national and local chapters of the National Association of Black Journalists.

"Just as Toni inspired countless young people, she has been one of the strongest voices for diversifying newsrooms — including our own," Cassutt wrote in her memo. "May we all follow Toni's example and build on her amazing legacy."

Jon McTaggart, CEO of American Public Media, said in another memo Sunday that Randolph was "a gifted and dedicated journalist."

"Toni has been an important part of the fabric of Minnesota Public Radio," he wrote. "She made countless, meaningful contributions to our public service. She believed in our mission, and she believed in her colleagues and friends. She will be greatly missed, every day."

courtesy startribune.com and mprnews.com


Gary Rawn
Gary Rawn passed away from complications of diabetes on April 23, 2013.

After growing up in Flaxton, North Dakota, he went to college in California, joined the military, served in Vietnam, became a semipro basketball player, worked as a DJ, became a television anchor, a policeman, a travel agent, a politician, and unfortunately in 1977, a widower. After his wife, Terry, passed away Gary moved with his mother and his two young children to Prescott, Wisconsin, where he continued to spin records, doing afternoons at WWTC-AM 1280 from 1983 to 1984 and morning drive on KJJO-FM 104 from 1984 to 1987. After a brief fling as a ringside announcer for the American Wrestling Association Gary purchased the Somerset Star newspaper and soon after, the Prescott Journal, where he excelled, receiving more than one hundred state and national awards – including “Newspaper of the Year.” Unfortunately, his failing health forced him to move into the Minnesota Veterans home in 2009, where he stayed until he passed away in April. He is survived by his mother, Leora; daughter Jana; son Devin; sister Trish; son-in-law Rick; daughter-in-law Charisse; and grand kids Noah, Kaia, Brookelyn, Vinnie, Bailey and Nika. Courtesy Prescott Journal, Prescott, Wisconsin; J.R. Lonto, author of It Happened on the Air, and Tom Gavaras, creator of RadioTapes.com.


Don Riley

Don Riley, November 10, 1923 – December 31, 2015
Don Riley was born in New Richmond, Wisconsin, and grew up in Minneapolis. He got his start in the newspaper business as a copyboy for the Minneapolis Tribune and went to the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Dispatch in 1943 to cover high school sports. In 1960 he started writing the “Eye Opener” for the morning Pioneer Press.

According to Patrick Reusse, “It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Riley sold more newspapers with his ‘Eye Opener’ column than anyone in the history of Ridder-owned newspapers in St. Paul.”

Riley maintained his role as a controversial, must-read story-teller, writing six columns a week, right up until his retirement in 1988.

When he wasn’t riling-up Green Bay Packers fans with his morning newspaper column, Riley was a prolific author, television and radio host, raconteur, and entrepreneur. According to an autobiographical note in Gallivan’s Gang: “At 20, he played golf at a charity tourney with Minneapolis mayor Marvin Kline. At 22, he was broadcasting wrestling and boxing matches from the Minneapolis Auditorium. At 23 he engineered a hot rod race at the fairgrounds track which drew 24,000 fans. At 25 he spent his own money to cover the legendary Notre Dame-SMU football contest in Dallas and won an award for proficient writing. By 26, he began covering the legendary five world’s title drives of George Mikan and the Minneapolis Lakers pro kingpins.”

Riley hosted Sports Roundtable on WMIN TV (Channel 11) with Frank Beutel and made regular appearances on WTCN, WMIN, WCCO, and WLOL Radio.

Don was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Dottie Williams Riley. He is survived by daughters, Sheila Riley Becker (John), Shannon Riley Genereux (Joe), and five grandkids.

A mass and celebration of Don's life is planned for Friday, January 15th at St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church, 4741 Bald Eagle Avenue, White Bear Lake at 11:00 a.m. with a visitation starting at 9:30 am. A luncheon and time to share memories will follow. Memorials preferred to: Catholic Charities or Can DoCanines (assistance dogs for the disabled). Mueller Memorial Lake Mortuary 651-429-4944 MuellerMemorial.com


Gerry Robbins

Gerald Robbins, age 85 of Pine City.

Gerald “Gerry” Robbins passed away Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at Lakeside Medical Center in Pine City at the age of 85. He was born on February 24, 1931 to Arthur Edward and Anna Marie (Noden) Robbins in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Gerry graduated from Mound High School and Brown Institute in Minneapolis.

Gerry was employed as an announcer for: KRBA in Lufkin, Texas, KTRF in Thief River Falls, and sales representative for KTOE in Mankato and sales manager for KAGE in Winona. He was general manager for KXGN television and radio in Glendive, Montana.

In 1967 Gerry became the owner of WCMP AM and built WCMP FM in the late 1980s in Pine City. Gerry worked tirelessly through the years building WCMP AM/FM until selling both AM/FM in 1992.

He was a member of the Minnesota Speaker’s Association, the International Platform Association and served as President of the Minnesota Broadcaster’s Association.

He was also the owner of the “Profit Builder” speaking and conducting seminars throughout many states and Canada.

Over the years Gerry was named in “Who’s Who in Minnesota” and was named Pine City’s Citizen of the Year in 1979.

Gerry’s hobbies included flying his Piper Arrow aircraft, fishing, hunting and relaxing at their cabin on Lake Vermilion.

Gerry is survived by his loving wife Jane of Pine City, many, nieces, nephews, cousins, countless friends, business acquaintances and his four legged companions the “M&M’s” Missy and Muffie.  He is preceded in death by his parents Arthur and Anna Robbins, sisters June Kozan and Mary Ann Bruhn.


Jim Rohn
Jim Rohn was born April 4, 1926, in Alsen, North Dakota, to George and Susan Rohn. He passed away January 5, 2015, at the age of 89.

A 2003 inductee into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Jim Rohn touched the lives of thousands of listeners and viewers in Minnesota and North Dakota in a career that spanned more than six decades.

After serving as a US Navy radioman during World War II, he attended Brown Institute in Minneapolis, and entered broadcasting at KSJB Jamestown, North Dakota, and KXJB TV Fargo. His many duties included weather reporting, news anchoring, and production. He produced and hosted such programs as Polka Party, High School Teen Quiz, Greener on Your Side, Fin & Feather, and Welcome Inn. He was also known and loved by a generation of Fargo/Moorhead area children as “Captain Jim.”

In 1972 he moved to Alexandria, where he became weather director at KCMT FM and at KCMT TV (now KCCO TV). He joined KIKV FM Alexandria in 1990, serving as news director and appearing on the popular Rick and the Morning Crew show, as well as Weather Talk on KB101 FM Bemidji. Active in numerous community and charitable organizations, he was an integral part of the annual Radiothon to End Child Abuse. He retired in December 2014 and moved to Fargo.

Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Lois; daughter, Julie Ann; sisters, Jacklyn and Doris and his parents. He is survived by his daughters, Marianne (Bruce) Dakota, Polly (Dallas) Jorgenson, and Jean (Kelly) Rohn; grandchildren, Tonya Grandbois-Smith, Amber Kerr, and Dallas James Jorgenson; great grandchildren, Forrest, Liam, Eve, and Ronin; sisters, Dorothy Farley, Marilyn Graffenberger, and many friends and fans. 


Ron Rosenbaum

Ron Rosenbaum, prominent Twin Cities attorney and longtime radio host, died Sunday, May 29, 2016, from an aggressive form of cancer at the age of 68. The middle child of Ilene and the late Sam Rosenbaum, he graduated from the University of Minnesota magna cum laude with a degree in history.

Rosenbaum was the former host of Holding Court, a regular guest on The Dan Barreiro Show on KFXN-FM 100.3, and the co-host of Enough Said, a weekly current-events show on Fox 9 Twin Cities.

In the 1970s, Rosenbaum, who had a master’s degree in education from Brown University, was part of a group of educators in Minnesota appointed by Federal Judge Wendell Garrity Jr. to take over a Boston school in a major battle over desegregation busing. The judge in the case essentially dissolved the Boston School Board, took over the school and brought in a team of educators, mostly from Minnesota, to run the school, Jim Rosenbaum said. While he was on the East Coast, Rosenbaum attended law school at Northeastern University, wrote for the Boston Globe and took part in a public television show, Forum 38, which kicked off what would be a long career and interest in law, radio and journalism back in Minnesota.

In 1998 he debuted Holding Court on WCCO-AM. The show lasted the rest of his life, also appearing on KSTP-AM, the Clear Channel network and finally as an hour-long weekly podcast co-hosted by his wife, Lucy Quinlivan, former Pioneer Press reporter and editor.

When Rosenbaum visited Tom Barnard’s podcast in 2013, the radio host described him in this way: “Brash, opinionated and consistently outspoken, the irascible Ron Rosenbaum is an authentic Twin Cities character. Rosenbaum is (in no particular order) a lover of gambling, cigars, and — most of all — calling it as he sees it. His political beliefs may best be described as iconoclastic. In other words, he’s not drinking anybody’s Kool-aid. He brings to Twin Cities News Talk years of experience working in talk radio and television. If you’re looking around town for him, your best bet is on the golf course, in the bar at The Lex or at Canterbury Park.”     Kristi Belcamino | kbelcamino@pioneerpress.com

He was dearly loved and will be missed by his son, Nicholas; his wife, Lucy Quinlivan; his mother, Ilene Rosenbaum; brother and sister-in-law, Judges James and Marilyn Rosenbaum; sister and brother-in-law, Deborah and Alan Sitkoff; his five nieces and their 11 children; and numerous family members and friends.


Roger Rude
Roger M. Rude, age 82, of Minneapolis, died of cancer on September 4, 2013.

Roger was a floor director/producer at Channel 5 from 1956-1960. He then worked for Channel 9 before moving over to Channel 2. After that he helped create the video production division of Greatapes. Roger was a regular at both the KSTP retiree breakfasts and the Channel Niners’ get-togethers at Curran’s, always glad to re-live happy times with his former co-workers.

(courtesy Ben & Mimi Vogel and Janet Barnes)

A veteran of the Korean War, Roger is survived by his wife of 57 years, Margaret; children, Steven (Josephine), David (Sandra), Tony (Sandra) and Nancy (Scott) Lindall; grandchildren, Nicholas, Ben, Jeff, Heather, Mike, Melissa, Monica, Gregory and Jessica; great-grandchildren, Tristen and Leon; many relatives and friends.


Bob Ryan
Bob Ryan
Bob Ryan passed away April 28, 2014, less than a month shy of his 90th birthday. A pioneer television news broadcaster and 2001 Inductee into the Museum of Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Ryan was the son of W.D. “Rosy” Ryan, a pitcher in three consecutive World Series for the New York Giants in the 1920s.

Bob Ryan graduated from high school in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. After serving in the Marines in World War II, he began his career at the University of Minnesota’s KUOM Radio. In 1948 he began 23 years with KSTP Radio and TV.

He moved from KSTP to Rochester television and radio stations in 1971, then to the Minnesota News Network in 1985. He also had a commentary program, Bob Ryan’s Passport, on KNXR in Rochester. In 1974 he earned his bachelor’s degree from Winona State University. He served in many civic roles throughout his life.

Ryan covered the loss of freedoms in Soviet bloc countries, including Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Romania. He covered revolutions in Central and South America.

Bob in Viet Nam, 1967

Ryan traveled three times to Southeast Asia to report on the Vietnam War, and he reported from Korea, too. In the Philippines, he interviewed Ferdinand Marcos before his ouster in 1986. He went five times to the Middle East, including to cover the aftermath of the Six-Day War in 1967, when Israel battled Arab nations.

“I was very fortunate to have been in on a lot of exciting times for news. We would always try to find a Minnesotan who could give us personal insight, and we almost always did.”

His signoff was always: “The best of everything to you.”

Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Betty; son Gregory of Studio City, California, and daughter Patty of Burbank, California.     courtesy Joy Powell and the Mpls Star Tribune


S

Sam Sherwood
Samuel H. Sabean (Sam Sherwood), October 11, 1930 – January 13, 2016.

WCOW (1953-56 as Sam Sabean), WISK (1957-59 as Sammy Sherwood), KDWB (1959-69), WAYL-FM, WWTC (1985-87). Sam Sabean started out at WCOW, working himself up from writing ads in 1953, to reading the news on Saturdays, to getting his own show in 1954. He had several monikers, including Sidesaddle Sore Sam, Milkman Sam, and Hobo Sam and his Bum Program. He actually got a call from an organization called Hobos of America, who had copyrighted the name and asked him to stop using it. Sam joined them at one of their "Boolyas" down by the railroad tracks, where he met people from all walks of life who liked to ride the boxcars. They made a deal to let him use the name if he plugged the organization. He left WCOW and produced films for about a year, then came back when the station had changed to WISK. He had to have a different name, so he selected Sherwood. At KDWB he was a disc jockey from 1959-1962, Program Director from 1962-1964, and General Manager/Vice President from 1964-69. When KDWB was sold, Sherwood joined Entertainment Communications and pioneered the beautiful music format with WAYL FM, where he spent ten years as general manager. Sam was inducted into the Museum of Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2005.

Survived by wife Irene and sisters Corrine Myers, Georgeane Glasgow (Mike). 5 children, Tim (Pam), Sandy D'Antonio (Bill), Jim (Caryl), Jodi Dehler (Bob), Sam (Lindsey). Grandchildren; Nick Sabean (Misty), Ashley Szulim-Sabean, Hannah Sabean Lee, Tony D'Antonio, Jesse Sabean (Ashley), Andy Sabean (Anne), Brooke Klint (Bryan), Jason Dehler (Annette), Mike Dehler, Olivia Dehler, Nova Sabean. Great Grandchildren; Corbyn, Quinlan and Max Sabean, James and Lucy Sabean, Audrey and Hadley Sabean.

Courtesy jeanneandersen.net and sabeanmemorial.com


Gerald L. Sandstrom age 89, passed away on July 23, 2016. Jerry committed his life to the Lord in 1973 while at Bible Study Fellowship where he continued study and teaching for 10 years. In 1986 he began a prison ministry which lasted for 30 years. Jerry retired from WTCN/KARE 11 TV in 1991 after 39 years of service. He is preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Mary Lou, and sister Lois. He is survived by sons Roger of Ferguson Falls, Joel of Corcoran; brother, Roger of Sturgeon Lake; nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Leo Domeier, Bob Muchow, and Jerry Sandstrom on a remote production in 1957.
When the old timers talk about going on remotes in the "bread truck" it was literally that.
You can see the WTCN banner hung over the old logo with bread at the bottom
of the side panel.

Photo courtesy of Laurie Boyce and Chuck Ulmer


Steve Schug
Steve Schug, known on-air as Steve Hunter, passed away September 27, 2013, at the age of 44.

A graduate of Brown Institute, Steve began his career as a radio broadcaster in Litchfield before moving on to Q102 in Willmar, then to KCLD in St. Cloud where he and his morning show co-anchor were named the number one morning show in the listening area. Steve was also the recipient of the Minnesota Broadcasters Association's "Award for Comedy" for writing, producing, and performing his parody "Livin' in Minnesota" which can still be found posted on YouTube: www.youtube.com. He also enjoyed on-air weekend time at KS95 and Mix 104 in the Twin Cities.

Steve later worked for Clear Channel at K102 and did programming for Total Traffic. He also incorporated his love of all music and his gift of sharing it with others into his own business, providing DJ services for countless attractions and celebrations throughout Minnesota.


Tom Scott
Tom Scott as
"Mr. Spnort"
Tom Scott, born February 5, 1929, died Monday, October 20, 2014, at the age of 85. Tom was always a step ahead of his time weaving music and photography into a fulfilling career as a production manager for WTCN/KARE 11.

Among the many roles Tom played at 11 was “Mr. Spnort,” Grandma Lumpit’s “gentleman caller.” According to Al De Rusha, “Tom drove a two-cylinder Fiat to work every day. They would roll it right into the studio where he would pick up Granny (played by Lynn Dwyer) and the two of them would drive off together on a date.”

Tom was preceded in death by his wife Dee. He is survived by daughters Suzan and Janet, grandsons Tyler and Austin, and sister Louise Edwards.

(special thanks to Cheryl Ivey & Laurie Boyce for their help with this story)


Richard Severson
Richard Eugene Severson, February 1, 1930 – September 24, 2015. He served in the Korean War and worked in radio and TV at WIXK and KYMN Radio. He was an affable, intelligent sales rep who hosted Sunday mornings on KYMN for nearly 20 years.


Dick Stevens
Richard Thomas Stevens, age 71, of St. Paul, died peacefully at his home on Sunday, April 28, 2013.

He is survived by wife Meredith Montgomery; sons Gregory and David; grandson Cole; and brother James Stevens. Dick’s career in audio and video production, interactive media, and radio broadcasting began at KUOM. He subsequently produced programs for the LCA in Philadelphia and then held management positions at CBS Records in New York, EMC Corporation, Digital Excellence, Inc., and the ADS Group in Minnesota. Most recently he was elected a board member and chair of the marketing committee at KFAI / Fresh Air Radio in the Twin Cities. Dick was an avid collector of vintage synthesizers, a gifted painter, a voracious reader and a discerning listener. From Startribune.com


Don Stolz
Donald Dixon Stolz was born July 12, 1917, in Castleton, Kansas, and died February 14, 2015, in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

A 2006 inductee into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Don Stolz was best known as the guiding force behind the Old Log Theater, but he was also a radio veteran and played a pioneering role in the growth of television in the Twin Cities. His broadcasting career began in 1938 at WKY Radio in Oklahoma City, where he co-starred in the network program Devil’s Roost. He later appeared on the CBS Radio Network program Let’s Pretend. He bought the Old Log in Excelsior in 1946 for $1.00 and always claimed that the seller got the best of the deal. He soon became heavily involved in the Twin Cities broadcast scene, acting for WCCO Radio and directing all the television commercials produced by Campbell Mithun. He produced several shows and holiday specials for WCCO TV, including the first full-length play ever televised here, and hosted and produced On the Spot, which featured amateur motion pictures. In 1953 he began the roles for which a generation remembers him: the “paws” and off-screen voices of “Towser the Dog” and “Tallulah the Cat” on the beloved WCCO TV children’s show Axel and His Dog.

In 2008 Don won the Ivy Award for Lifetime Accomplishment in Minnesota Theater and was inducted into the Evergreen Club of Musicians.  He has also won the Honorary Lifetime Membership of Actors Equity and named Businessman of the Year by the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce and Excelsior Chamber of Commerce.  He also wrote two books and four plays.

Don was preceded in death by wife, Joan and daughter, Joannie. He is survived by sons Peter (Pam) Stolz, Dony (Sue) Stolz, Tom (Pat) Stolz, Tim (Mary) Stolz, and Jon Stolz; eight grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.


Mike Sullivan
TV news producer Mike Sullivan, who guided WCCO-TV’s award-winning I-Team in the 1980s and continued to win documentary awards as a senior producer for PBS’s Frontline, died June 23 at his home near Boston at the age of 67.

“He was one of the first and extraordinary producers of long-form, documentary and investigative television reporting,” said Ron Handberg, who hired Sullivan as a news producer and writer in 1976. Mike is survived by his wife, Jeanette Harrison Sullivan, and children Kate Sullivan, Jake Sullivan, and Jason and Sean Smith. From Startribune.com.


Don Swartz
Donald Swartz, age 98, of Golden Valley, formerly of St. Paul, passed away March 15th. A pioneer in the broadcasting and entertainment industry, he was an Emmy Award winner and a charter member of the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

When he took over as President of KMSP in 1957 the station was losing $30,000 a week. KMSP lost the ABC affiliation to KSTP in 1979. “Everyone thought Channel 9 was never going to succeed, and it became the number-one rated independent television station in the United States,” son Stuart said.

Don is survived by his wife of 74 years, Helen; sons Stuart (Susie), Larry (Marcia) and Gary (Kristi); many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.



T

Victor Tedesco
Victor Tedesco, May 22, 1922 - March 16, 2015, the son of Italian immigrants from the province of Calabria, Tedesco was born in St. Paul's Swede Hollow neighborhood at a time when the area was heavily Italian. He graduated from Johnson High School in 1941, and was already singing and playing his saxophone in night clubs. In 2005, Vic and his brothers, Al and Nick, were inducted into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame. They were three of the most colorful figures in the history of Minnesota broadcasting; between them they owned 14 radio stations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and around the country.

They built WSHB AM (now WMGT) in Stillwater in 1949, and all three worked to make the station a success. They later sold their interests and built stations WKLK in Cloquet and WKLJ in Sparta, Wisconsin. In 1951 they founded station WCOW in South St. Paul, forerunner of KDWB, and even planned to add a television station on channel 17. That project never materialized, but shortly after they founded another successful radio station, KDUZ in Hutchinson. Over the years they also owned radio stations KAAA (now KCUE) Red Wing, KWEB Rochester, KAGE Winona, KTCR Minneapolis (later adding an FM signal that eventually became Cities 97), and other stations in Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Florida, and Wyoming.

Tedesco served on the St. Paul City Council from 1966 to 1986 as an at-large member, later representing Ward 7 in the city's southeast corner. He was council president from 1979 to 1986. Both Nick and Al passed away in 2002.

Vic Tedesco enjoyed his life and and played saxophone with his band until he passed away on Monday, March 16, 2015 at the age of 92. Survivors include his children, Patricia Boyer and Anthony Tedesco, two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.


Mike Tsolinas
Former KMSP-TV meteorologist Mike Tsolinas died at age 57 on Monday, July 25, 2016.

He was with KMSP (FOX 9) from 1999 to 2003. After his time in the Twin Cities, Tsolinas went on to work in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. His death on Monday was reported by Las Vegas TV station KTNV-TV, where Tsolinas had been a meteorologist up until a few years ago, according to his LinkedIn page.

FOX 9 anchor Alix Kendall remembered Tsolinas in a Facebook post: “One of my former ‘Good Day Minnesota’ co-hosts has passed away. Mike Tsolinas was our first meteorologist on the morning show back in 1999. He later moved to Las Vegas. He was a ‘Top Notch’ kinda guy.”

Former FOX 9 anchor Robyne Robinson also wrote about Tsolinas on Facebook, saying she was “absolutely crushed” by the news and that he was an “amazingly talented, charming, and nice man.” Robinson said she last saw him in Las Vegas, where he was “happily being a dad and doing martial arts.” KTNV says Tsolinas leaves behind a young daughter. His cause of death is unknown at this time.

Courtesy twincities.com


V

Ray Voss
Raymond Voss (KGØDK) died February 20, 2016, of kidney and heart disease at the age of 75.

Born in Buffalo, New York, Ray was a retired broadcaster, amateur radio operator, and photographer.
Ray had a very long broadcasting career with stints as an on-air reporter at KCGR in Cedar Rapids, WHO in Des Moines, and KSTP-TV. Ray worked at KMSP-TV as a remote news television technician from 1999 - 2002. He also worked as an engineering consultant who put on several FM stations, including the NTIA upgrade of KMOJ radio in 1984.

Ray is survived by his wife, Lois; daughter Barbara Lois Voss and daughter-in-law Deborah Ann Cohler; daughter Thuja Jameson, son-in-law Roy Alan Jameson, two grandchildren; and brothers William and Roger Voss.

W

Joyce Wade
Joyce Wade died suddenly and unexpectedly November 5, 2014, at the age of 62.

She was born August 9, 1952, in Milbank, South Dakota. She moved to Minneapolis, at age 17, where she lied about her age to get a job at WTCN Television. She dedicated the next 44 plus years to various positions at the station which is now KARE 11. She had a profound love of flower gardening, cross stitching, quilting, and especially golf. These were exceeded only by her love of her family. Joyce’s departure has left a huge void in the heart and life of her husband, Dana; sons, Troy (Lynn) and Sean (Deidre); granddaughter, Devin Wade; sister, Trudy Frennern (Steve); brother, Dennis (Pam); and mother, Dorothy.


Ron Wandmacher

Ron Wandmacher, age 83, of St. Paul, passed away on May 21, 2016, in Sun City West, Ariz. Retired agent of State Farm Insurance. Brown Institute graduate and the "Golden Voice" of WLOL, KEVE, KTCR and more. Survived by beloved wife, Delia of 62 years, daughters Linda Kittelson (Edward) of Andover, Lori Carlson (Steve) of Brooklyn Park, Lanette Lorsung (John) of Andover and Lisa Walters (Gary) of Brainerd; 10 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.


Richard Wallack
Richard E. "Dick" Wallack (July 12, 1931 - November 14, 2013) Former television newsman Richard E. “Dick” Wallack died on Thursday, November 14, 2013. Dick, whose 42 year broadcast career included on-air stints in Honolulu, Hawaii and Fargo, ND, as well as nearly 20 years in Duluth. He was born in Saint Cloud. Dick was a Marine Veteran of the Korean War participating in four major campaigns. He later served as an instructor at the Marine Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia. Upon his discharge he launched his broadcast career in 1953 on WJON Radio in St. Cloud and also worked at KFAM. In 1957 he re-enlisted in the Marine Corps. Following discharge in 1960, he was named News Anchor for KXJB and KXGO television in Fargo, ND. He later worked for WDAY Radio and television in Fargo. In 1966, he moved to Duluth to become WDIO TV’s first anchorman, a position he held until 1971 when he was named anchor at KBJR TV. He was also the station’s News Director during the early 1970’s. He was active in numerous professional and civic organizations. In 1972, he was appointed by Governor Wendell Anderson to the Minnesota National Guard Citizen’s advisory committee. He retired as Managing Editor and Producer at KBJR TV in 1994. He also served 14 years as a Career Counselor with the Minnesota Army Guard. Dick is survived by his wife Sharon; son James (Denise), St. Paul; daughters Diane (Wayne) Sell, FL, Eileen (Frank) Dusek, Duluth, Sandra (Jon) Knott, Rosemount, MN, Patti Hall, Calif.; brothers Duane (Vi), Altoona, PA, David (Boots), Las Vegas; sister Lois Symoens, St. Cloud; sister-in-law Shar Wallack, St. Cloud; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and his beloved Kiki. “This is Dick Wallack hoping all your news will be good news, Goodnight”.

Courtesy Dougherty Funeral home www.meaningfulfunerals.net/


Michael W. Wegner
Michael W. Wegner of Osceola, Wisconsin, also known as Michael J. “Donuts” Douglas, died suddenly after a severe head injury at the age of 65 on April 24, 2013.

Michael was born on August 8, 1947, in Portsmouth, Virginia, graduated from Simley High School in Inver Grove Heights, served in the Minnesota National Guard, and attended Brown Institute. He was best known as part of the Knapp & Donuts morning show on KS95. From 1979 to 1994, Knapp & Donuts was among the hottest morning shows in the Twin Cities. Program director Chuck Knapp may have technically been the boss, but it was his on-air partner’s homespun, and often cranky, personality that defined the program. Wegner had close calls in the past, including a recent bout with prostate cancer. He once fell out of a tree and lay in a coma for two weeks. But this time, his luck ran out. According to Knapp, his friend was on his computer when his wife went to bed. A few hours later she heard an ominous sound. When she went to Wegner’s music room, she discovered that her husband had fallen down and hit his head on one of the speakers. He was pronounced dead at Osceola Medical Center. The reason for the fall is undetermined. Mike is survived by his wife, Cassie; daughter Amy (Jim) Stanton; son Michael Wegner Jr.; grandsons Wyatt and Hobey Stanton; father Rudy Wegner; sisters Kitty (Gary) and Aleta Wegner; step-children Wendy Pressnall, Debby (Mike) Clark, David Parsons; granddaughter Carly Parsons; also the mother of his children, Mary Wegner. From the Grandstrand Funeral Home Website grandstrandfh.com, StarTribune.com, and Tom Gavaras’ RadioTapes.com.


Ardis Wells
Ardis Wells, (July 10, 1917 - February 15, 2013) Ardis was born and raised in show business. As a child, she yodeled, sang, and played the ukulele and guitar while touring as a vaudeville performer with her parents. After graduating from high school in 1936 she studied voice and drama at Carnegie Hall in New York. Ardis met Jimmy Wells in the Big Ole Circus Show in 1942. She had a trapeze act and performed on the back of “Babe” the elephant. Ardis wrestled professionally for a short period before marrying Jimmy in 1943. She also wrestled in Minneapolis in 1951 where she won 21 straight matches. Ardis and Jimmy started a country band called “The Dakota Roundup.” They played on the Grand Ol’ Opry and had extended engagements at the Midway Gardens in Saint Paul and the Flame Club in Minneapolis where she was billed as “The Yodelin’ Sweetheart.” They toured for two years with country star Rex Allen and appeared locally on both KSTP and KEYD-TV.

Ardis went on to start her own band, “The Rhythm Ranch Gals,” playing six nights a week at the Flame and recording hits on the North Star label. She was inducted into the Minnesota Rock/Country Hall of Fame in 2005. Ardis married Al Wicklund in 1961 and moved to Alexandria, Minnesota, where she started raising and racing sled dogs. Her love of huskies continued until her death in February at the age of 95. Thanks to Jane Manske and Thomas Hallet.


Frank West
Frank West (9/9/1950 – 3/10/2013) Born in Detroit, Michigan, Frank Allen Watschke worked in Minnesota radio for 35 years.

As an announcer, he eventually landed in Twin Cities FM radio by way of St. Cloud (KFAM/KCLD), Wahpeton, North Dakota (KBMW), Rochester (KWEB), and finally Minneapolis at KDWB. A 1970 graduate of Brown Institute, Frank eventually returned to the school as an instructor, where he loved teaching the art of radio broadcasting as much as doing it. He finished his announcing career on Kool 108, with 15 years as host of the highly popular Frank West Show, midnight to 5:00 am. Throughout his career he was very proud of his voice-over work, and even had a local hit record in St. Cloud called “Doctor Gorrie’s Laboratory,” recorded during his time at KCLD. Frank had an avid interest in Minnesota radio and television history, collected old radios, and was an advocate for the archiving of classic radio programming – a proud visitor and donor to the Museum of Broadcasting. He is survived by his wife, Terry, and son Erik.


Robert N. Winter
Winter, Robert N. age 92, of Bloomington, born 11/18/1923 and died 1/31/2016.

Merchant Marine veteran of WWII. Bob was a pioneer with KSTP (Hubbard Broadcasting) having started as a cameraman and Audio Technician. He retired after 40 years of service. Preceded in death by his father, Pastor Herman Winter; mother, Adell Winter; and brothers, Fred and Jerry. Survived by wife of 70 years, Helen; sons, Stan (Laura) and Steve (Fran); daughter, Sandee (Michael) Murphy; grandsons, Jake and Chance Murphy; and brother, Daniel (Pat). Special thank you to all the staff at Martin Luther Meadow Woods, especially on the Memory Care 2nd Floor, for the excellent care and to the Health Partners Hospice for their help and support.

Courtesy startribune.com


Brad Woodard
Brad Woodard, a veteran television reporter for KARE-11 in the Twin Cities before joining KHOU in Houston was found dead in his Houston home Wednesday, July 2, News Director Philip Bruce said in a posting Thursday on the Texas station’s website. Woodard was 51.

“Authorities discovered his body … after a relative called police to check on him after Brad failed to return several phone calls,” Bruce wrote. Investigators say there was no evidence of foul play, Bruce added.

Woodard, a native of Hayesville, North Carolina, worked for 16 years at KARE. Before joining KARE, Woodard worked for WTVF-TV in Nashville and WSAV-TV in Savannah, Georgia, where he anchored, reported and produced documentaries. He also appeared in the HBO film “Vietnam War Stories” and on the short-lived ABC television series “Breaking Away.”

Before television, he was an officer in the Air Force and briefly flew jets. He received an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Georgia in 1984, with minors in Russian and music. He was also a graduate of the Pushkin Institute for Russian Language in Moscow.

In its report on Woodard’s death, KARE noted Woodard’s many awards won while working the Twin Cities, including 1994, 2000, 2003, 2006, and 2007 Genesis Awards, now administered by the Humane Society of the United States, for his investigative reports exposing cruelty to animals used in research and drug production.

“Brad Woodard is one of the most talented reporters I’ve ever known,” said KARE News Director Jane Helmke, who also worked as a producer with Woodard. “He had a gift for reflecting the human condition in both its splendor and frailty.” KARE reporter Boyd Huppert worked alongside Woodard for many years and remembered his longtime colleague as someone “who really cared and often formed long-lasting relationships with the subjects of his stories.”

Huppert recalled a farmer that Woodard covered in 1997 during the devastating Red River floods whose land “was basically on an island.” When Woodard circled back to follow up with the farmer, he found out that a beef calf was named after him. “That gave a lot of us a chuckle,” Huppert said. “Brad was an avowed vegetarian.”

KHOU’s Bruce wrote that “we’ll forever remember Brad as a kind man with a soft heart. He had two great passions — storytelling and animals. Frequently, Brad turned a light on those who abused or neglected innocent creatures and his work on animal abuse — and many other topics — won him multiple local, regional and national honors.”

“Brad was very proudly an ‘old school’ journalist, always quick to defend an underdog in need,” Bruce wrote. “Within the television news community, he was widely regarded as one of the best writers in the business.”


Z

Joe Zingale
Joseph Zingale, who was among the very first Twin Cities' DJs to play rock 'n' roll over Minnesota airwaves, succumbed to Parkinson's Disease on March 10, 2014, at the age of 80. Zingale was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on May 26, 1933, as the only son to Gaetano and Rosalia Zingale, immigrants from Sicily.

He came to the Tedesco brothers' WCOW in South St. Paul as a time salesman and, according to Sam Sherwood, “Joe Zingale called himself ‘Mr. Rhythm.’ He just got this wild idea about playing rock 'n' roll and rhythmn and blues music. Here was a country station, WCOW, and on Saturday afternoon and evening, along came Mr. Rhythm [in 1955] and played the real soul of rhythm and blues. You can't imagine how his popularity took off. When he was on the air, there were hundreds and hundreds of people around the radio station just hanging out and listening to the music. Joe then took it a step further and booked the St. Paul Auditorium for a rhythm and blues show with great locals such as Augie Garcia. It was an overnight smash.”

Joe urged the Tedescos to change the station's format to all R&B and they considered it, but since they were only a 1,000 watt daytimer, they figured that a more powerful station would just steal the format and leave them hanging. Ironically, WCOW eventually morphed into rock 'n' roll station KDWB in 1959.

After leaving WCOW, Zingale bought and sold a variety of radio and television stations, eventually becoming the owner of several Cleveland professional sports teams, invested in real estate, collected art and wine, and lived the dream of his lifetime for 30 years at his estate in Tuscany. Along with his wife of 58 years, Mary Jo, he is survived by a son, three daughters, and many grandchildren.