Thanks to Pete Simonson for the suggestion of remembering our radio friends who have passed on.  
We'll include our own articles as well as obituaries. 


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1989

Dick Norman
 Killed In Crash   1-26-89

Former Orlando radio talk-show host Dick Norman, who survived 20 years as a wire service reporter in Latin America,  was killed in a traffic accident as he pulled out of a convenience store parking lot, authorities said. Dick Nutting, who went by the name Dick Norman on the air, was pronounced dead at the scene after a pickup truck struck his car broadside at 10:20 a.m. Thursday, January 24, 1984, said Hillsborough County Deputy Sheriff Louis Argote. Nutting, 46, worked for
WKIS-AM 740 
from February 1984 until November 1986. He was the station's afternoon talk show host and at one point was the station's operations manager, said 
Ken Charles
, executive producer at WWNZ-AM 740. He most recently was working for WFLA-AM 970 in Tampa. Nutting was pulling into traffic in a 1989 Chrysler from a Circle K parking lot when a 1986 Ford Bronco driven by Tommy Ledford, 30, struck the car on the driver's side, Argote said. The sheriff's department was investigating the accident, but no charges had been filed Thursday. Nutting won two Emmy awards and an Overseas Press Club award during his 23 years in journalism, said WFLA news anchor Don Richards in Tampa. ''Dick was straightforward. You always knew where he stood,'' Charles said. ''He was a very talented talk show host. He had a good feel for what people were looking for. He had a very quick wit.''

Ken Lueck, WNDB Radio Personality, Dies
by Cora Huckins 

DAYTONA  BEACH NEWS-JOURNAL - Monday,  March 6,  1989
Kenneth Arthur Lueck, 73,  widely known for his early-morning broadcasts from an "air-conditioned broom closet" at radio station WNDB(-AM 1150) when it was owned by the Daytona Beach News-Journal,  died Sunday at Halifax Medical Center. He was retired from broadcasting in the mid-1970's, sold his home in Ormond Beach and he and his wife, Dorothy (known to her friends as Dottie),  moved to 524 S. Beach St.,  where he took great pleasure watching the comings and goings on the Halifax River from his apartment window. Mr. Lueck was born in Irma, Wis.,  described in an article written by the late News-Journal columnist Phil deBeaubien in 1970,  as "down the road from Tomahawk Lake and the village of Bearskin."  With his gravelly voice, Ken, as he was known affectionately by his thousands of his listeners,  was one of the least likely persons to take up radio announcing as a career.  He once described himself as "possessed of the worst voice since Marconi invented wireless,  but they listen - perhaps suffering a little,  but they listen." After a stretch as a Merchant Seaman on the Great Lakes, he spent time during World War II as a radio operator in the Air Force when he also play with the Army-Air Force Band. He had a checkered career which included a stint as a cowboy out in Bozeman, Mont., and playing his saxophone with big bands in Milwaukee. Finally,  he started as an engineer at a radio station in Elk City, Okla. One day the regular morning announcer,  who had a taste for sour mash bourbon, didn't turn up for work, having indulged the night before. Ken pushed the button 6 a.m. and was on the air playing a 33 1/3 record on a 78 rpm turntable. After this fast start,  Ken polished his act and Elk City had a new "electronic hero." Ken first came here in 1949. He started work for WNDB and featured a teen club on his morning show when he built up a loyal following. He left in 1952 for Warsaw, Va.,  where he became program director and chief engineer of WNNT and organized "Ken's Kousins" a talent show that toured Eastern Virginia. While in "colonial Virginia,"  as he called it,  he married Dorothy Thompson,  a former Chicago model who was managing a charm and model school in Cincinnati. He then moved to Cincinnati where he became WZIP morning man. The Luecks' daughter,  Sally,  was born there in 1954. One night in 1955, according to guest Chatterbox columnist,  Ann Hicks (Marsh), when Ken was taking off his shoes, "sand fell out all over Dottie's nice clean vacuumed rug, and before they could yell 'Daytona Beach!' Ken was back in his favorite broom closet". A son, Michael,  was born soon after they arrived here. Ken returned to WNDB,  but this time he was the night man,  and his legion of loyal fans joined him. His irreverent style included awarding the station manager and chief engineer to listeners as prizes in "contests" and slugging his listeners from time to time with outrageously raucous records. After a few months broadcasting during the late night,  he returned to the morning show, playing favorites from the 1940s to the 1970s. He loved to accompany his special favorites such as "Heartaches" and "Stardust" on a wooden whistle,  or he would just whistle along himself. He and Dottie enjoyed dancing and were frequently seen at dances and parties throughout the area. In 1961,  while looking for a piano that would take a beating by his youngsters,  he stumbled on a "monstrosity." It was a big square "bulky piece of junk."  While refinishing it, he found markings underneath and made out the words "Solano Grove." It turned out the piano had quite a history. Ken traced its history to Jacksonville of the 1880's history when British born composer Frederick Delius,  who absorbed Florida moods and atmosphere on the St. Johns River in 1884-85. Delius divided his time between orange tree planting at Solano Grove on the St. Johns, and writing and studying musical composition with a friend and teacher, Thomas Ward of Jacksonville. Ken later sold the piano to the University of Jacksonville Music Dept., where it has been placed in Delius' home, which had been moved from Solano Grove to the university campus. Ken was also a speech and radio teacher at the Mary Karl Vocational School, a division of Daytona Beach Junior College (now Daytona Beach Community College) for 14 years. In 1972 he joined the real estate firm of Austin Combs and Associates, selling real estate afternoons, evenings and weekends, and continuing with the "Ken Lueck Show" in the early mornings. Besides his wife, survivors include son Michael of Dallas, and daughter, Sally Lueck, Fort Lauderdale. Woodward, Holly Hill is in charge.

Radio personality John W. Payne dies
St. Petersburg Times
 - Tuesday, April 11, 1989

BROOKSVILLE - John W. (Jack) Payne, a well-known advertising salesman for WWJB(-AM 1450) radio in Brooksville, died Monday. He was 57. Payne suffered an apparent heart attack and died at Lykes Memorial Hospital early Monday morning, said Steve Manuel, station manager for WWJB. Payne had been having heart trouble for years and had retired from full-time work at the end of last year, Manuel said. Despite his health problems, Payne continued working at the station on a volunteer basis, occasionally doing live broadcasts on location from places such as the Hernando County Fair and Register Chevrolet, Manuel said. "He was always in demand to do those for us,'' Manuel said. ''He's been a fixture around here for a long time. We're going to miss him even though he had retired from the day-to-day operations of the station.'' Cyd Samson, who did business with Payne and knew him as a friend, said that Payne had a wonderful radio personality and was polite to customers who would approach him while he was doing the on-site broadcasts. ''He was fantastic,'' said Samson, a Brooksville jeweler. ''We're all going to miss him a lot.''  Payne was the radio station's only salesman for about five years, Manuel said. Payne had worked for radio station WENY in Elmira, N.Y., before moving to Brooksville. Before beginning his career in radio advertising, Payne worked in sales for International Harvester, Manuel said. Payne is survived by his wife, Phyllis; two sons, John and Steve, both of Oregon; four sisters, Gladys Halloran, Breezeport, N.Y., Peggy Rubin, Elmira, Ruth Barnes, Bradenton, and Patty Lou Mackovitch, Horseheads, N.Y. A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Brewer Memorial Funeral Home, 510 E Liberty. The Rev. Earl Hagar will officiate. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Hernando County chapter of the American Heart Association.

1988

THE ORLANDO SENTINEL    Saturday, December 24, 1988
GENE FORREST ''JIM'' MITCHELL, 52, 1600 Bigtree Road, Daytona Beach, died Friday. Born in Hope, Ark., he moved to Daytona Beach from Orlando in 1986. He was a broadcasting news director for
 WROD-AM 1340 radio and a stock market analyst. He was a Baptist. He was an Air Force veteran of the Korean War. He was a recipient of the Katie Award for best spot news coverage in TV and of the best editorial award from the UPI Broadcasting Association. Survivors: wife, Linda K.; son, Dennis, Dallas; stepsons, Hayes and Randy Henderson, both of Orlando; daughter, Misti Pickett, Tyler, Texas; mother, Elvia R., Casselberry; brother, Edward Byron, Garland, Texas; sister, Fran Wilson, Casselberry; five grandchildren. Cox-Parker Carey hand Funeral Home, Winter Park.

Maurice Jackson   May 18, 1988
Rockledge
Maurice B. Jackson, 70, a radio broadcaster and advertising salesman died Friday, May 13, of a heart attack in Birmingham, Ala., where he was to attend his high school reunion. Mr. Jackson, of 975 Cardon Drive, Rockledge, was a Brevard County resident for 20 years. Born in Birmingham he was a disc jockey and talk-show host in  Ohio and Brevard at WJZX-AM 860 in Cocoa, formerly WKKO-AM 860. He also worked as an advertising account executive in the Brevard bureau of  The Orlando Sentinel.  MR. Jackson was last employed as a salesman with Stateside Auto Supply Co. on Merritt Island. He fought in World War II with the Army. Survivors include his son, Allen Jackson; and two grandchildren. 
James Edgar Yarbrough, 84, Pioneer Broadcasting Engineer  March 18, 1988
Orlando Sentinel
James Edgar Yarbrough, a pioneer broadcasting engineer whose Central Florida career spanned more than 50 years, died Friday. He was 84. Yarbrough started with WDBO(-AM 580) Radio as chief engineer in 1926 and was in charge of the first television broadcast of WBDO-Channel 6 in 1954. ''He was very widely respected as a transmitter engineer,'' said Ben Aycrigg, a news anchor for Channel 6, now called WCPX. ''He was probably the last of the broadcasting pioneers.'' Yarbrough, 422 Raintree Court, Winter Park, retired from broadcasting in 1968 but remained a consultant to the television station until the late 1970s, Aycrigg said. He had a lifelong interest in baseball and classical music and had traveled to England last October to hear some of that nation's symphony orchestras. Born in Columbia, S.C., he moved to Winter Park from Shelby, N.C., in 1926. A Presbyterian, Yarbrough was a veteran of the Naval Reserve and a member of the Institute of Electrical-Electronics Engineers. He is survived by his wife, Rosalind B.; son, George, of West Yellowstone, Mont.; brother, Harrison E., of Shelby; several grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. Garden Chapel Home for Funerals in Orlando is in charge of arrangements.
James Joseph Martin   March 10, 1988
James Joseph "Jim" Martin, 63, Vanderbilt Drive, Clearwater, died Wednesday, March 10.  Mr. Martin was a former news broadcaster with WDBO(-AM 580) radio. Born in Detroit, he was a former resident of Central Florida. He was a member of Heritage United Methodist Church, Clearwater. Survivors: wife, Louise; daughters, Kathy, Daytona Beach, Sally Lightsey, Julie Martin-Goodwin, both of Orlando, Susie Combs, Fort Hood, Texas; son, James J. Jr., Orlando; stepsons, Kim Watrous, Corona, Calif., Kevin Watrous, Springfield, Ill.; stepdaughter, Lisa Rosengren, Springfield, Va.; brother, Burke, Spartanburg, S.C.; 11 grandchildren. Moss-Feaster Funeral Home, Clearwater.

1987 

Bill Hess
Floyd William ''Bill'' Hess original owner of WEUS-AM 1240, Eustis died at age 70.

Bob Keith   10-26-87
October 28, 1987  Obituary from the Orlando Sentinel
Bob Keith, a former Orlando city commissioner and radio and television personality, died Monday, October 26, 1987 after a seven-year battle with cancer. He was 59. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Keith was a disc jockey and hosted a rock 'n' roll show on WLOF-AM (950). ''All the kids loved it,'' said city clerk Grace Chewning. ''That was what we listened to in high school. 'In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Keith took the show to television with the Channel 9 Bandstand. ''He was real tall and thin and had this real resonant voice,'' Chewning said. ''He was our own Dick Clark.'' ''He was part of the glory days -- the rock 'n' roll days,'' said Bud Brewer, who worked with Keith at WLOQ-FM 103.1 in the late 1970s. In 1974, Keith was elected city commissioner for District 3 in the non- partisan election. He campaigned on a promise of independence from Mayor Carl Langford, and friends said he worked hard to stick to it. ''His disposition was to try to get along with everybody,'' said Todd Persons, who covered the city council for WCPX-Channel 6. ''But he really did try hard to be his own man.''  Arthur ''Pappy'' Kennedy, who served on the council from 1972 to 1980, said Keith was an outspoken commissioner. Yet he also remained open to ideas and was ''concerned about seeing things go smoothly,'' Kennedy said. Keith lost a re-election bid in 1978 and ran an unsuccessful race for the Orange County Commission in 1982. He retired from politics and became a real estate agent. He was in the public eye again last year as a central figure in the trial of restaurateur Champ Williams on charges of bribing public officials. Keith said that when he was on the city council he had favored Williams on an important vote. Keith was in Williams' office, he said, when Williams told him he appreciated his help and stuck a roll of cash in the commissioner's pocket. Keith said he returned the money, told Williams he was insulted and left. However, state prosecutors also charged that Williams made illegal campaign contributions to Keith and other politicians by passing on his money through others. Keith said he didn't know that the money came from Williams, and no charges were filed against him. The state's charges against Williams were later thrown out for lack of evidence. Keith, 3213 Eagle Blvd., was born in Sanford and moved to Orlando from Minneapolis in 1937. He was a Coast Guard veteran and a member of First Baptist Church of Orlando, where services are scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday.

1985 
Area radio celebrity dies at 67
William Maschmeier
By Doug Cohen  Florida Today Writer


Known to his radio listeners and friends as "Prince William," William Maschmeier, the former owner and general manager of Cocoa radio station WKKO(-AM 860), died Thursday from lung cancer. 
 He was 67. Mr. Maschmeier of 2100 Atlantic Ave., Cocoa Beach, died at Cape Canaveral Hospital in Cocoa Beach about 2 a.m., hospital officials said. "Bill was a very unique individual. He spent the last 40 years of his life in the broadcasting business," said Tom McArdle II, a partner of Mr. Maschmeier's at WKKO radio. "He worked with a lot of greats in the business and gave a lot of greats their start." One of those greats was music legend Dick Clark. More than .37 years ago, Mr. Maschmeier gave Clark his first chance in television when Clark - was virtually unknown. And that same blend of daring and intuition that Mr. Maschmeier showed when he hired Clark was the force behind his decision to buy WKKO radio in 19705. In the in nine years that he owned and operated WKKO -which is now known as "Fox 86" - Mr. Maschmeier used his radio talents to try and unify the county into what he called the "city of Brevard." By 1984, when he sold the station, Mr. Maschmeier had energized the "city of Brevard" with more than 400 editorial broadcasts, McArdle said. Some of those editorials were influential in the fight against teen-age drug abuse in Brevard schools, McArdle said. Mr. Maschmeier's influence in Brevard stretched far beyond the airwaves. He was a member of the board of the Cocoa Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and co-founder of M-3 Group Ltd., which promoted the "Reach on the Beach" program and other efforts to beautify Cocoa Beach. "He was a maverick," said his wife, Jane Maschmeier. "He was constantly doing something for his fellow man." Survivors include his wife; son, William John Maschmeier of Whidbey Island, Wash.; daughter, Marti Rosenburg of Nashville Tenn.; and three grandchildren. No funeral arrangements had been scheduled as of late Thursday.
1979

J. L. "Bill" Berry
Daytona Beach Morning Journal
Feb. 4, 1979
     


James Lawrence "Bill" Berry, 61, co-host of the "Sunrise Jubilee" program, on WFTV, Channel 9, died Saturday. Berry joined WFTV in 1978 and had conducted more than 400 interviews with agribusiness guests from Central Florida. Berry was credited with being the areas first television weatherman and hosted the first Cerebral Palsy Telethon. The Seneca, S.C., native began his broadcasting career when he left the Army in 1945. He first worked for a Sarasota radio station and moved to Orlando two years later when he was part of the staff, which put WHOO(-AM 990) Radio on the air in 1947. In 1949 Berry joined WDBO(-AM 580) Radio ands television (channel 6) where he worked for 22 years. Berry resigned in 1971 to form his own advertising agency, Bill Berry Associates.  During his long broadcasting career, Berry received more than 100 community service awards and citations a WFTV spokesman said. Berry's duties on "Sunrise" temporarily will be assumed by Barbara Stump. Survivors include Berry's widow, four daughters, and two sons. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Guy Black Funeral Home in Orlando. Burial will be at 2 p.m. in Palmetto.
1978

James Edward Spence
Orlando Sentinel Mar. 2, 1978
51, Route 2, Williams Road, New Smyrna Beach, died Wednesday. Born in Valparaiso, Ind., he moved to New Smyrna Beach in 1975 from Fairborn, Ohio. He was a salesman for Texas Refinery Corp. and former advertising salesman for radio stations WSBB(-AM 1230)  and WCCC.  He was a World Wear II Navy veteran, a Lutheran and a member of American Legion.  Survivors: wife, Mrs. Virginia; sons, John and Joe,  New Smyrna Beach; and brothers Paul, Hobart, Ind., Robert , Wheaton, Ill., William, Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. Settle-Wilder Funeral Home, New Smyrna Beach.
1976

John Patrick Beacom
 

Founder of Beacom Broadcasting Enterprises and original owner of WJPB-AM 1220 in Kissimmee, John Patrick Beacom died at the age of 72 on January 3, 1976. Beacom also served as Member of West Virginia state house of delegates from Cabell County, in 1933, was also a member of West Virginia state senate 5th District from 1935-38 and then as Mayor of Port St. Lucie County.
1974

Johnny Gilbert     3-15-04
WLOF-AM 950's
 first Johnny G  (Johnny Gilbert) died while working as an airborne traffic reporter at KULF-AM 790 in Houston. Johnny was killed when the "KULF bird" crashed while covering a fire on March 15, 1974. Johnny was attempting to get a close-up look at a chemical tank car fire at the Settegast Railroad yard. Witnesses said he was just a few hundred feet above the fire when the violent updraft threw his plane out of control and at that extremely low altitude, he didn't have the room or time to regain control. The plane rolled over on its back and spiraled into the ground.
Johnny was posthumously awarded the Steve Pieringer Award by the Texas Association of Broadcasters in 1974.

1973

Adrian Kenneth "Ken" Knight  
Adrian K. "Ken" Knight was one of three children born to William and Beatrice Knight, Adrian Kenneth Knight, also known as "Ken" Knight, was born February 6, 1909, in Headland, Alabama. Mr. Knight was one of the South's leading Black pioneer broadcasters and television personalities. during his childhood, Ken Knight's parents relocated to Daytona Beach, Florida, where he attended public school and later earned a diploma from Campbell Street High School. Ken went on to better himself by pursuing and completing his college education at Hampton Institute in Virginia. Mr. Knights introduction to broadcasting resulted as a $5.00 bet which resulted from a complaint to a friend about the performance of a radio announcer. Mr. Knight bet that he could do better. He won the bet. Self trained, he was the first African-American announcer in the South, when all-white radio station WROD-AM 1310 hired him in 1947. Ken Knight passed away on September, 12, 1973.

1961
Broadcasting Executive Dies
St. Petersburg Times
April 14, 1961
William S. Cherry Jr., Florida broadcasting executive and New England merchant, died at St. Frances Hospital, in Miami Beach, Thursday. He was 56. Death was attributed to a blood clot. Cherry was the chairman of the board of the Cherry Broadcasting Co., which owns radio stations WDBO AM 580 and FM 92.3 and television station WDBO-TV at Orlando. He also owned Orlando's Cherry Plaza Hotel. He was principal officer, director and stockholder in Cherry and Webb Co., which operates women's apparel stores in Providence, R.I. and in Lowell, Fall River, Lawrence and New Bedford, Mass.


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