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. 




C

Ralph William "Bill" Carson    
Bill Carson was born April 24, 1960 in Tehran, Iran, died March 2, 2011. Bill was the father of two children, Joseph W. Carson, and Kristina Carson, both of Coral Springs. Bill became interested in radio as a student at Oak Ridge High in Orlando. When he was a Junior he had "Green and Gold Radio" on the air. He went on to become a popular DJ on several local radio stations including WGTO-AM 540 and WDBO-AM 580.  Bill is survived by his children, his mother, Marilyn and father Eugene of Barefoot Bay, FL: sisters, Maria Goss, Elizabeth Owens, Carla Carson, Carrie Carson a two nieces Andrea and Emily Day all of Orlando. 

Thompson Kenneth Cassell Sr.   July 7,1970
Tom Cassell age 52 of 329 Ventura Drive, died Tuesday, (Tuesday July 7, 1970) he was president of WKIS(-AM 740) Radio Station, Orlando. Well known in the broadcasting field, he began his career in 1937 at radio station WJEJ, Hagerstown, Md. He was one of the founders of station WCHA, Chambersburg, Pa., following service as an officer, in the Air Force in W.W. II. In Florida, he had ownerships in WGGG(-AM 1230), Gainesville; WCOA, Pensacola; WBIL(-AM 1410), Leesburg and WUWU(-AM 1390), Gainesville. He held stock in one of the controlling companies of WFTV, Orlando. Mr. Cassel was the owner and publisher of the Cape Coral Breeze. Educated in Hagerstown, Md., and the University of Florida, he was active in civic affairs in all of the cities in which he had interests. Born In Harrisburg, Pa., he moved to the area in 1964 and was charter president of the West Orlando Rotary Club, a past director of the Florida Association of Broadcasters, a member of the National Association of Broadcasters, the Masons and various other civic and fraternal organizations. Survivors: wife, Mrs. Nova L.; sons, Thompson K. II, Gainesville, Terry R., a student at UCLA; daughter, Miss Laurie Ellen, Gainesville; Mrs. Ruth B., Gainesville; brother, Charles M. Jr., Boston, Mass.; sister, Mrs. Julia Goodson, San Francisco, Calif.; one grandson. 

Radio Personality Rick Chamberlin Passes Away
The Outer Banks Voice  9-27-12

Rick Chamberlin, “The Senior Chief,” afternoon drive personality at WRSF-FM Dixie 105.7, died Wednesday, September 26, from complications of a massive stroke. He was 61. Chamberlin’s distinctive, smooth voice, and seemingly unlimited knowledge of  country music garnered him a large fan base across northeastern North Carolina, and much deserved respect and admiration from his colleagues in the local radio industry. His favorite artist without question was George Jones. Rick started his radio career in 1967 in Florida at WFIV-AM 1080 in his hometown of Kissimmee. He followed that with stints at WJPB-AM 1220 Kissimmee, WHBO-AM 1040 in Tampa, and then WHOO-AM 990 Orlando, which at the time was the premier country station in central Florida. In 1970, Chamberlin enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard, and served for 24 years before retiring as a Senior Chief Petty Officer. He then returned to radio at WCNC-AM in Elizabeth City, before moving over to WKJX-FM Elizabeth City, and in 1996 joined the staff at WRSF-FM Nags Head. He was also an active member of American Legion Post 288 in Coinjock. He is survived by his wife Shelley, three daughters, three sons, and eleven grandchildren. Funeral services will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. at Twiford Memorial Chapel in Elizabeth City, with burial to follow at Laurel Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Poplar Branch.

Bob Church Passes    
From Mick Dolan's blog 

"...Bobby passed quietly at Florida Hospital Tuesday night June 14th, 2011. Thanks to Susie Martin-Rott, author of the forthcoming book Playin’ The Peninsula: Garage and Teen Center Bands of the I-4 Corridor for more about Bob.  Bob Church was born in Owensboro, Kentucky. When he was two, he contracted polio, which affected his legs. At age 2-1/2 he was fitted with his first set of braces, and over the course of his youth had multiple surgeries, alternating from walking with braces and crutches to having to use a wheelchair to get around. He never let it stop him from pursuing his music. After he quit playing in bands like Central Florida favorites, The Undertakers, he worked at several Orlando area radio stations (WLOQ, WDBO, WORJ, Y106 and WDIZ) as an on-air personality.  I knew Bobby as my program director (he hired me at WDIZ in 1980) and later as part of the Bob and Bob morning show on WLOQ in the 90s. Like most people I know in radio, Bobby was crazy and we loved him!! 

Ron “Charles” Gitschier Passes      11-7-18
Craig Flagler Palms Funeral Home & Flagler Memorial Gardens

Ronald Charles Gitschier, Jr. age, 56, passed away peacefully November 7, 2018 at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, FL. He was born on June 13, 1962 in Lowell, MA to Patricia Pimentel and Ronald Charles Gitschier, Sr. As a young child Ron was known to travel many miles on his bicycle from town to town, distances his mom never knew about. He enjoyed hanging at the city planning department in Lowell at City Hall. An article in the Lowell Sun mentioned him as the youngest map maker in Lowell at age 9. Ron enlisted in the Navy in 1981 and shortly after married his wife Sandy on July 9, 1984 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ron and Sandy were blessed with 3 children during their marriage, Linda Marie Gitschier born 1985, Ronald Charles Everett B. Gitschier born 1991 and Donald Albert Seth Gitschier born 1993. Ron and his wife were recently blessed with a grandson in December 2017, Jasper Jay Mark Kramer, born in Mt. Shasta, CA. Ron served our country for 23 years. During his time in the service he served aboard the USS Conserver ARS 39 from 1982 to 1985 in Pearl Harbor Hawaii. The USS Abraham Lincoln CVN 72 in Norfolk, VA and was part of the commissioning ceremony. He also served aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN 71, Norfolk, VA and the USS Doyle FFG 39, Mayport, FL. Ron served our country during the Kuwait Liberation Campaign, Operation Desert Storm and the Persian Gulf War. He received Navy Unit Commendation, Joint Meritorious Unit, Kuwait Liberation Campaign Medal and two National Defense Medals, Navy Achievement Medal, just to mention a few. Ron was always proud and honored to serve his country. Ron’s wife and children were also proud of his service to our country and supported him through his career despite the sacrifices. Ron retired after 23 years of service, EM1, Petty Officer First Class in December 2004 and settled in Palm Coast, FL with his wife and children. He was admired and well regarded by all his shipmates. After retirement he worked for a brief period for the US Postal service and Home Depot. He made many friends at Home Depot that he enjoys chatting with every time he shops there. Needless to say, a quick shopping trip never happens. Ron’s deepest passion was radio and throughout his life, even during his career in the Navy he remained involved in some way or another. He collected many airchecks, pictures of towers and conversed with many in the radio world. Many family trips included stops at radio station for meet and greets. Not to mention listening to the static of AM radio on the car rides and then running to the pay phone to notify the station that he received reception from states away. As a young man he worked at WLLH in Lowell, WOTW Nashua, NH. During 1998 to 1999 he worked at WYHI in Fernandina Beach, FL. He was known as Rocky W Shore here in Palm Coast on the Blizzard, 93.3 FM (WFBO-FM 93.3), where he engineered and DJ’d. Ron always made himself available to help his radio buddies and enjoyed the opportunity to learn more through the years by assisting with side jobs throughout the state of Florida. His knowledge and love of radio provided him a great opportunity in 2007 to become the Chief Engineer and News Director at WNZF(-AM 1550/FM 106.3). Everyday he could be heard on the radio, “This is Ron Charles with the local news.” He was affectionately known as Capt. Ron by David Ayres, General Manager. WNZF is Ron’s second family, he loved his job and the people he worked with. Ron was recommended as the person to get the station started and was instrumental in the build of the station from ground up, assisted with the tower installation and setting up the studio. Through the 10 years that Ron has worked for Flagler Broadcasting he has been instrumental in the addition of the Beach 92.7 (WBHQ-FM 92.7), KIX Country 98.7 (WAKX-FM 98.7), KOOL 100.9 (WXJZ-FM 100.9) and most recently 105.5 BEACH (WBHU-FM 105.5) in St. Augustine. He also worked for WNSS 89.3, Houston Christian Broadcasting, Inc as the engineer. During his time at Flagler Broadcasting, Ron worked hard as the engineer to maintain the station even through the storms to be sure the community received information during these storms. As News Director he reported the news with fairness and integrity. Ron has accomplished much in his short life and is highly regarded, respected and admired by all those that have known him, friends and family. He will be remembered as a humble, intelligent man with integrity, sincerity, compassion and willingness to help others. He will be dearly missed by his family as well as his friends. He is survived by his loving wife Sandra Gitschier, daughter Linda Gitschier, son Ronald C. Gitschier, son Donald Gitschier, grandson Jasper Kramer, father Ronald C. Gitschier, Sr, sisters Catherine Gitschier, Carol Croswell, Kelly Hamilton and brothers Kevin Gitschier, Mark Gitschier, Frank Marcott, David Marcott, Darrin Marcott and Michael Gitschier, as well as many cousins, nephews, nieces and friends. The world has said goodbye to a wonderful husband, father, brother, uncle, friends and shipmates. He will be deeply missed by all. “Fair winds and following seas” When we miss you the most, we will look deep in our hearts and find you there. Family and friends will be received Sunday, November 18, 2018 from 1:00 – 3:00 PM at the Craig-Flagler Palms Funeral Home in Flagler Beach, where services will be held at 3:00 PM.

Chick Catterton  Jan 26, 1913-Oct 4, 1993
Austin Van "Chick" Catterton Sr. was a one-term mayor of Melbourne, Florida from 1953 to 1954. He was a broadcaster and musician. He was born in Walterboro, South Carolina on January 26, 1913, the son of G. M. Catterton and Lattie Catterton. He moved to Florida in 1945. On January 10, 1946, he married Claudia Claire Strange. In 1949, he was General Manager of Melbourne Broadcasting Corporation, owner of WMMB-AM 1240. In 1956, he became Vice President/ General Manager and News Director. He left WMMB, and in 1958, and co-founded WMEG-AM 920. He was President, General Manager and News Director of Mel-Eau Broadcasting Corporation. On July 22, 1965, he co-founded the Melbourne Municipal Band. Survivors: wife, Claudia C.; son, Austin Van Jr., Melbourne; daughters, Candace Nile, Deltona, Camille Odom, Palm Bay; brother, Frank J., Melbourne; three grandchildren. Brownlie & Maxwell Funeral Home, Melbourne.
Gene Chenault Dead At 90      
Gene Chenault, who with Bill Drake (who died in November of 2008) headed Drake-Chenault Enterprises, died on Tuesday, Feb. 23. He was 90 years old. Chenault and Drake began their partnership in 1962, when Chenault offered Drake the opportunity to program two of his California stations, KYNO in Fresno and KSTN in Stockton. After both stations rocketed to number one, Drake-Chenault Enterprises was formed and went on to take KGB in San Diego to the top of the ratings and launch the legendary Boss Radio on KHJ Los Angeles. By the 1960s Drake-Chenault became a hugely successful company, with hundreds of client stations, offering full-time formats, sales, consulting, and special features including The History of Rock and Roll. Jones Radio Networks purchased the company in 1985.
Thanks to Mark Williams for this link to Gene's obituary as it appeared in the L.A. Times

Bob Church Passes    
From Mick Dolan's blog 

"...Bobby passed quietly at Florida Hospital Tuesday night June 14th, 2011. Thanks to Susie Martin-Rott, author of the forthcoming book Playin’ The Peninsula: Garage and Teen Center Bands of the I-4 Corridor for more about Bob.  Bob Church was born in Owensboro, Kentucky. When he was two, he contracted polio, which affected his legs. At age 2-1/2 he was fitted with his first set of braces, and over the course of his youth had multiple surgeries, alternating from walking with braces and crutches to having to use a wheelchair to get around. He never let it stop him from pursuing his music. After he quit playing in bands like Central Florida favorites, The Undertakers, he worked at several Orlando area radio stations (WLOQ, WDBO, WORJ, Y106 and WDIZ) as an on-air personality.  I knew Bobby as my program director (he hired me at WDIZ in 1980) and later as part of the Bob and Bob morning show on WLOQ in the 90s. Like most people I know in radio, Bobby was crazy and we loved him!! 

Steve Church Passes     9-28-12
Steve Church, engineer, entrepreneur, talk show host, and founder of Telos Systems and the Telos Alliance, has died in Cleveland, on September 28, 2012. He had brain cancer. Steve was born in San Diego, California. Prior to his founding of  Telos Systems, Steve worked at WMEL-AM 930 between 1973 and 1975. Steve is survived by his loving wife Lana, stepson Dimitri, mother Jacqueline Burgess, and brothers Brent Church, Dann Church and Todd Church. He was 57 years old.
Roger Cleary     
Daily Commercial-Leesburg   8/30/2003
Roger Manning Cleary, 81, of Tavares, died Wednesday, August 27, 2003 in Tavares, Fla. Roger was born in Manistee, Michigan on October 26, 1921 to Leo and Gertrude Cleary. He is survived by his wife, Helen Cleary of Tavares; his son, Stephen David Cleary of Palatine, Ill., and his wife, Sue, and their three daughters, Andrea, Vanessa and Alexus; a daughter, Susan Beyer, husband Ernie, of Novato, Calif. and Heather and Mario Bynum and two-great-grandchildren. Roger had college degrees from the University of Michigan and a Graduate degree from Indiana University. He enlisted in the Aviation Cadets of the U.S. Army Air Corps and served from 1942 to 1946 in the States, England, and Germany and served in the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey, analyzing the effects of Pinpoint Bombing on the German Machine Tool Industry. Back in the States, he worked for several Motion Picture companies, including his own, Roger Cleary Productions. He did TV work for Inside Michigan Magazine, and wrote and co-produced the "Life in Detroit" TV series for Life Magazine. He worked with most of the domestic automotive manufacturers at one time or another, and was the Hollywood, Calif. Account Executive for the Western 15 States on the Chrysler Corporation Account for Leo Burnett Co. from 1958 to 1968. Roger worked with ABC TV, NBC TV and retired from the Consumer Publications Division of CBS in 1984. He worked part-time at WLBE-AM 790 . Funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday, September 2, 2003 at 10:30 AM at St. Patrick's Catholic Church. Memorials can be directed to Hospice of Lake County. As a final note, Roger sends his love and joy of living to all those whose lives have touched his and his family's and wishes them total goodness and God's ultimate blessings in their lives. PEACE. Beyers Funeral Home, Leesburg.

Carl G. Collins, Jr.     
Carl G. Collins, Jr. died Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at home. He was born July 2, 1927 to Carl Gilbert and Mattie Viola Cook Collins, Sr. in Panama City, FL. Survivors include his wife of 17 years, Elissa; sons, Michael Collins and Pat Collins; daughter, Kay Matthews; son, Carl (Gil) Collins; stepsons, Kerry Palin, Jeffrey Palin and Douglas Palin; eight grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Eileen and sister, Winelle. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Melbourne, the Masons and Rotary Club. A US Army veteran, he had a wonderful sense of humor and in the 1950s was a pioneer in starting WKKO-AM 860 in Brevard. He was known as "Mr. Radio". He also worked for WRKT. In 1959 he went to work for Lockheed as a systems engineer until his retirement in 1991.

Hartwell Benton Conklin
Hartwell Conklin, age 87 of Orlando passed away on July 8, 2015 with his family at his side. He was born May 11, 1928 in Durham, North Carolina to parents Herman Paul and Geneva Conklin. He was the second of five boys. Hartwell attended Durham High School where he took an active part in the school’s drama clubs as well as the Duke Players and the Durham Theater Guild. After graduating from high school he was honored to be cast, in three different rolls in the first year production of the outdoor historical drama "Unto These Hills", in Cherokee, North Carolina. After proudly serving in the US Army and Ready Reserve he was very grateful to have attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under the GI Bill and became very active there. Hartwell majored in Radio, Television and Motion Pictures, served as President of the Freshman Class (1952-53) and was an officer of the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity, The Carolina Playmakers, The Bell Tower Society and was the Red Cross Camp Show Director only to name a few. It was in Chapel Hill at UNC where Hartwell met his wife, Sue Angelyn Fryer formerly of Hillsborough, North Carolina. Upon leaving UNC Hartwell followed his passion for news and current events into a new and uncharted area of Television. In 1954 he was hired by WFMY-TV in Greensboro as a Television Producer, Director and Scenic Designer. In the late 50’s, he moved to Orlando where he was hired by WLOF-TV (later WFTV-Channel 9 ABC affiliate) and as the Sign-On Production Manager and later was offered the same opportunity with WESH-TV (Channel 2-NBC affiliate). Subsequently, he joined WDBO-TV (Channel 6- CBS affiliate) as news director and was responsible for merging WDBO-TV and WDBO Radio AM (580) & FM (92.3)  news departments which became the Dept. of Defense emergency station for all of Florida. One of the highlights of Hartwell’s career was being hired by CBS News-New York as a Contract Specialist Newsman/Producer with its Special Events Unit which was formed to cover the NASA space program televised events, as well as, several of the National Political Conventions. It was during that time he worked directly with Walter Cronkite, on an assignment eight years in the making, in producing the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space launches. He often said the pinnacle of his career was covering the launch of Apollo 11, July 16, 1969 from Cape Canaveral with his close friend Walter. This “Man on the Moon” event was tagged “The Story of the Century” and he was honored to be there. Eventually, he became involved in Public Relations in Orlando. Over a 20 year period Hartwell was Director of PR for Dart Industries which owned the subsidiary Tupperware International; the Director of PR for GAC properties and ultimately was called to form the first Public Relations Department at The Orlando Sentinel and was responsible for founding the Sentinel Charities Fund. Always active in the Orlando community, Hartwell was a member of numerous civic organizations. He was the founding President of the Greater Orlando Press Club; an Associate Board member of the Florida Symphony; Board member of the Friends of the Library of Orange County; The American Cancer Society; WMFE-PBS; Loch Haven Arts Center; John Young Museum & Planetarium; Central Florida Civic Theater, Maitland Historical Society; Central Florida Humane Society; Tangerine Bowl; Orlando Remembered Historical Society; Opera Gala Guild and was on the Executive Committee of the Golden South Track and Field Meet. However, his number one love was his decades of work and Presidency of the Central Florida UNC General Alumni Association, now known as The Carolina Club, which has hundreds of members and continued alumni activities. Hartwell is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Sue Fryer Conklin; daughter (Sue) Angelyn, Orlando; son Myron “Binky” O’Neal (Michelle Knox); granddaughters Madison Angelyn Conklin, Sophia Claire Conklin and grandson Knox O’Neal Conklin all of Orlando. Brother Joel (Zita Tear) of Durham, North Carolina. A Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 1:00pm at Downtown Baptist Church Orlando- 120 East Pine Street Orlando 32801. Due to Hartwell’s great love of the theater, the family is requesting in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The College Park Neighborhood Arts & Theater Center- Land Acquisition Fund- Hartwell Benton Conklin Memorial. Checks are gratefully accepted at CPNArts - 2014 Edgewater Drive Suite 32804 Orlando, Florida 32804. On line donations can be made at www.cpnarts.org/become-a-donor/

L. Orden Craig
Published: In The Winter Haven News Chief  Wednesday, June 22, 2005 at 4:01 a.m.
L. Orden Craig, 87, of Lakeland died of Alzheimer's Disease Monday, June 20, 2005. A native of Hope, Ind., he moved to Lakeland in 1995 from Winter Haven. He was Co-owner of WSIR(-AM 1490). He served with the Secret Service during World War II. He worked for RCA and was fundamental in developing the proximity fuse and later helped with the push-button stereo control mechanism for automobiles. He was preceded in death by his wife, Beulah Craig and brother Robert Craig. Survivors include two daughters, Cay Van De Voort of Lakeland and Jeanne Abell of Perrine; sister, Alberta Sullivan of Winter Haven; five grandchildren eight great-grandchildren; and six great-great  grandchildren.  Memorial contributions may be made to Good Shepherd Hospice, 115 S. Missouri, Suite 500, Lakeland, FL 33801.
Ken Courtright  April 3, 2010
Times Reporter - New Philadelphia, OH

James Kent "Ken" Courtright will be remembered as a master of the spoken word in a rich, baritone, authoritative voice. Courtright, age 74, of New Philadelphia died peacefully early Saturday evening, April 3, 2010, in Union Hospital at Dover in a room which overlooked the WJER radio station where his broadcasting career began. A son of the late William Ellsworth Courtright and Edith Marta (Vogley) Courtright Fankhauser, Ken was born at Dover, O., on Oct. 26, 1935. He was proud of his Swiss heritage being the first generation of his family to have been born in America. In the mid 1950s, Ken began his radio career with WJER 1450 AM at Dover where he had been influenced by the radio coverage of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and the work of Carl Reese. In 1958, Ken relocated to Cleveland and began working for WERE 1300 AM and was also hired to present the news on KYW 1100 AM. Later, he was given the position as the News Director at WCUE 1150 AM at Akron. In 1965, Ken returned to KYW 1100 AM and stayed there after the call letters were changed to WKYC. Long after his departure, Ken's unique tone was still heard for EBS alert testing and the Sunday evening "sign-offs." Ken served as the news director for WJW 850 AM and also held news positions with WSLR 1350 (Akron, O.), WQKT (Wooster, O.), WGAR 1220 AM (Cleveland), WKIS(-AM 740) (Orlando, Fla.), WBGB(-AM) 1580 (Mount Dora, Fla.), WCER 900 AM (Canton, O.), WDBN, 94.9 (Medina, O.) and ultimately spent 27 years with the Tuscarawas Broadcasting Co. where he was the News Director for WBTC 1540 AM and served as a news anchor for WNPQ 95.9 FM. It was with WBTC that Ken would originate the well-known morning program, "Dial and Deal". In 1990, Ken would again return to the airwaves of 1100 AM, now WTAM, and would present the news for a fifth decade on one Cleveland radio frequency. Throughout his career, Ken covered some well-known news stories in Northeast O., including the Sam Shepherd Trial, the Kent State shootings and the Ashby Leach hostage drama. Ken met many celebrities and politicians throughout his career, favorites being Don and Phil Everly, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Vail, Doris Day, Tina Louise, Gina Lollobrigida, Jayne Mansfield, Sophia Loren, Edward Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Among his favorite stories is the time Tab Hunter (at the height of his popularity) hid in the back of Ken's car to avoid throngs of screaming fans. Ken left a legacy within the Northeast Ohio broadcasting industry, one that has spanned more than 45 years. Ken's voice can still be heard from time to time doing PSA commercials, and top of the hour news intros for some radio stations, as well as sign-on and sign-off spots. Ken leaves behind a loving family which includes four sons, Alan (Mary) Courtright of Medina, Sean (Peggy) Courtright of Wooster, Les Middleton, Jeffrey (Leah) Courtright of Virginia Beach, Va.; three daughters, Ellen Kay Courtright of Lakewood, Julie (Wilson) Haugh of Lorain, and Jillian Courtright of Cleveland; and a former wife, Debra Durham Courtright of Vermilion. Completing Ken's family are five grandchildren, James, Emily, Olivia, Cady, and Evan, as well as one great-granddaughter, Mary. In addition to his parents, Ken was preceded in death by a son, Robin Lee Courtright; a brother, Bill Courtright; a sister, Charlotte Allenbaugh; and his stepfather, Gordon Fankhauser, and his first wife, Linette Dickey Courtright Boles. The family will receive friends on Wednesday (today), April 7, 2010, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Linn-Hert-Geib Funeral Home & Crematory in New Philadelphia and again one hour prior to services. Ken's longtime colleague and friend from the Tuscarawas Broadcasting Co., Mr. Kevin Baker, will lead a memorial service celebrating Ken's life in the funeral home's chapel on Thursday, April 8, 2010, at 2 p.m. Inurnment will follow in the East Avenue Cemetery at New Philadelphia. Those unable to attend may send personal condolences to Ken's family by signing the online guest registry located on the funeral home's Web site. The family requests that memorial contributions in Ken's name be directed to the Baseball Heritage Museum, Colonial Marketplace Arcade, 530 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, O. 44115 or the Alzheimer's Association of Central Ohio, 3380 Tremont Road, Columbus, Ohio 43221. 
George Crossley     
The Daytona Beach News-Journal 
By Mark Harper, Staff Writer
Radio talk show host George Crossley, a one-time televangelist whose 1997 conviction in a failed murder-for-hire plot gained national attention, has died. From his involvement as a civil-rights activist to his conservative commentaries and imprisonment, Crossley's biography covered a wide swath of American history spanning the last five decades. He was 69. "He was a unique individual," said Orlando attorney Donald Lykkebak, who at one time represented Crossley but better remembers him as a friend. "He was always trying to help somebody else. That was consistent." His death was announced by radio station officials Thursday, a day after he collapsed in the lobby. But information about when he died was not available. Starting in the 1960s as a civil-rights activist and union organizer, the longtime Deltona resident later found his faith in the 1970s. He was ordained as a Baptist minister and became an outspoken conservative talk-show host on both radio and television stations starting in the 1980s. But in 1997, he was convicted of trying to arrange the murder of his ex-mistress' husband and served nearly three years at Union Correctional Institution in Raiford. After his release, he worked to help restore ex-cons' voting rights and eventually rose to become president of the Central Florida American Civil Liberties' Union. Following that, he founded CopWatch, an organization devoted to arriving at crime scenes, videotaping and witnessing officers' actions in an attempt to battle heavy-handed police tactics. Crossley's wife, Agnes, died at age 80 in 2008. After his release from prison in 2001, he discussed his conviction, calling it a "stupid, senseless act," in an interview with The News-Journal. He had begged for his wife's forgiveness. "I said, 'I blew it. It was my fault. I've sinned against you and I ask you to forgive me,' "Crossley said, noting that she had. More recently, he had returned to radio. He was preparing to go on the air just before his 6 p.m. shift Wednesday at "Big 810," WEUS-AM in Altamonte Springs, when he collapsed in the lobby, said the station's co-owner Carmine Tutera. "He was a friend to people who needed a friend," Tutera said. "I think (his radio show) was his whole life. The radio was not just his work, it was why he existed." 
Biography
L. Orden Craig
Published: In The Winter Haven News Chief  Wednesday, June 22, 2005 at 4:01 a.m.
L. Orden Craig, 87, of Lakeland died of Alzheimer's Disease Monday, June 20, 2005. A native of Hope, Ind., he moved to Lakeland in 1995 from Winter Haven. He was Co-owner of WSIR(-AM 1490). He served with the Secret Service during World War II. He worked for RCA and was fundamental in developing the proximity fuse and later helped with the push-button stereo control mechanism for automobiles. He was preceded in death by his wife, Beulah Craig and brother Robert Craig. Survivors include two daughters, Cay Van De Voort of Lakeland and Jeanne Abell of Perrine; sister, Alberta Sullivan of Winter Haven; five grandchildren eight great-grandchildren; and six great-great  grandchildren.  Memorial contributions may be made to Good Shepherd Hospice, 115 S. Missouri, Suite 500, Lakeland, FL 33801.

Woodrow Wilson Crawford
Radio Listeners Liked His
 Barbershop Tunes 
Orlando Sentinel, The (FL) - Wednesday, October 6, 1999

For years, Orlando residents would tune their radio dials each week to hear Woodrow Wilson Crawford and his barbershop quartet croon their favorite songs. ''He had a beautiful high tenor voice,'' his wife, Louise, said. ''He was loved by young and old alike.'' The retired furniture salesman died Sunday of cancer. He was 86. Crawford's group, The Singing Salesmen, could be heard on WDBO-AM(580) from the early 1930s until about 1952. Besides belting out tunes, the group advertised for the old B.E. Purcell's Furniture Store, on Church Street, where the Cheyenne Saloon is today. Born and raised in Lavonia, Ga., Crawford moonlighted as a telephone operator while a high school student. Back then, operators would plug in the phone lines to a switchboard and sometimes even eavesdrop. ''People would say: 'I know you're listening Woody. What time is it?''' his wife said. In 1935, Crawford's uncle, Buren E. Purcell, who owned the furniture store, invited the young man to move to Orlando and work for him. Crawford began his radio show soon after, and the quartet quickly became so popular it made a few records. During World War II, Crawford left the show briefly to serve in the Army under Gen. George Patton in Europe. After Purcell's store was sold, Crawford worked for several furniture dealers, including Helmsley's on Colonial Drive and Myrick's on Orange Avenue. ''He would go out of his way for his customers. When people bought from him he would take them flowers when their furniture was delivered,'' his wife said. Crawford also sang in the choir at North Park Baptist Church, where he was a member for 45 years. He also enjoyed serving as an usher ''so he could kiss all the little old ladies coming in,'' his wife said. ''He was a great, great man. I feel very lucky that my children got to know him,'' daughter Connie Herrera said. Survivors also include son, Woodrow ''Chip'' Jr., Orlando; daughter, Cathy Rivera, Orlando; sister, Mary King, Lithonia, Ga.; and five grandchildren. Arrangements are being handled by Carey Hand Colonial Funeral Home, Orlando.

Bob "The Cruiser" Cummings   
April 1, 1947-September 30, 2007-Arthur Christman better known as  Bob " The Cruiser " Cummings , a DJ with WFBO-FM 93.3 "Blizzard Radio" for three years. Bob began his career in radio during his stint in the Army during the Vietnam era. Bob passed away at home and, instead of a memorial service, his ashes were scattered at sea from the Flagler Beach pier. Bob leaves his wife of 25 years, Linda Christman, three sons, a daughter and four grandchildren.

Harry D. Cup (Michael Christian)  
The Tampa Tribune - January 15, 2000
Polk City actor gone, but voice still speaks

Michael Christian, a 63-year-old voice actor known as Harry Cup, died Jan. 6 at Lakeland Regional Medical Center of complications from heart disease. But his voice is far from silent. It is Christian's voice that cautions passengers on the tram at Tampa International Airport to stand clear of the doors and  hold the handrail. And it will be heard on radio and television commercials across the country.  "They had a joke in the industry: "When you want the voice of God, call Harry,' " said Christian's widow, Barbara, 58, of Polk City. The son of Hungarian immigrants, Christian, not his birth name, grew up in Elyria, Ohio, a small town outside Cleveland, she said. He began working in radio while he was in high school. He won a football scholarship to Purdue University, but he quit college to help support his family when his father died, she said. Through the years, he worked as a talk show host at radio stations across the country, including Philadelphia, Orlando, Winter Haven and Pinellas Park. He even had a hit country song in the early 1970s called "Green Grows the Valley," Barbara Christian said. Back then, he was known as Mike Adams. In 1974, Christian was host of a talk show in Winter Haven when he met Barbara, a champion swimmer, at Cypress Gardens. "He was walking around with a stupid duck," she said, "and he kept harassing me, telling me the duck could swim faster." They were married three weeks later. "It's like he had this aura," she said. "People were just attracted to him." The couple eventually opened a horse ranch for handicapped children in Polk City after they saw how much horseback riding helped their daughter, Reed, who is mentally disabled. Christian adopted his wife's daughter after they married. Physicians had offered no hope for Reed when she was born, said Barbara Christian, a special education teacher. But with help from her parents, Reed, who is now 36, has became a certified riding instructor and has a license to drive. Animals, as well as people, were attracted to his kind disposition, she said. And he loved to make others laugh. "He believed that humor was a forgotten art," she said. For the past couple of years, his heart had given him trouble, she said. In 1998, he had quadruple bypass surgery. In December, he was admitted to the hospital for congestive heart failure. But he was home with his family by Christmas. On Dec. 26, he took his daughter to the Bucs game even though he had trouble walking, Barbara Christian said. He didn't want to disappoint Reed, who had worn a Bucs jersey for the entire week before the game. Father and daughter happily watched the Bucs beat Green Bay. Within a week, Christian was back in the hospital, this time for a heart catheterization. On the afternoon of Jan. 5, he opened his eyes for the last time and mouthed the words, "I love you," to his wife. His wife and friends held a memorial service this week at Crisp-Coon Funeral Home, Winter Haven. They listened to "Amazing Grace" and "What A Friend We Have in Jesus," sung by who else?


What's New
  


Biographies
 


In Memory

Sounds
AM / FM


Misc.


Links
 


Chronology


What's News?