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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Lowell "Bud" Paxson   1-10-15 
Bud Paxson, creator and co-founder of Home Shopping Network and PAX TV has died at the age of 80. Paxson began his career as an owner of WACK Radio, a 500 watt radio station in the village of Newark, New York. Paxson would later purchase AM station, WWQT in Clearwater. In 1977, an advertiser had plenty of product to sell—avocado-green-colored can openers—but ran out of funds to purchase airtime. Paxson instructed talk-show host Bob Circosta to sell the can openers live over the air and both men were stunned at the audience response. All 112 can openers were purchased within the hour on August 28, 1977. Sensing the sales potential of live, on-air product selling, Paxson and Roy Speer co-founded a local cable TV channel in 1982 that sold products directly to Florida viewers, and then launched nationwide in 1985. The channel was the Home Shopping Club, later Home Shopping Network. in the 1990's his Paxson Broadcasting of Orlando owned five Orlando area stations. Those included WWNZ-AM 740WWZN-AM 540WJRR-FM 101.1WWZN-AM 1440WHVE/WVRI/WWNZ/WTKS-FM 104.1 and WMGF-FM 107.7. Paxson also was responsible for developing The Florida Radio Network. 

Helen Peikin  4-8-91
Helen Peikin Finke, a feisty senior citizens advocate known to thousands in Central Florida through her newspaper, television and radio commentaries, died Monday, April 8, 1991. She was 76. Immaculately groomed and always wearing a hat, the diminutive Philadelphia native wrote ''Speakin' with Peikin,'' an advice column for seniors in the The Orlando Sentinel in the 1970s and early 1980s. Her radio and television shows began in 1961 and aired periodically for 25 years. ''Some called her feisty - she was 90 pounds of dynamite,'' said her husband, Rene Finke. In 1978, Peikin was elected to represent 90,000 senior citizens of Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties as a Senator in the Silver-Haired Legislature, a mock legislative session in Tallahassee focusing on senior issues. Peikin walked out on the first day of the session in protest of the conditions of the lodging provided by Florida State University. When her replacement, Leo Ware, blasted Peikin for the walkout, she responded in her usual hard-boiled manner, ''I don't give a damn what anybody else thinks.'' Peikin annually hosted Senior Season kickoff at the Atlantis Theater at Sea World, drawing crowds of more than 4,000 seniors. ''She was the leading advocate for the aged in this area,'' said Charles Unkovic, professor of sociology at the University of Central Florida, which gave her the Golden Rule Award. ''She knew all the important people. She would think nothing of picking up the phone and calling the governor'' to help a senior citizen who had a problem. 

WWII Veteran Murray Pendleton earned Purple Heart, loved racing     
April 21, 2006 By Terry O. Roen, Sentinel Staff Writer

Murray Pendleton was fearless. He loved fast cars and dangerous missions. He volunteered to serve on an elite bomb squad during World War II and spent 37 years working for the Daytona Beach International Speedway and NASCAR. The Port Orange man died Monday at age 85. Pendleton was born in St. John, New Brunswick, and moved to the United States when he was 16. A veteran of the U.S. Army Air Forces, he was wounded twice in North Africa defusing bombs. The second time, he lost his leg and received the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster. He also was awarded the U.S. Defense Medal and Medal for Service in Europe and North Africa Theater of Operation. After the accident, he continued to serve another two years as the manager of the Armed Forces Radio and Television at Martin Army Community Hospital in Fort Benning, Ga. He spent his free time visiting the hospital to lift the spirits of injured soldiers. Pendleton moved to Daytona Beach in 1961 and worked as program director of WSBB(-AM 1230) radio in New Smyrna Beach. He took a job as staff assistant for the Daytona Beach International Speedway and NASCAR to fuel his love for racing. His job included picking up VIPs at the airport, announcing races, working traffic control and clearing the track. During the 1960s, Pendleton and his wife started Million Dollar Bandstand, a portable disco that traveled to weddings and entertained teens at recreation centers and dances. Pendleton used his Bandstand engagements to expand WSBB’s radio audience.  "My dad worked two or three jobs and never took a sick day," said Scott Pendleton, his youngest son. "He would come home with his leg bleeding from standing all day, but he never complained." Murray Pendleton was a coffee addict who always had a thermos full by his side. He wore a prosthesis and never let his disability stop him from participating in any activity, said his wife, Elaine. "He accepted the loss of his leg from the beginning," Elaine said. "He loved to putter around the garage. He worked on his car, changed his own oil and could fix anything." The couple met at a blind date at the drag races and were married for 45 years. His oldest daughter, Betty Jean "Ringo" Pendleton, said she has fond memories of tagging along with her father to races. She said he was a big fan of Richard and Lee Petty and decorated his Dodge station wagon with NASCAR decals.  "For years, we had a first-aid kit and stretcher in the back of the station wagon," she said. "His car was used in case of an accident because they didn't have ambulances waiting around in those days," she said. When Pendleton retired in 1986, the couple purchased a recreational vehicle and traveled around the United States. He served as president and vice president of the Daytona Drifters RV Camping Club. He also is survived by his sons; Buddy Pendleton of Ocoee, Bill Pendleton of Apopka and Thomas Pendleton of South Daytona; daughter, Debbie Card of Port Orange; 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Shannon Maloney Funeral Home in Port Orange is handling the arrangements.

Bob Penrod
Robert "Bob" Penrod, 73 of Brooksville passed away August 27, 2013. He was born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania on March 8, 1940.
Bob was in radio for 55 years. He started at 18 and ended as a part-time talk show host Mondays from 1:00-3:00 pm, and Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1:00-2:00 pm on WWJB-AM 1450 in Brooksville. He did Big Band & Jazz Shows for 38 years, which was heard on Wednesday nights from 7:00-8:00 on WWJB. He was an announcer, his original career love, for about 30 years, both as a disc jockey in many different formats, and a newsman, as he worked his way upward in the business in seven different communities in Upstate New York. He was hired after only 10 years in the business by his favorite Rochester, NY radio station, the 50,000 watt, clear channel WHAM-AM 1180. It was heard over 13 counties days and at night was in 38 states. When Bob was hired by WHAM, he first did news at night and later became their morning newsman, doing four 15 minute newscasts. As a teenager, this was a station that he thought had 10 of the best radio announcers he has yet heard today and he wanted to be one of them. He made it at 28 years old. How did he get started in the broadcasting business? In the local radio station in his hometown of Penn Yan, NY when his favorite disc jockey, Bob Burns, who did the 3:00-6:00 pm shift on WHAM in Rochester, quit and moved to Penn Yan to become the local station general manager. It was like Mickey Mantle moving to your hometown. Bob Burns joined the local Kiwanis Club, which had a program where seniors in high school could go to the club weekly luncheon several times and sit next to someone in a business they were interested in. Guess who Bob Penrod sat next to and who hired him to his very first radio job? Bob was given a 5:00-6:00 am show and told to wake up local people and help attract them to hear the regular morning crew who started at 6:00 am and went to 10:00. He thought he knew everything there was to know about radio at 18. But he soon came to realize that he had been given the 5:00-6:00 am show to be able to make a lot of mistakes and learn from them, and nobody but local dairy farmers and the cows they were milking ever heard him. After a few months, he was given a regular daytime shift. After he had been a radio announcer in New York State for about 20 years, things changed in 1978 when several local businessmen in his hometown who owned the radio station, bought WWJB in Brooksville. That station was struggling. They offered the general manager's job to Bob. He accepted it, put together a very good staff and really got into the new job. He worked 10-12 hours a day, met with every local business and community group and vowed to help them be successful. Many gave back to the station. Advertising was doubled in the first year, meeting a goal that gave him 18 per cent ownership in the station. Four years later, WWJB was sold to the present owners and Bob went back to New York State to manage and make successful two more radio stations over the next 17 years. Bob met his wife, Shirley, in college in 1958 and they fell in love. They were married 52 1/2 years. He is survived by two children, a daughter, Suzanne McAlpine, who works in the office for the Hernando County Sheriff's Department, and a son, Dan, who lives in Portland, OR. Between them, they have given Shirley and I four grand children; Richard, Katlyn, Breanna, Tristan. Shirley was an elementary school teacher for close to 25 years. They both retired from their long careers when they were 62 in 2002......she as a teacher and me as a radio station general manager. They had come back to Brooksville to see their kids three times a year since they first left in 1982, so they knew it well and loved it. They wanted to get out of the New York snow, cold and gray skies all Winter and they moved back to Brooksville. But Bob didn't really retire fulltime. Steve Manuel offered him a job in the station and, after several months, he accepted three days a week, a couple of hours each day. It's been going on for 10 years now. Bob loves people and has helped thousands of local residents through his many interesting guests who include people in private business, government, school, law enforcement, medical and community groups. Bob has liked real and model trains since he was a little kid and has belonged to the Citrus Model Railroad Club since 2005. The 35 or so members are building a new HO and N gauge layout in their building at the Citrus County Fairgrounds south of Inverness. On top of that, the members operate and help each other build layouts at their homes. Bob had some health challenges that came up over the last year. He remained positive, exercised many times a week and kept active every day. His great wife and family were solidly behind him, along with his wonderful fitness instructor and massage therapist, and hundreds of wonderful friends.
Nick Pfeifauf     
Former WESH anchor Pfeifauf dies in his sleep
Orlando Sentinel
December 12, 2009
Nicholas W. Pfeifauf thrived in the limelight. He was a DJ for a Sanford radio station and anchored the evening news and hosted a morning show for a Central Florida news station. Pfeifauf of Osteen joined the WESH-Channel 2 news team in the mid-1960s as a cameraman when he left the Sanford radio station WTRR(-AM 1400) after 10 years. He quickly landed a seat as the television station's evening news anchorman, transforming into a local celebrity of sorts. Pfeifauf died Friday after suffering a heart attack. He was 77. "He was a major part of the community," daughter Donna Chamberlin of DeBary said. Her father eventually climbed the ranks to become the station's vice president for research and development. Toward the end of his 26-year career at WESH, he moved away from the hard news to host the early morning show, "Two's Country". Similar to the popular David Letterman show, Pfeifauf had bands perform on the show and interviewed a variety of guests. "He would have local programming on whatever was hot or whatever was not," Chamberlin, 46, explained. After WESH, Pfeifauf joined the staff of the Sanford Herald, covering local government and general assignments. He retired in 2005. Pfeifauf, who was born in Detroit, was better known for his own music. At 16, he started a dance band, Star Lighters. When the U.S. Navy stationed him in Central Florida, Pfeifauf, who played the keyboard, brought the tones with him. Even though he hosted a country music show, the tones weren't his favorite, said his wife Eloise Pfeifauf, 73. He liked the upbeat, peppy dance rhythms. He often performed dance music at nightclubs, weddings and charity events in Central Florida. "Had he not been such a family man, he could have done more with music. He could have gone on tour," his wife said. His biggest thrill, though, was being a father. The day his eldest daughter was born, Pfeifauf left the WTRR radio station ecstatic and in a hurry. He climbed into the wrong car and it wasn't until he arrived at the hospital in Sanford that he realized he wasn't driving his car, Chamberlin said. Pfeifauf met his wife at a dance where he was the performer. She was a senior in high school and in a singing-trio. And he was smitten. Days after the dance, Pfeifauf attended a Christmas concert at her high school in which she was performing. After searching for her last name on the concert program, he called every single "Snyder" listed in the phone book until he found her. "He was quite a romantic," his wife said. They went on their first date on New Year's Day 1954. By New Year's Eve the same year, the couple married. Even after 54 years, she said the romance never faded. On his last night on earth, Pfeifauf kissed his wife and told her twice he loved her before he slipped away in his sleep. Survivors also include daughter Linda Barnhart of Lake Mary; son Kenneth Pfeifauf of Orange City; six grandchildren; and two great grandchildren. Baldwin Fairchild Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Copyright © 2009, Orlando Sentinel

Butch Prevatt   5-13-01
He was born in Palatka, but grew up in Hastings. He graduated from Hastings High School in 1970. While in high school, he began working for the Palatka Daily News. He was a senior reporter with 30 years of service. He worked for a short time for WIYD(-AM 1260) radio as a news reporter. Clarence Arnold ''Butch'' Prevatt, 49, Gainesville and Palatka, died at North Florida Regional Medical Center, following a short illness. He was a former member of the River City Repertory Company Theatre group, acting in several plays. He enjoyed theater, regularly attending plays in Palatka, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Ocala and Orlando, and he was a volunteer at the Hippodrome State Theater in Gainesville for many years. He enjoyed collecting Lauren Bacall and Tallulah Bankhead memorabilia. He was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence A. and Earie Prevatt, and by a sister, Pearl Marie Fisher. He is survived by his longtime companion, Mark Bass, Gainesville; two brothers, Harry Robert ''Bobby'' Prevatt, Richard Albert Prevatt, both of St. Augustine; a sister, Mary Frances Noles, Shreveport, La.; and by numerous nieces and nephews. He was born in Palatka, but grew up in Hastings. He graduated from Hastings High School in 1970. While in high school, he began working for the Palatka Daily News. He was a senior reporter with 30 years of service. He worked for a short time for WIYD(-AM 1260) radio as a news reporter. Clarence Arnold ''Butch'' Prevatt, 49, Gainesville and Palatka, died at North Florida Regional Medical Center, following a short illness. He was a former member of the River City Repertory Company Theatre group, acting in several plays. He enjoyed theater, regularly attending plays in Palatka, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Ocala and Orlando, and he was a volunteer at the Hippodrome State Theater in Gainesville for many years. He enjoyed collecting Lauren Bacall and Tallulah Bankhead memorabilia. He was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence A. and Earie Prevatt, and by a sister, Pearl Marie Fisher. He is survived by his longtime companion, Mark Bass, Gainesville; two brothers, Harry Robert ''Bobby'' Prevatt, Richard Albert Prevatt, both of St. Augustine; a sister, Mary Frances Noles, Shreveport, La.; and by numerous nieces and nephews.

Kris Earl Phillips Passes        10-10-17
It's with great shock and sadness I must report Kris Earl Phillips passed away on Tuesday, October 3. Kris was the kind of guy who was never afraid to offer a helping hand. You can read tributes to him on his Facebook page.
Chester E. "Chet" Pike     10-13-2004
After a career in radio and TV Chet became a restaurant owner. Chet opened "Gauchos" An authentic Cuban-Spanish restaurant in Cocoa Beach. His grandfather was Spanish and Pike lived for many years in south Florida where he became familiar with Cuban cooking. Many of the recipes used are family favorites or recipes collected during Pike's travels in South and Central America. One of these is for Puchero, an Argentine beef stew, which Pike says is one of the main dishes of the gauchos (South American cowboys). Chet passed away on October 13, 2004 from heart failure at age 72.


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