Simonson for the suggestion of remembering our radio friends who
have passed on.
We'll include our own articles as well as obituaries.
Walter dies at 77
William Wathen, born May 12, 1942, in Hartford, CT, died today, Dec. 28, 2018 at the age of 76. Mr. Wathen, the only child of Eunice Chapman Wathen and Thaddeus Wathen, was raised in Connecticut and went to school in Glastonbury, CT, graduating from Glastonbury High School in 1960. He had a long and honorable career in the Radio industry, starting in Cincinnati and all over the U.S. While in Tampa in 1964 he was drafted and went into the U.S. Army. His career continued after his Army stint, and he worked, among others, for both WNDB(-AM 1150) and WROD(-AM 1340), retiring here in 2004. He was active as a DJ as well as in other on-air positions. Bill was an active member of the Pilot Club of The Halifax Area and was an enthusiastic participant in supporting that groups causes. He is survived by his daughter, Amy Mullins of Redmond, WA, her husband and his twin granddaughters. He also had many cousins around Florida and around the U.S. A celebration of Mr. Wathen's life will be held on a date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, his family has asked you consider donating in his name to Kindred Hospice (1717 Clyde Morris Blvd., Suite 130, Daytona Beach, 32117) or to the Pilot Scholarship House Foundation (Care of Diane Welch, Treasurer, 81 Dianne Drive, Ormond Beach, FL 32176) © Daytona Beach News Journal
Daytona Beach News-Journal May 11, 1993
Andrew Borman Welch, 29, known locally as Prince Andrew, a disc jockey at WROD(-AM 1340) radio station for the past five years, died Wednesday at home after a short illness. Mr. Welch was born in Cincinnati. Survivors include his parents, Shirley and Anthony Welch, Ormond Beach; a brother, Kurt, Deltona; and three sisters, Kimberly, Cincinnati, Elizabeth, Dallas, and Catherine, Daytona Beach.
Tony Welch Passes 3-2-17
Former owner of WROD-AM 1340, Tony Welch, has passed away at the age of 81. Tony purchased the station in 1985 for $1.2 million. Welch sold the station in 1999. In 1985 under Tony's guidance, WROD received the Silver Bell Award from the Ad Council for Outstanding Public Service Broadcasting. The station is the only one in the United States to receive the award that year. Welch accepted the award at a luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. Tony was Vice President of Tony Welch Marketing in Daytona Beach. He has been co-chair of the Friends of the Bandshell group in Daytona Beach.
Gregory Donald Wells
Westervelt The Voice of Stetson Baseball Passes
Richard (Dick) Westervelt, age 85, of DeLand, Florida passed away on Monday, September 6th of congestive heart failure at the Hospice of Volusia County in Orange City, Florida. Originally from Springfield, Massachusetts, Dick moved to DeLand in 1953 with his wife, Wilda and went to work at WJBS-AM 1490 radio (owned at the time by Stetson University). He went on to work for the DeLand Sun News as its Managing Editor and then to First Federal of Mid-Florida (later to become Empire of America) as a Senior Vice President. Dick rejoined his first employer, Stetson University, in 1984 working in the Athletic Department as the Sports Information Director. After his retirement in 1994, he continued to broadcast Stetson sporting events (as well as many DeLand High School Football games) as the play by play announcer as he had since 1953. He retired from his broadcasting duties following the baseball season in 2005. Dick was most proud of his 55 year association with Stetson, especially his work in the athletic department as the radio voice of Stetson baseball for over 3 decades. He was an active member of the Trinity United Methodist Church since 1956, and over the years was involved in countless community activities serving with the DeLand Jaycees, the Chamber of Commerce, DeLand Lions Club, American Red Cross, and the March of Dimes. He was one of the founding members of the DeLand Babe Ruth League and served for 20 years as a coach, director and umpire in both the Babe Ruth and Little Leagues of DeLand. Dick was predeceased by his father, Andrew Westervelt, his mother, Marion Westervelt, his daughter, Christine Westervelt and daughter-in-law, Kathy Westervelt. Dick is survived by his wife, Wilda Westervelt; son, Andy of Batesville, Ark.; son, John and his wife, Vicki of Jonesboro, Ga.; and three grandchildren, Chris, Sarah and Alex. A memorial service will be held on Friday at 10:00 A.M. at the Trinity United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, donate if you wish to your favorite charity or donations can be made to the Trinity United Methodist Church - Building Fund. The address is 306 West Wisconsin Ave., DeLand, FL 32720. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Lankford Funeral Home of DeLand (386-734-2244).
Talkers Magazine Feb 11, 2019
Legendary Talk Show Host Bruce Williams Dead at 86
“Welcome my friends, welcome to my world.” It was with those words radio talk show host legend Bruce Williams began his nationally syndicated show for more than 29 years. Williams died on Saturday (2/9), at his home near Tampa, FL after a brief illness. Spanning a career that lasted more than three decades, Bruce Williams created a loyal listenership of hundreds of thousands of people strong with his informative and entertaining program, delivered in his signature deep, warm, welcoming voice. But, one of the most unusual and remarkable facts surrounding Williams’ National Radio Hall of Fame career is that it did not begin until he was well into his 40s. Born February 18, 1932, Williams grew up in East Orange, NJ. Blessed with an innate sense of business, at age 11, he devised a way to address one of the many shortages common at the end of World War II by melting down lead pipes and casting them into toy soldiers. Eyes wide open, he was off and running, pursuing every avenue where he believed a profit could be made. After serving in the US Air Force during the Korean conflict and graduating from Newark State College (now Kean University), he opened a pre-school named after his children. He spent time driving an ice cream truck in New York City. He was also a taxi driver and drove a beer truck. For 70 years of his life, he spent the holiday season selling Christmas trees in New Jersey. On the white-collar side, Williams sold insurance, owned a flower shop, a car rental agency, a barber shop and he owned and operated several nightclubs. There was even a whirlwind tour into the world of politics where the Honorable Bruce H. Williams was elected to the Franklin, NJ Township Council, as well as serving terms as Deputy Mayor and Mayor between 1967 and 1975. It was the weight and wealth of these life experiences that Williams relied on throughout his accomplished radio career and gave depth to his on-air persona. His outstanding career began in 1975 at WCTC 1450 Talk Radio, The Voice of Central New Jersey, where Williams hosted a show called “At Your Service.” After some time, his success took him to WMCA, New York where his momentum and audience continued to build. Williams' growing popularity brought him to the attention of radio executives at NBC who were searching for a host of a national nightly advice-oriented talk show. After a long selection process, Williams was chosen and his program launched in November of 1981. It was from this platform, his reputation as a broadcaster blossomed. That blossom was almost nipped a year later, when a plane he was piloting crashed into some trees during an aborted landing attempt. Critically injured and nearly dead when he arrived at the Medical Center of Princeton, Williams rallied and was back on the air broadcasting again from his hospital room, just four weeks after the accident. Over the next three decades, Williams’ voice was heard coast-to-coast as he became one of the most listened to talk show hosts in radio history. The industry recognized Williams’ accomplishments in 1999 when he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago. TALKERS magazine also honored Williams in 2002 by including him at Number Six in its list of the Greatest Radio Talk Show Hosts of all Time. He authored six financial and real estate advice books as well as a syndicated advice column called Smart Money. Bruce Williams was 81 years old when he hung up his head phones for the final time in 2013, signing off as he always did by saying, “Keep in touch.” Upon learning of Williams’ death, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison stated, “He was one of a kind and represented a breed of radio talk show host that made the genre truly special among all formats – a seemingly ‘regular guy’ who simply knew the answer to just about every problem that people face in day-to-day life and was happy to share it in completely understandable terms when asked for advice.” Radio consultant Valerie Geller shared the following thoughts about Williams with TALKERS, “Bruce influenced my career. In the early days he kindly and generously spent time encouraging me. This man was the original radio late night ‘companion, personality and expert...’ helping thousands of listeners with personal advice, business advice and more importantly, being a ‘friend in the night.’ A powerful storyteller and powerful communicator, we have lost a true talent.”
February 24, 1991
COLUMBUS GARFIELD ''CHARLIE'' WILLIAMS, 92, 907 Wooden Blvd., Orlando, died Thursday (Feb.21). Born in Webster, he moved to Orlando from there in 1921. He was a retired bellman for the Angebilt Hotel. He was a member of the Mount Olive Church. He was a Navy veteran of World War I. Survivors: wife, O'See F.; daughters, Senorita Locklear, Daytona Beach, Dorothy W. Hunter, Brooklyn, N.Y.; brother, Freddy (Williams), Jacksonville; two grandchildren; four great-grandchildren. Brinson's Funeral Home, Orlando.
Charlie Was Doorman But Became A Legend
February 27, 1991 By Bob Morris of The Sentinel Staff
In memory: Columbus Garfield ''Charlie'' Williams died last week. Longtime Orlandoans will remember him as ''Lobby Charlie,'' former doorman at the old Angebilt Hotel (renovated now as part of the Orange County court complex.) In 1922, Williams was working on a construction crew at the hotel when he fell off a sixth-floor beam. A sand pile cushioned his landing, but he lost an eye. ''The hotel offered him a job for life,'' said James Jenkins, a friend and fellow hotel employee. ''Charlie sure took them at their word on that.'' After the Angebilt opened in 1923, Charlie signed on as doorman and remained there until 1972, when he began losing sight in his other eye. ''He was a downtown institution. Always ready with a smile, a story,'' remembered Tom Neal, a retired Orlando engineer who, along with plenty of other downtowners used to frequent the hotel's popular Roundup Room, the closest watering hole to the county courthouse. When WLOF(-AM 1230) radio had its studio at the Angebilt, Williams would occasionally go on the air, reading poems he had written. ''He was a pretty good poet. But he could not be beat as a hotel doorman,'' Jenkins said. ''He was as fast as a cat. A car would pull up out front, and Charlie would be outside with its door open before the driver knew he'd stopped.'' Services are today at 1 p.m. at the Mount Olive AME Church in Orlando. Columbus Garfield ''Charlie'' Williams, survived by his wife, O'See, and two daughters, was 92.
Jack Wilson, 75, of Leesburg passed away Thursday, July 14th. Jack was a barber and a sports announcer for Leesburg High School for 40 years. M.J. McNair, general manager of WLBE-AM 790 that broadcast Wilson’s coverage, said Wilson was the "driving force" for the program. “When I first started hearing him, he had a good voice and delivery,” McNair said. “He was a homegrown, homespun broadcaster. That made him good for Lake County. He kept Leesburg sports at the top of his priorities." When Leesburg High School’s football stadium was condemned, Wilson joined with other local businessmen, known as the "Silly Six" in helping to raise money to construct a new stadium at Leesburg High School. Jack served two terms on the Leesburg City Commission and as mayor in 1970.
Walter Windsor came to Orlando in 1969 and worked as general manager and editorial spokesman at WFTV-Channel 9. When the station was sold in 1984, he became head of the new owner's broadcasting division. Windsor also dabbled in radio. The corporation he formed, Comco, Inc. had interests in two Venice, Florida stations; WAMR-AM 1320 and WRAV-FM 92.1. Stations in Central Florida included WGGG-AM 1230, WWLD-AM 1190 as well as WINV-AM 1560. A "Celebration of the Life of Walter M. Windsor" will be held from 7 to 10 pm on Monday, March 10, 2008 at the Orlando Repertory Theatre (Universal Theatre) in Orlando, 1001 E Princeton Street, Orlando, Florida 32803. Walter's family has setup a tribute website to Walter at http://www.walterwindsor.com
Greg Wolas, the overnight personality on WHOO-AM 990 from 1973 to 1979. Greg became known for his kiddie show parody “Uncle Buckeye’s Kiddie Korner,” that aired in the last five minutes of his show. Sadly, Greg passed away yesterday, June 13, 2009 after a very long battle with the many complications of rheumatoid arthritis. Greg is survived by his wife Christine, sons Jason & Christopher of Deltona, and in Cleveland, Ohio brother Jerry and sisters Pat Miller & Antoinette.
Long time area disc-jockey and newsman, Woody Wooden has passed away after a brief illness. With more than 50 years on the airwaves Woody’s mellow voice up until recently had entertained Sunday night listeners on WPCV-FM 97.5 with "The Classic Country Show". Woody also worked at WGTO-AM 540 when the station was at Cypress Gardens. Woody also worked at WDBO-AM 580 in Orlando. He will be missed for his great demeanor and enduring respect for the artist’s records he played during his career.
WRIGHT, DAVID BRADFORD, 57, Orlando, passed away Saturday, August 7, 2010 just three days after being diagnosed with leukemia. Remembered as the absolutely nicest guy, he always gave of himself, serving as an exceptional role model to the young and not so young around him. A Mayflower descendant born in Plymouth, MA, Dave's Winter Park childhood was filled with Boy Scouts (where he earned the rank of Eagle), choir and youth activities at First Congregational Church, and football at Edgewater High School. He continued Scouting for many years as a leader. For 20 years he served on Orlando's Fiesta In the Park Committee, helping to organize art festivals, upgrade Lake Eola Park, and provide downtown Orlando with Fourth of July fireworks. Dave loved radio and rock music, and after graduating from U.C.F. he worked for 14 years at WOMX(BJ105) as Announcer, Music Director and Promotions Manager. For the next 22 years he worked around the country in attractions management for Six Flags and Wet 'n Wild, where he was a Sales and Marketing Director. Dave leaves behind his loving wife of 23 years, Cynthia; sons Daniel (Michelle) and Adam; parents Herbert and Barbara; sister Susan; grandchildren Braeden and Olivia. Dave loved to travel and explore with his family. He shared his love of sports with his boys and strongly supported his extended family. A Celebration of his Life on earth will be held at Spirit of Joy Church, 1801 Rouse Road, Orlando, at 11 a.m., Saturday, August 14, with a reception to follow. As Dave supported feeding and housing the poor his entire life, the family suggest in lieu of flowers memorial contributions be made to Habitat For Humanity or Spirit of Joy's Burundi, Africa mission fund.
Published in Orlando Sentinel on Aug. 11, 2010.
Dale Wright December
9, 1934 - February 14, 2017
Jimmy Dale Wright, 82, of Merritt Island, Florida, passed away on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at his home. He was born in Covington, Kentucky and served as an owner/operator for mobile home parks before his retirement. Dale worked at many Central Florida stations including; WEZY-AM 1350, WCKS-FM 101.1, WEZY-AM 1480, WHOO-AM 990, WROD-AM 1340 and WTAI-AM 1560. Survivors include his wife; Jeanenne Wright of Merritt Island, Florida and his son; Kevin (Allison) of Atlanta, Georgia, Tobin (Karen) of Cocoa, Florida and daughter; Perky (Steven) of Merritt Island, Florida. A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, February 17, 2017 at 4:30pm at The First Baptist Church of Merritt Island, 140 Magnolia St., Merritt Island, FL 32952. An inurnment will take place at a later date in Florida Memorial Gardens.
Gospel radio personality Leon Josey-Wright died on Dec. 9, after a long battle with kidney disease. Wright was known for his radio career at Orlando stations; WOKB-AM 1680, WAJL-AM 1190, WORL-AM 1190, WJHM-FM 101.9, WCFB-FM 94.5. Wright also worked at an Alabama station.