Simonson for the suggestion of remembering our radio friends who
have passed on.
We'll include our own articles as well as obituaries.
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 740, WWZN-AM 540, WJRR-FM 101.1, WWZN-AM 1440, WHVE/WVRI/WWNZ/WTKS-FM 104.1 and WMGF-FM 107.7. Paxson also was responsible for developing The Florida Radio Network.
Veteran Murray Pendleton earned
Purple Heart, loved racing
April 21, 2006 By Terry O. Roen, Sentinel Staff Writer
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.
PenrodRobert "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.
Former WESH anchor Pfeifauf dies in his sleep
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
Cesar Piña Velázquez
69 years old, rested in peace on July 26, 2022 at his home in Orlando, Florida after a long battle that he always faced with courage and optimism. He was born in Caracas, Venezuela on September 12, 1952. Son of Pedro and Guillermina Piña. He had more than 40 years of happy marriage with Rosa Lecue. Product of this beautiful union Eduardo and Gabriela were born. He studied and graduated as a dentist at the Central University of Venezuela, developing himself with great professionalism and ethics for more than 40 years. In view of the socio-political situation in Venezuela, he made a great decision always thinking about the well-being of his family and came to Orlando, Florida to forge a new future, reinventing himself after many sacrifices and struggles, as Editor and Announcer of Fanaticos USA. Focusing his great sports passion, he created this wonderful newspaper, which allowed him to meet great personalities from the sports world and different areas. With his charisma and witticisms, he marked the lives of everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him, and will continue to mark them in every laugh, at every party and celebration, in every song, at every sporting event, every sunset in front of the sea, and every memory. .She will always live in the hearts of all of us who knew her. The only service to be held will be the funeral mass in his honor together with friends and family, after being cremated.
Earl Phillips Passes
It's with great shock and sadness I must report Kris Earl Phillips passed away on Tuesday, October 3, 2017. 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.
I died January 15, 2023, much to my surprise. I was 77 years old. Prior to my passing, I wrote my obit to save others from the burden. Born in Marion, Ohio, I moved to Lansing, Michigan and then to Florida at the age of 16 in 1962. Graduated from Winter Park High School as a C+ student and flunked out of college after 3 terms because frat life, booze and broads were not part of the curriculum (perhaps I picked the wrong college). I joined the U.S. Army Reserve. The nation was wise enough to limit my time on active duty. I married and raised two daughters. Following numerous entry level jobs, I found myself involved in radio and newspapering simultaneously. I worked and managed various local (back then AM) radio stations and was a rock jock on Orlando's' No. 1 station (WLOF-AM 950) during the British Invasion (as Peter Jay #6). (Jerry also worked at WSLC-AM 1340) I ditched the radio for the more stable life of newspapering. A couple of weeklies led me to a 17 year career with the Orlando Sentinel. I started in advertising sales and ended up as a Personnel Manager. Later I left to start my own printing company (Mr. Printer, in Mount Dora) from which I retired. Becoming bored, I went to work for the state as a Citrus Inspector for 7 years from which I really retired. I didn't ski, golf or fish. I did cus, gamble and drink but you can't do that full time, and so I decided to travel. I was fortunate to visit about 13 foreign countries and numerous U. S. cities, New Orleans and London being favorites. I am preceded in death by my wife, (Paula) Elaine Phillians, brother Dan Phillians and brother Mike (Fred) Phillians. I leave behind a sister Linda Rigdon. Also left to presumably mourn are daughters Jennifer (Bill) Barningham and Karla (Tony) Hart, along with 3 grandsons (the L's) Liam, Logan, Lincoln and 1 granddaughter Peyton Hart. And my very special traveling companion, Laurie. Published by Legacy on Jan. 25, 2023.
E. "Chet" Pike 10-13-2004
After a career in radio and TV Chet became a restaurant owner. "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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