Our condolences to Roma on the loss of her beloved Don Wade - From the 890 WLS AM website -
DON WADE 1941-2013
On Friday, Sept 6, 2013, the world lost one of radio's greatest talents, Don Wade. Don went out as he lived and broadcasted, like a lion. As Dylan Thomas described: "Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage, rage against the dying light." Indeed he did.
After 55 years of broadcasting, culminating in 27 legendary years at WLS, the rock of Chicago, only a devastating health blow could have pried that microphone from his hands. With his adoring wife, co-host and co-conspirator at his side, Don waged a mighty year-long battle against the deadly brain tumor which finally silenced him.
Don's radio career led him from prep school in New Hampshire, to Norfolk VA (while attending William & Mary), Boston MA (while graduating from Boston U), Hartford CN, Buffalo NY, New Orleans LA, Hamilton ONT, Dallas TX, Philadelphia PA, Seattle WA, Tacoma WA, Coos Bay OR, Denver CO, ending in Chicago IL - first at WUSN, and finally to his radio home at the great WLS.
His early talents ranged from rock and roll DJ to hosting a cast of unforgettable politically incorrect comedic characters such as: General Nuisance "gotta go field strip a WAC and polish a bomb" and his aide Private Parts (aka Roma); Sheriff CW Turnipseed; Peter "Kiss! Kiss!" Suckwell, the Mary Gay Cosmetics truck driver, and his best friend Phil McCrackin; Dr Buster Hymen, staff gynecologist at your cervix; Cabbie/Guru Maharishi Marachino; 101-"Wheeze"-year old Creak Lumbago; the Stoned Ranger and Toronto, etc.
When WLSam changed from a music format to Talk Radio in 1989, Don Wade and Roma were the only air talent asked to remain and try their skill at becoming morning talk show hosts. Suddenly Don's rapier wit, piercing analysis and passionate oratory roared to the surface. He was a natural. Agree or disagree, listeners were riveted to his thought-provoking, persuasive, even maddening dissections of the world around him. Don and Roma's combination of brain food and joyous laughter became addictive for hundreds of thousands of loyal broadcast and internet listeners around the globe. They were a "family" of morning friends through good times and bad.
His adoring wife, Roma, and devoted children, Colonel Hunter Hobson and wife Dr. Margy; daughter Heather Hobson and husband Gordon Findlay; brothers Tom Wehde and partner Diane; Raynor Reavis; Ralph Reavis and wife Deborah; and his loving nieces, nephews, and cousins will gather for a private celebration of his life.
In lieu of flowers, any memorial donation may be made to the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, or the Boy Scouts of America.