In Memoriam

Please click any name to read more about these people who helped shape Spokane Public Radio.

Bob Child / AP

Through nearly four decades, at least five presidential administrations and seemingly countless Super Bowls and World Series, NPR listeners could depend on at least one thing in the ever-unpredictable world of athletics: Frank Deford. A mainstay on Morning Edition, the Hall of Fame sportswriter was public radio's scholar of sports for some 37 years before hanging up his cleats earlier this year.

Noted pianist, teacher, and advocate for new music,  Kendall Feeney died March 5, 2017 in Spokane.  She was a member of the music faculty of Eastern Washington University and a pianist with the Spokane Symphony.    For a dozen years beginning in the early ‘90s she presented her Zephyr music series, built around a wide range of music of our time. More recently she was a core member of Tango Volcado, as well as director of the Contemporary Music ensemble of EWU.

  Longtime program producer, volunteer and past staff member Frank Delaney passed away on Feb. 7, 2016.

When Frank Delaney was in the Navy, he was stationed in the Deep South in the early 1960’s -- the era when many of the great musicians who had recorded in the 1920s were being rediscovered.  This was his first introduction to traditional American folk and blues music. He spent more than half a century loving, researching, and playing this music.  

Frank joined Spokane Public Radio in 1982 and produced The Backwater Blues Show. He put his professional training as a computer support specialist and programmer to work for SPR first with the station’s bookkeeping, then as a commentator. His weekly Raw Bytes was a regular feature of Wednesday mornings until he took a medical hiatus November 2015.

Remembering George Cole

Nov 14, 2014

George Cole, "The Father of KPBX," passed away on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014 at age 71, from acute myeloid leukemia.

George and his wife Susie began what would become Spokane's first public radio station in the basement of their South-Hill home in the early 1970s.

Tom Magliozzi, one of public radio's most popular personalities, died on Monday of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 77 years old.

Tom and his brother, Ray, became famous as "Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers" on the weekly NPR show Car Talk. They bantered, told jokes, laughed and sometimes even gave pretty good advice to listeners who called in with their car troubles.

If there was one thing that defined Tom Magliozzi, it was his laugh. It was loud, it was constant, it was infectious.

Russ Nobbs

Russ Nobbs, founder of Rings 'n; Things, was a longtime supporter of SPR starting from the early days of both organizations. Both were located in Second City, a two-story brick building in Downtown Spokane that housed artists, craftspeople, and eclectic stores. (A bank building stands there today). As his business expanded, Russ continued to support Spokane Public Radio as a member, as a program underwriter, and as a board member.

Longtime staff member Joe Zupan passed away in March 2014 after a long illness. Joe was a fixture during the first 20 years of KPBX. He was one of the first interns chosen (from EWU). His 'velvet tones' and love of music made him an excellent jazz host. He became an award-winning reporter after getting advice that the only way to have a future in public radio is to go into news or management. "No way I was going into management" he told the Program Guide in 1999.

The SPR community was saddened to learn of the death of Norvel Trosst on Saturday, March 16, 2013. Norvel had been an announcer on KPBX from 1991 until his retirement in 2011. Initially an overnight host, he quickly became the producer of the popular Soundspace program on Sunday night. He was also the editor of our arts calendar, always laboring to ensure the accuracy and completeness of that important arts information.