Monday, January 04, 2016

RIP Barry Keefe

Sad, sad news. Barry's former colleague Bernie Tafoya posted this on his facebook page today...
From Alex Keefe, Barry's son:

My Pops, Barry Keefe, long-time Chicago radio newsman, husband, father, brother, Devourer of Books, Lover of Classical Music, Buff of History and General Assignment Goofball Emeritus, died early Sunday. He was 62.

Dad had pancreatic cancer, and died at peace with his body, himself, his family and God.

To my father I owe my own unslakable curiosity, my Gift of the Gab, my love of a good story (true, true-ish or otherwise) and my voice. Milestone memories of my life: countless times sitting dead silent, stone still in a hot studio, studying the back of Dad's head while he read news live on the air; an 8-year-old me, stuffed into an empty studio at WCLR, spending hours reading fake newscasts my Dad punched up for me on his typewriter; Dad wearing a Union blue kepi, spending a muggy night with me in a canvas A-frame tent during my Civil War re-enacting years; sitting in my car before high school on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, only to hear Dad's voice break into the morning show on 101.9 to say that someone had flown a plane into one of the World Trade Center towers.

Yes, it wounds me that there won't be any more memories. But I'm grateful for the ones I do have.

A visitation will begin at 1 pm Saturday, Jan. 9 at the Williams-Kampp Funeral Home, 430 E. Roosevelt Rd. in Wheaton. There will be a short service at 3 pm.

In lieu of flowers, we're asking for donations to support my brother Aidan’s education at the Berklee College of Music. You can contact Taylor Schlichter at Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. at 847-441-1908, or visiting starting this Wednesday.

I interviewed Barry in 2008, on his very last day at WTMX. It was obviously a bittersweet day for him, and that is clearly evident in the interview. It was the only time I ever met him. I have since met many of his fellow colleagues, and to a man (and woman) they all spoke very highly of Barry.

Robert Feder's tribute to Barry was posted last night. Wonderfully written. You can read it here.