Sep 18, 2013

Remembering Don Wade, a look back at Don Wade's time at 89 WLS in photos and more!


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Don Wade and Roma

Remembering Don Wade (1941 - 2013)
Sad news for the 89 WLS family, iconic radio host Don Wade passed away Friday, September 6th. We announced Wade's passing on our website Sunday, September 8th, with a special message from Roma. CLICK HERE for 'Remembering Don Wade' and to listen to a special tribute show.

Don Wade (1941-2013)
10:16AM Saturday
December 22, 2012

Don and Roma prior to surgery

89 WLS celebrated the life, the career and the memory of Don Wade in a special broadcast last Sunday. You can listen to the podcast of this show, hosted by our John Dempsey.

ROMA's Message To all of you who Loved DON WADE:
Last Friday morning, my hero, my best friend, my soulmate left this mortal coil behind and entered the realm of spirit while wrapped in my loving arms.  God blessed us with almost an entire year since Don's surgery to embrace life, love, family, and adventure, all while knowing that his time on this beautiful earth was drawing to a close. What a gift!  What a joy to be entrusted with my magnificent man's care for that precious time.
I love him more than life itself.

Thank you for all your messages of love and appreciation.  You kept Don's spirit alive in your hearts and we bless you for every thought.  Your thoughts are prayers.
Just know that we had a lifetime of blessings together and one of the very best was sharing our thoughts,our family, our joys and sorrows with YOU, our radio family.  You meant the world to us.

May God bless you and keep you safe.
With love and sorrow,
Roma, Hunter,  Heather, and family

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.

Don Wade and Roma ring in the new year 2013

Don Wade and Heather on her wedding day, Sept 15, 2012

A message to our friends from Roma:
The last week of July I took Don on a 7 day Caribbean cruise out of Ft Lauderdale, against everyone's wishes.  My thought was "If not now, when?"  How glad I am that we did!
We did every single show and event and restaurant on the entire 18 deck ship.  We had a ball!  Thought you would love to see a photo from one of our formal nights.
Thanks for keeping him in your hearts and prayers.  He's my ever-loving' man….

Don Wade and Roma at Saturday night HoeDown

Read the latest update by clicking here - Don Wade passes the torch

Were Don Wade and Walt White brothers separated at birth?

Roma shaved Don Wade's head after several weeks of chemotherapy and radiation treatment and he noticed their shocking similarity.

Can you tell which is which?



Following his brain surgery on September 27, Don will soon begin a six-week course of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Eliot Ephraim, Don Wade and Roma's agent, said, "It's not reflective of bad news, it's just the next step given what they've determined this is."

Roma Wade said, "The outpouring of caring from thousands of you, our radio family, has filled our hearts and our home, our coffee table piled high and overflowing with love. Your letters, cards, emails, messages, flowers and, most important, prayers lift our spirits every single day. Thank you."

You can read more in this article by Robert Feder, by clicking right here.



Don is out of the hospital-- he was released on Saturday after having brain surgery on Thursday-- and is recovering at home with Roma. Speaking about the surgery, their agent Eliot Ephraim, said "Don came out of it really well". Don and Roma are thankful for the outpouring of love and support. The results of tests taken during surgery will determine the next steps.

You can read more in this article by Robert Feder, by clicking right here.



Don Wade, co-host, along with his wife Roma, of the 89 WLS morning show since August of 1989, will be off the air for at least four weeks while he receives treatment for a growth on his brain.

The following statement was released by WLS Radio:

"Don Wade had a seizure while traveling last week. After a series of tests, doctors discovered a growth on his brain.He is having surgery this week to remove the growth. Recovery from the surgery will keep Don off the air for at least four weeks.Don and Roma remain positive and optimistic. The Cumulus/WLS family sends our love and very best wishes to both Don and Roma."

Always maintaining a positive attitude, Roma commented, "It amazes me that Don can still be the smartest guy in the room with only half his brain." Don, showing his trademark candor, responded, "I think it's all the BS coming from the left that really gave me the seizure."

In the interim, Bruce Wolf and Dan Proft will continue to fill in on the Don Wade and Roma program from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m., as have they have whenever Don and Roma have had time off over the past year.Jake Hartford and Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass will substitute for Bruce and Dan from 9 a.m.-11 a.m.

© Content Copyright 2012 WLS Radio 890AM and This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Remembering Don Wade (Photo Gallery)

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