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RICHARD WARD FATHERLEY, 69, was born in Norwalk, CT on August 20, 1940. Richard passed away on March 8, 2010 at St. Providence Hospital in Kansas City, KS. He is survived by his wife, Katherine Crumley Fatherley and children, Richard Ward Fatherley Jr. , Mark Tomlinson, Matthew Tomlinson Stephen Tomlinson, and Christopher Tomlinson Jr,. and 2 grandsons, William and Christopher III. The family in Tonganoxie are son Douglas Fatherley and Jody Fatherley, Dustin Fatherley and Lindsey Fatherley, Charles Fatherley, Jody (Panick) Fatherley and daughter Rachelle Fatherley Ruff and husband Chris Ruff – current wife, Jennifer Fatherley, and daughter Shelby Fatherley – CJ and Carol Lynn Fatherley McDaniel, grandchildren Dylan Jacobs and Courtney Jacobs, son, Robert and Brandi Fatherley, Samuel Fatherley and Layne Fatherley of Jefferson City, Missouri. He has 3 great-grandchildren, Trey, Alexis and Landen. Richard has 2 children from a previous marriage to Marilyn Fatherley, Kathryn T. and William E. Fatherley of Sudbury, MA. He is survived by 2 brothers, Robert and John Fatherley of Darien, Connecticut. He started his radio career in 1959 at WSTC in Stamford, Connecticut just after graduating from high school. He was with radio stations in New York City, St. Louis KXOX, WFUN, Miami, Topeka (WIBW and WREN) and Kansas City (WDAF, KYYS and WHB) in a career that spanned 50 years; stations that changed the radio listening habits of America.
While at WHB, in Kansas City in 1957, as program director, he started the "Night Beat" program, the first regularly scheduled telephone talk show and the fore-runner of the all-talk radio formats of today. In 1983 he was named one of the nation’s top radio personalities by Billboard and was inducted into the St. Louis Radio Hall of Fame in 2006.
While Fatherley’s name may not be a common household word, but it’s certain that most people have heard his unique deep, golden voice on radio and television commercials for John Deere, Jiffy Lube, Suburban Lawn and Gardens and many others as well as on commercials and info-ads for the University of Kansas and many area schools and universities. In addition to his broadcasting activities he was in the process of authoring a book Radio’s Evolution and The World’s Happiest Broadcaster, the story of the origins of radio’s Top 40 Format and the story of Todd Storz and the Storz Broadcasting Company titled, "Radio’s TOP 40 Revolution". His book will be complete by his family, friends and his own memoirs. His "AdVoice, LLC", company was the voice of Richard Fatherley He was nationally known and recognized in the "voice-over" commercial world. He was active in work with Kansas State University in their broadcasting and radio department activities and he was also one of the original organizers of the annual K-State "Great Plains Radio Symposium" . and known for his "Fatherley Advice". Several years ago Jim Gammon, Richard and several other local broadcasting icons formed the ’Kansas City Media Legends’. The group, starting with 5 members, now boasts 117 members and is a virtual "Who’s Who" of Kansas City broadcasters, past and present. A great voice is now silent; a great man has left a great legacy. A memorial service will be held St Agnes Church at 5250 Mission Road in Roeland Park, Kansas on 3/19/10. Visitation: 9:30am-10:30am – Eulogies: 10:30am -11:00am – Funeral Mass: 11:00am. The family requests no flowers; donations many be made to The Little Sisters of the Poor in Kansas City in Richard’s name. He was amazing.