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Tribute to Dick Timmons

Peg Arnold

Richard “Dick” Timmons, host of Midday Classics for the past 15 years, has died at age 84.  His dedication and commitment to the WXPR family will be sorely missed.

Dick was passionate about music. He could talk about jazz and big band with authority, but classical was his true love.  He played the piano, and early in his life had played the standup bass.  Upon retiring as publisher of the Rhinelander Daily News (currently named Northwoods River News), Dick showed up at the doors of WXPR asking to volunteer as on-air host for one of the classical programs.

Known previously in the community for his competitive edge and sardonic wit when he served as publisher, Dick surprised many by displaying a completely different side to his personality once he became a music host. Within a short time he developed a following and became one of the station’s most popular hosts. Listeners delighted in his elegant “radio voice” and his warm sense of humor, but mostly they loved the music he shared. His tastes ranged from baroque to Scottish bagpipes to Broadway hits. As former station manager Mick Fiocchi liked to say, “Dick chooses music that has an exceptionally sweet sound, that can almost make you cry.” Because of his popularity, Dick was a successful on-air host during pledge drives and WXPR benefited greatly from his enthusiastic “pitching.”

Mr. Timmons died on July 20, 2014. He is survived by his lovely wife, Susan, and his four sons, Ben, Andy (Robin), Mark, and Bob (Vivian), and seven grandchildren.

A memorial service has been scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014, at 11 am at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 105 N First St., Eagle River.  The family generously requests that memorials be given in Mr. Timmons’ name to the WXPR Public Radio Endowment, 28 N. Stevens St., Rhinelander, WI 54501.  WXPR is honored to be named in this way.

I first discovered WXPR’s unique voice while vacationing in the Northwoods. Then, when my husband and I moved to Rhinelander from New York City 24 years ago, I appreciated WXPR all the more for its amazing coverage of local news and diverse music programs hosted by dedicated volunteers. For 13 years I had the pleasure of serving as a volunteer host for Blues Friday, and currently volunteer as a substitute host for Sunday Jazz. I’ve also had the honor, as a retired journalist, of volunteering for Ken Krall as a news reporter. And most important, I am very happy to be serving for a second time on the Board of Directors.
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