Tuesday, January 5, 2021

R.I.P.: Larry Neal, Country KRWQ Oregon Former PD, Personality

A familiar voice in the Rogue Valley community has gone with the advent of a New Year. Longtime radio personality and former KRWQ Q100.3 program director Larry Neal passed away after a four-year battle with cancer, according to Bicoastal Media.

Neal was a native of Wisconsin, but left the Midwest in 1980 to help Duane and Sherry Hill establish a country radio station in Gold Hill to serve the Rogue Valley area. He was the original voice of KRWQ when it came on the air in August of that year.

Bicoastal Media says that Neal played the "unflappable straight man" on the Breakfast Flakes Morning Show alongside Brian Bishop from 1988 to 2008. Neal later shared the mic with Krista Lee for a year before pairing up with Judi Austin until her retirement in 2012. He moved to the afternoon drive for the last five years of his career.

“His institutional knowledge of country music coupled with his passion for our clients and listeners was truly incredible,” said Neal’s supervisor, operations manager Don Hurley. “Larry was a very passionate and emotional man which was evident when he was with his wife, Linda, or their daughters and grandkids. He was loyal, honest, and dependable and lived every second with pride and integrity.”

In February of 2017, Neal was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, a highly aggressive form of neurological cancer — prompting Neal to leave the station after 37 years. He turned 66 just before the New Year.

“Definitely one of the good guys,” said Q100.3 programmer Bryce Burtner. “Everyone he came into contact with was treated as if they were family. I was a part of his and he was a part of mine for 27 years. An incredible loss for sure. I will miss him dearly.”

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