Gerald R. "Jerry" Fordyce, a retired veteran radio broadcaster, died Thursday at Green Valley Care Center in New Albany after a long battle with heart disease. He was 75.
Fordyce, whose home was at 2702 Paoli Pike in New Albany, had been in the nursing home for about a year. He retired from WXVW in Jeffersonville in 1980 after working with the station on and off since its beginning in 1961.
Fordyce's first radio job was with the old WGRC, which later became WAKY. He and his wife moved from his native Bedford to New Albany for the $12- a-week job, which he later discovered consisted of broadcasting station breaks every 15 minutes and sweeping floors the rest of the time.
After a year, Fordyce moved to the station's Louisville studio as an announcer. He later served as disc jockey of the "Breakfast Matinee" morning show.
During the 1960s, Fordyce was station manager and news director of WNUW in New Albany, which later became WHEL.
He returned to WXVW in 1966 as a full-time newsman and worked there until joining WKPC-TV in 1970 as public-affairs director.
After two years there, he again returned to WXVW, where he worked until his retirement.
Mike Densford, a former WXVW colleague, said Fordyce was "always willing to help the younger staff members learn the ropes. Jerry was a seasoned professional by the time (the younger staffers) got there and was always willing to help and teach you how to write (and) what's important in a story," Densford said.
Aside from his radio work, Fordyce also lent his voice as a reader for the American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville.
Densford said Fordyce "always responded to civic organizations and service organizations and made a lot of personal appearances."
He was inducted into the Indiana Broadcasters Hall of Fame in the early 1980s.
He was a member of the American Federation of Radio and TV Artists and Central Christian Church in New Albany. He was a Sagamore of the Wabash, 1977 recipient of the NAACP Human Interest award and 1978 recipient of Veterans of Foreign Wars Hobart Beach Post Outstanding Citizen award.
He is survived by his wife, Vivian O. Fordyce.
The funeral will be at 1 p.m. Monday at Kraft Funeral Service in New Albany, with entombment in Kraft-Graceland Mausoleum there. Visitation is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow. The family suggests that memorial gifts go to the American Heart Association.
Louisville Courier-Journal, November 13, 1993, page 8A (Louisville, KY)
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