Goodbye, Delena

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My wife, partner, and friend of 40 years, Delena “Dee” Kelley, was laid to rest today.

We met 41 years ago — November 25, 1970 — and I have cherished every moment of our time together, even when we occasionally disagreed on topics large and small. When Delena was diagnosed with liver disease in early October, we had no idea of the severity of her affliction. By the end of October, both of us understood that her remaining time was short. She passed away Tuesday morning, November 22nd. And the world will never be quite the same without her.

For over 20 years, we worked side-by-side in a series of Radio stations, from small FM’s to multi-station markets. Thanks to Delena’s skill at organizing and training sales staffs, as well as creating exceptional promotions, our stations blossomed. Along the way, we worked with scores of very talented Radio people. Unfortunately, Delena did not get a chance to realize how profound was her influence on those she helped train. Many of those she mentored have gone on to successful careers both in and out of Radio. I consider their achievements to be the greatest tribute to Delena’s training and motivational skills.

One of those who benefited most from Delena’s guidance and instruction was our daughter, Carrie. She grew up in Radio, performing every job from board operator to top salesperson. Carrie went on to excel in sales for Clear Channel and CBS before leaving Radio for other pursuits. Both Carrie and I feel Delena’s loss deeply.

Delena’s name will not appear on the pages of Radio Ink, be noted by the media “movers and shakers”, or be listed in the Radio Hall of Fame. But her legacy will live on in those whom she trained, and with her husband who will carry her in his heart for the remainder of his days.

Goodbye, Delena. I love you so.