Chuck Collier, voice of WGAR, dies from massive heart attack

CLEVELAND - A familiar voice to many for decades on Cleveland radio, Chuck Collier, afternoon host and music director at 99.5 WGAR, died Thursday from a massive heart attack.

Chuck was 64 years old.

In 2009, Chuck was inducted into the Country Music Radio Hall of Fame. He was also honored with the National Association of Broadcasters' Marconi Award as Large Market Radio Personality of the Year and inducted into the Ohio Radio-TV Broadcasters' Hall of Fame.

According to WTAM, back in 1963, Chuck made his radio debut at WSRW in Hillsboro, Ohio. He was also on the airwaves in Wilmington, Dayton, Cincinnati, New York before coming to WGAR some 40 years ago.

During his time in Cleveland, Chuck was known for his outstanding personality and outgoing love for anyone he met. Clear Channel Radio's President Gary Mincer said he will miss Chuck's open and loving heart.

"Just a great sense of humor, made people feel good to be around him...it's quite a loss...quite a shock."

A loyal listener and friend, Jim Roberts, said the loss is spreading across Cleveland. He feels it and will feel it for the rest of his life.

"I wanted to cry when I heard it...He was always smiling and happy to see me. It just makes it so unreal since he's gone. That is hard to believe."

From our family here at NewsChannel5 to the Clear Channel Family, to the Collier family -- our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Calling hours are on Sunday, September 25 from 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at Kolodiy-Lazuta Funeral Home on State Road in Parma. The funeral service will be private.

Below is Chuck's bio from the WGAR homepage:

I'm a small town Ohio boy at heart. I was born May 6th in Greenfield and raised in New Vienna. I had the early need to talk and there were only 800 people in my town ... so I had talked to all of them before I was 6. That love of getting to know people is one of the things that makes radio so much fun.

I was high school class president (don't ask me how) at New Kenton High. After graduation, (about 15 minutes after) I went to the big city for college. I'm a proud graduate of The University of Cincinnati. Following college, I worked in radio in Dayton, Cincinnati, and New York City. I've been lucky enough to call WGAR home for over 30 years.

I live in Parma with my wife Joni, a dog named Riley, and a cat named Bernie. My daughter, Melanie, is in advertising and my son, Jason, is an accountant. They both work in the Cleveland area.

I love music and food ... or FOOD and music, even better, listening to music while eating!! I love meeting WGAR Loyal Listeners and playing you the best Country Music I can find.

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