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June 6, 1940 - December 18, 2013
Larry Lujack passed away on December 18, 2013 after a yearlong battle with esophageal cancer. He was born Larry Blankenburg on June 6, 1940 in rural Iowa to Frank and Ruth Blankenburg. Larry was raised in Caldwell, Idaho, and graduated from Caldwell High School in 1957 where he was All State Quarterback. He served his country in the US Air Force and in the Washington Air National Guard. He had three children with his first wife Regina McLaughlin Lujack from Caldwell. He changed his name to Larry Lujack when he began his career as a radio disc jockey.
From humble beginnings at radio station KCID in Caldwell, Idaho in 1958, he rose among the competitive ranks of radio broadcasting to become a fixture of the Midwestern airwaves of WCFL and WLS. He was honored with induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame, the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and the Illinois Broadcasters Association's Hall of Fame. As a disc jockey Larry was known for his brutally honest, often sarcastic and cynical commentary, which he delivered with a booming voice and perfect execution.
In contrast to his radio personality, Larry Lujack was a private person who enjoyed nature and golf. He and his wife Jude moved from Chicago to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1997 when Larry entered semi-retirement. Those close to him knew him to be a simple, unassuming man who was kind and charitable, albeit always opinionated, ironic, and frequently sarcastic.
Larry faced his terminal cancer diagnosis with bravery and acceptance, and his wife Jude was a constant support during this very difficult year. His father, Frank Blankenburg, and his son, John Lujack, preceded Larry in death. He is survived by his wife of forty two years, Judith Lujack (Santa Fe), mother Ruth Kuhne (Meridian, ID), daughter Linda Shirley (Boise, ID), son Dr. Anthony Lujack (NYC) and stepson Taber Seguin (Santa Cruz, CA), brothers Tom Blankenburg (Tracy, CA) and Jack Blankenburg (Mesa, AZ) and a sister Dixie Blankenburg (San Diego, CA), grandsons Zane Lujack (San Francisco, CA) and Luke Shirley (Boise, ID). At his request there was no memorial service. Two of his favorite charities were UNICEF and Save the Children, and anyone wishing to honor him with a contribution may do so in his name.
Published in Idaho Press Tribune on Jan. 26, 2014