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Dennis Netto

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Dennis Netto Obituary

Dennis "Erectus" Netto

Resident of San Jose

9/13/49 - 6/13/12

The radio world lost a unique individual on June 13th, when broadcasting legend, Dennis"Erectus" Netto passed away. Dennis was born Sept. 13, 1949 in Oakland to Edward and Viola Netto, who were bringing up his half-brothers, Gary (deceased) and Edward.

Dennis earned his AA from Chabot College and a BA from San Francisco State. He had a passion for music and collecting offbeat TV shows and films which he integrated into his legendary radio shows on the former 98.5 KOME and 92.3 KSJO in San Jose.

Dennis is credited with being the nation's first "shock jock" but the title barely does his genius justice. His radio skits challenged his audience, their knowledge, ethics, and sense fair play. His fan base was phenomenal with his ratings dominating his time slot from the late 1970s into the '90s. He received fan mail from all over the U.S. including crewmen aboard nuclear submarines. His loyalty to KOME kept him from accepting a lucrative offer to join Chicago's highly-rated WLUP. A wild man on the air, the real Dennis was articulate, caring, soft-spoken, highly-educated, sincere, charming, and devilishly clever and funny. He was a truly devoted son to his ailing mother for many years, and was loved and respected by everyone who worked with him. Dennis was willing to give breaks to newbies on his show, and added "student mentor" to his resume as an instructor at The Bay Area School of Broadcasting. He eventually found another outlet for his creative mania, teaming up with his friend "Count Dante" and his Incredibly Strange Wrestling.

Dennis was making a radio comeback in 2006, working behind the scenes with some of his former KOME co-workers at San Jose's 94.5 KBAY and Mix 106.5, when he suffered a heart attack. Dennis beat the odds and survived but was brain damaged. After struggling for over 5 years in a nursing home, his heart finally gave out. A public memorial is being planned for September. Check www.kome.us and the KOME Facebook page for updates.
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Aug. 17, 2012
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