Jerry Healey, longtime announcer in the Akron area, died peacefully Tuesday, Feb. 3, at City of Hope in Duarte, California.
Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1932, Healey began his career in Philadelphia when a scout came to his elementary school classroom and auditioned youngsters for a children's serial radio show, "The Magic Lady". All the boys in the cast wore knickers except Eddie Fisher, whose mother allowed long pants.
The dominant areas of Healey's career were as a sports broadcaster and as a radio morning show host. A product of Syracuse University, he was the voice of football for the University of Illinois, Ohio State, the University of Akron, Kent State University, and UC Davis. In basketball, he was the voice for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Buffalo Braves. His popular morning shows for WAKR in the late 60's and 70's were unique for the inclusion of two `alter egos', Sam and Serena, voices and personalities which he totally fabricated daily. In Los Angeles, he was part of the original TranStar/UniStar team, at one time broadcasting American standards music to over 200 markets.
Whimsical and imaginative by nature, he created "Golf with Sam Snead", which ran on both ABC and NBC networks in the 1960's. He was also a man ahead of his time; he created and patented Quickie Golf, which is similar to target golf today, and Frame Game, an interactive TV concept involving bowling that went to pilot years before today's many interactive shows.
A resident of La Canada, California since 1991, Healey largely involved himself in the life of St. George's Episcopal Church, where he was a eucharistic lay minister and a member of the vestry. Healey also loved entertaining dear friends at the piano and on the harmonica, and the fellowship of his monthly poker group. He was possibly the oldest person to be named Rookie of the Year by the La Canada Kiwanis Club.
Jerry Healey is survived by his wife of 35 years, Judi, a former Beacon Journal writer, now an educator in La Canada, and their daughter, Kathryn, a teacher in Thousand Oaks, California. He is also survived by his father-in-law, Ted Davis of Akron, and daughters, Gale Hoert of Middleburg Heights, Linda Evans of Macedonia, and Jill Clarkson of Paradise, California. His grandchildren are David, Brian, Leah, Taylor, Justin, and U.S. Marine Sargent Vince Clarkson, plus great-granddaughter, Cabrie Clarkson.
Services will be at 10 a.m. SUNDAY at St. George's Episcopal Church, 808 Foothill Boulevard, with a mimosa reception following.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate contributions to St. George's or the Salvation Army.
(Billow FAIRLAWN Chapel)