Jerry Healey
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Jerry Healey

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)



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Published in Akron Beacon Journal on Feb. 5, 2009.
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Memories & Condolences
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20 entries
February 11, 2009
To the family and friends of Jerry Healy; I grew up listening to this man and his alter egos. Then I moved to CA and at times thought I heard his voice and it was. What a treasure this man was. Thanks for sharing him with mankind. God Bess
Ken Frutchey
February 10, 2009
Dear Judi--You have my deepest sympathy. Our cousin, Helen B., of Augusta, called me today, and I was shocked by the news. I remember when he was born and how happy my mother was to hear the news of a new nephew, and how crazy we all were about him when we visited Scranton (from Ohio) while he was a tot. All my love to you and family-- Mary
Mary McCarthy
February 8, 2009
Dear Holly, Dennis, Leah and the entire Healey family,
I was so sorry to hear about your Dad, Grandfather. It was so enjoyable talking to him at your picnic this past summer. So glad you had that time with him and he could spend it with his family and friends in Ohio. He had that rare gift of making you feel like you were so important to him even if only knowing him for a short time. I'm so sorry for your loss and hope to see you all soon.
Love,
Diane
Diane Plescia
February 7, 2009
Dear Judi,
How sad to hear about Jerry! We have so many memories of such good times we shared with you two in the 70's.
Our prayers and sympathy are with you.
Do take care, Love, Bill and June Root
Bill and June Root
February 7, 2009
For all of us Zips fans who had the pleasure to listen to Jerry on the air, there will never be a better 'voice of the Zips' for UA basketball and football. For all us who had the pleasure to know Jerry, there will never be a nicer man.
Rick Mier
February 7, 2009
Dear Judi and to all those who loved Jerry,

I had the honor and privilege to work with Jerry when he returned to Akron at WCUE in the early 80's. Having grown up listening to his voice on the air, it was a dream come true to rub elbows with the man who was joined each morning by Akron's version of 'The Bickersons' - Sam and Serena, on WAKR.

One of my strongest memories of Jerry through the years has been the kindness and compassion which he showed me in a time of personal loss back in 1986. I will never forget that and will always be grateful for having known Jerry.

I'm sure that somewhere he's sharing old radio stories with Fred Anthony, Roger Carter and Jay Drennan...and somewhere each Friday, you'll hear him say: "I'll take all the blame for everything from here on in".

God Bless you, Judi and the Healey family and God Rest Jerry's soul.

Thank You for your friendship, Jerry.
Mark Richards
February 6, 2009
Dearest Judi,

Your loss is great and is shared by us and scores of friends in the Akron area who treasured the wit, charm, fun, and all the other good thngs about your - and our - beloved Jerry.

This Sunday, when a memorial service for Jerry will be held at St. George Episcopal Church, a candle will be lit in Akron's St. George Orthodox Church in loving memory of Jerry.

Our prayers are with you.

Martha and Sam salem
Sam Salem
February 6, 2009
Jill; My sympathies are with you. I still remember spending the night with you on Merriman Rd. (must have been about 1968 or 69)and going to the station with your dad in the morning. He was alot of fun that day. Sorry to hear of your loss.
Susan Denholm
February 6, 2009
Judi, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers for your loss. You and Jerry were such good friends to Bill and me. Even having a reception for our wedding. It makes me happy to think of Jerry and Bill together again.
Pat McKay
February 6, 2009
Love and hugs to Judi and Kathryn. You and the rest of Jerry's family are in our thoughts. Jerry and his wonderful voice will be missed.
Barbara and Bill Perdue
Barbara Perdue
February 6, 2009
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
Thomas Potts
February 6, 2009
I was so sorry to hear of your loss. The thoughts of many are with you at this time of sorrow.
Teri Karnas
February 6, 2009
In the early 1970s when Bob Hope came to Barberton, Ohio, it was Jerry Healey who introduced him. My dad and I made an 'Oscar' shaped like a golfing tee with Mr. Hope's likeness on the ball to add a little humor into that rainy festive affair, but it was Mr. Healey who presented 'The Oscar' to Bob on stage to delight the crowd! 'Always enjoyed WAKR and local radio. We had the best in the business right here in NE Ohio!
Don (Kaptin Ignatz) Clark
February 5, 2009
Jerry was one of my favorite buddies!
And acknowledged as responsible for what I do today in the voicework industry for radio, tv, and films!
He was and will always be a first-class friend and I know heaven just got a little brighter now that he has made the move.
Never Forgotten.

Forever Love to the Healey Family,
From Greg Berg
Greg Berg
February 5, 2009
My dear, you know how much you and " little brother " have meant to me from the WAKR days and over the years. I am so very, very sorry and sad for your loss and the many of us who also loved him. Take care of YOU! Much love, Annie-Sis. Ann Thomas-Moore Whittenberger. Round Rock, Tx.
Ann Whittenberger
February 5, 2009
I knew Jerry and Judi back in the 70's and am sorry to see this news. Of course, like everyone else in Akron I listened to his morning show on WAKR, but I also got to see him in action running charity auctions and the like. He was a good guy.
Michael d'Amico
February 5, 2009
From The Broadcasters Hall Of Fame
we here at the broadcasters hall share in your bereavement and pray that God give you strength in these trying times.

Chairman of Board BHOF
Henry Dunn
PO Box 8247
Akron, Ohio 44320
National Broadcasters Hall Of Fame
February 5, 2009
I always enjoyed Jerry's show on WAKR in Akron. Those two zany characters he created, Sam and Serena, always brought a smile to my face in the morning. I will never forget Sam's campaign for "County Duplicate"!! Jerry's humor was so unique! RIP
Ken Andrus
February 5, 2009
Sincere condolences to Jerry's family and friends. Jerry Healey was a morning fixture of my life as my Dad prepared for work and I prepared for school. From probably my grade school years through high school, the first person awake in our house would turn on the kitchen table radio to hear Jerry and the 1590 WAKR morning news team. I remember Sam and Serena like yesterday. I also remember that Jerry was unique among his Northeastern Ohio radio broadcast peers, and I always appreciated his commentary, music and humor. Many many years after high school I was thrilled to be traveling in the Southeastern US one day and while scanning the car radio heard the still highly recognizable voice of Jerry Healey. Turned out the national "standards" network he was was with was picked up by a station on the very fringes of my home listening area.....and I listened whenever I could from that point on.

Jerry Healey brought much pleasure to my life for many years.

Again, condolences and good thoughts to Jerry's family and friends.
Robert Farrell
February 5, 2009
Offering our deepest condolences during this time.
The Staff of Billow Funeral Homes
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