Chris Edwards
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"Chris Edwards"
Edward C. Reinholtz

A Bay Area radio legend, Chris Edwards, died on Friday 1/31 after an extended illness, during which he never lost his sense of humor or upbeat attitude. 

Chris' illustrious broadcasting career spanned almost 50 years, the majority of them in the San Francisco Bay Area.  His booming voice could be recognized throughout northern California during the Top 40 era in the 60's and 70's on KYA (1260 AM), as well as in the 80's and early 90's on K101 and KYA/KSFO.

Born Edward Christian Reinholtz on November 10, 1941 in Mt. Vernon, New York, his passion for music and radio began at an early age.  He first discovered his musical talent when his father strapped an accordion on him as a kid, and he was such a natural that he was soon playing the piano by ear. 

Radio fascinated him as well. He earned his amateur ham radio license when he was a teenager and was first licensed as K4GVM in Florida.  While attending the University of Florida in the late 50's, Edwards hosted his first radio show, "Moonglow with Edwards" on WRUF.  It was there that he took on the on-air name Chris Edwards (combining his middle and first names).

Edwards returned to the New York area in the early 60's where he worked as a sound control studio operator for the United Nations, as well as an engineer for WMCA.

Back in Florida in 1963, Edwards now had both on-air experience and his FCC First Class Radio Telephone License, making him a great catch for local radio stations along the east coast of Florida since he could serve as both chief engineer and DJ.  His engineering skills were soon overshadowed by his natural affinity for being a disc jockey, and he quickly became an on-air favorite. His show at WHEW in West Palm Beach in 1966 paved the way for his major market break in 1967 at WFUN in Miami.  It was during this time he acquired the nickname of "Big Fat Chrissy Edwards".

The fun continued when, in February 1968, Edwards was handed a golden opportunity in San Francisco.  He landed at SFO one night and the very next morning was on the air doing morning drive for KYA, a highly-rated Top 40 station.  Later, he hosted the afternoon (2 pm – 6 pm) show.

In his first year at KYA, the station achieved some of the highest ratings in its history. But Chris' involvement was not limited to on-air work. He also very active with efforts of the sales staff to promote KYA to clients. In 1976 he made the official move into sales, which led to the next phase in his broadcasting career.

In 1980, Edwards joined K-101 as Sales Executive but was soon on the air as well hosting an oldies show.  The "Chris Edwards Time Machine", which ran Sunday nights 6 pm – 10 pm, was an immediate hit. 

In 1987 Edwards joined KSFO-AM/KYA-FM in his account executive role and also hosted a Saturday am show until the end of 1991.    

Edwards had a very successful second career in sales through the next 20 years, working for, among others, KFRC ("Magic 61"), KABL (where he was sales manager), KKSF and other stations operated by Clear Channel and CBS Radio. He was with KFRC when it re-launched as an oldies station on 106.9 FM in 2007. Chris retired from KGO/KSFO in the summer of 2011.

Retirement afforded Chris time to finally focus on his long time goal of studying for the exam to upgrade his amateur (ham) radio license to the highest class rating possible.  He took great pride when in 2013 he passed the exam and his W6OSV license was upgraded to "extra" class.

Chris loved sports and was an avid fan of the Giants and the 49ers.  His following of the Giants began even before the team's move to San Francisco, when during the 50's as a young boy he would take the train from Mt. Vernon to New York City for games at the Polo Grounds. Chris was also a 49ers season ticket owner for over 40 years. He delighted in the Giants' two World Series and 49ers' five Super Bowl wins, having attended 2 winning Super Bowls – XIX at Stanford and XXIV in New Orleans. He enjoyed tailgating with friends and travelling to away games with his wife Cynthia.

Chris enjoyed working on cars, flying, train travel, and cooking.  Decades before there was such a term, he was a "foodie," exploring and enjoying new restaurants around the Bay Area.

Chris also had a great love for animals, whether it was the wild ones he enjoyed viewing from the deck of his home in Novato or the multiple cats he rescued over the course of his life.

In December 1991 Chris had the great fortune to receive a kidney transplant, allowing him to enjoy his wonderful life for another full 22 years.  His family wishes to extend their sincerest thanks for this gift of life, as well as acknowledge and thank his cardiologist for over 25 years, Dr. Edward Kersh, and his nephrologist for the past 3 years, Dr. Farid Osman, for their incredible care during this time.

Known for his great sense of humor and one-liner jokes, Chris was a multi-talented, fun-loving, generous man. He will be remembered by all for his love for radio, passion for life, and contagious smile – but most importantly his kindness to all he met.  His favorite on-air term, “kemo sabe”, translates as “faithful friend”. That indeed he was.

He is survived by the love of his life, his wife of 30 years, Cynthia Riser Reinholtz, He is also survived by his cousins who were like brother and sister to him - Larry Dingee (Sandy) of Albany, NY and Linda Glenn (Mack) of Kingman, AZ, and their families; as well as sister-in-law Shirley Strickland (Alan) of Jacksonville, FL, nieces Stefanie and Alison Strickland of Jacksonville and San Diego, respectively and brother-in-law Elliott Riser of Mobile, AL.

A private service will be held.  In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make a donation to CPMC Foundation directed to either St. Lukes Cardiovascular Center or The Pacific Transplant Institute.  Alternatively, donations may be made to The Marin Humane Society.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Feb. 5 to Feb. 6, 2014.
Memories & Condolences
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59 entries
February 3, 2021
What always comes through whenever I flash back on Chris was his smile, it was infectious. He lit up the room and people who knew him gravitated toward his shining brightness, and he always a new joke. This world needs more Chris's (and Cynthia's, too.)
Tom Willis
January 30, 2021
When I close my eyes I can still here your funny cute laugh...such a huge generous personality! You were such a good friend.... always there when I needed you. You are so missed❤❤❤❤
Leanne Latimer Troy
January 30, 2019
Still think about ya often my friend. RIP Chrissy...
Donald Burks
December 6, 2018
Finally, he is in the BA Radio Hall of Fame, after Hugo Hoogasian and I, and likely Cynthia, pushed for it during the last several years. Very sorry he is gone. We did the same things.... ham radio, flying, fixing cars, broadcasting, following the same sports teams.
RIP, kemo sabe, from Elliott, K6EL and KSBW TV.
Elliott Pisor
September 16, 2017
The photo I posted of Chris was taken around 1964-65 at WHEW in West Palm Beach. I met Chris one day when I won a contest and I started hanging around answering phones and learning about commercial radio from him. We also were Amateur Radio operators.Chris taught me a load of stuff about running transmitters and producing a radio show. Because of that I went on to work in radio as an on-air personality in Detroit as a start and ended up at K-Rock for 14 wonderful years. I am retired and do voice overs in my own studio. He was a great mentor.
Jess Pike
September 14, 2017
Week of March 8-14, 1969, Ratings List
Sad to see the passing of one of the DJ's from my school kid days listening to KYA.
I supplied the pic of him from my days of listening to KYA.
RIP Chrissy, Heaven needed someone to keep the party going...
April Hunter
September 14, 2017
March 8-14, 1969 KYA Ratings List
April Hunter
June 13, 2017
Chris at WHEW approx 1964
Jess Pike
February 6, 2017
Tom Richard
January 21, 2016
He was a real positive inspiration to all of us. I really enjoyed working with him. He made each day a cheerful one. Thanks, Chris.
Carl Grout, former KYA production engineer.
Carl Grout
June 16, 2015
Cynthia Reinholtz
May 25, 2015
Remote broadcast, Auburn
The other day while Mary and I were casually walking in Woodward Park, Fresno I looked up upon hearing a jet flying overhead. I turned to her and said I'll bet Chris would know the flight number of that plane along with it's departure time and destination. I miss your occasional phone calls--just to say hi. You may have left this planet, but you'll always remain alive in my memories.
Don Burks
May 24, 2015
Cynthia Reinholtz
May 24, 2015
Cynthia Reinholtz
April 11, 2015
4/11/15 I was looking on the computer and found out the Chris had passed away.. Cynthia I'm so Sorry for your loss, I wish I would have known sooner. I used to listen to Christ on Kya, kfrc, K101, and the last before I moved he was on Kabl. I use to call the request and instead of saying this is Dani, I would say this is Dani here. I'm not sure how to deal with this yet as I'm still in shock and trying to wrap my head around it. I just know I feel like I lost my best friend. Again I'm sorry for you loss
Dani Casali-Doyle
November 2, 2014
Chrissy was a big part of my growing up and his joy and humor will always remain a big part of my life and memories. Be at rest my good friend with our love and prayers, Tim (aka the G Man as you called me)and Bethany Zwick.
August 2, 2014
Chris was a friend of my Dad, Paul Leff, until my Father's Death in 1991. My childhood memories of Chris were of a kind and funny man who was always good for a word of wisdom or a laugh. I am sad to hear of his passing. May he rest in peace.
Jeffrey Leff
May 14, 2014
I am sorry to hear about the passing of Chris Edwards. Although I did not know him personally, he seemed to have a love for life and also touched the lives of a lot of people. He loved and was loved. God called him home because his journey on this earth was done. Well done. My condolences go out to his family and friends. God bless his family. May his memory and spirit live on in the lives of those whose heart he touched. Amen.
Gigi Koslow
May 13, 2014
I am saddened to hear of Chris's passing. I answered phone contest lines for him at WHEW in West Palm Beach Florida. He was a wonderful guy got me started in both commercial and amateur radio. His one liners and Marty Mole, Big Fat Mother in Law jokes will remain with me forever.
Jess Pike
May 12, 2014
I'm sorry to hear about Chris Edwards recently passing away. I thought that he did a great job on the radio with stations such as KYA, KSFO, and K-101. I send my condolences to his family.
William Harang
April 10, 2014
Although I didn't know Chris Edwards personally, I felt like I did. When Chris was on the air at KYA he sent out a lot of positive energy. He could make an awkward teenager in the 60s feel cool.
I was a fan and he was bigger than life.
Now in my 50's I feel as if I've lost a friend who helped shaped my teen years.
To the family, I wish you peace.
Steve Ryerson
March 12, 2014
They don't come any better then Chris Edwards.He was a good friend for 46yrs.I taught him how to fly and he taught me how to be a DJ at KYA.Always felt bad that I ended up getting his air shift.However,he never blamed me and I always had the highest respect for Chris in every way.You will be missed God Bless You my dear friend.
jimmy jet courant
March 2, 2014
February 26, 2014
I honestly think that Chris didn't know what a frown was as he was always the bright light in the room. I had the pleasure of meeting him when I worked with his wonderful best pal and wife, Cynthia, in the '80s. His vast knowledge of any subject was astounding. His sunny disposition and huge sense of humor will always be remembered. Take care, buddy.
Tom Willis
February 25, 2014
Eddie was my dear friend and "cousin". Our parents were lifelong friends from New York to Miami. Many, many good times with lots of laughs. Eddie will be missed forever. I am so sorry he is gone.
He was definitely one of the good guys. Love you Ed. You were the best.
Vicky Bonasera
February 24, 2014
I had the good fortune to work with this kind, sweet man for over three decades. He came to the Sacramento area not too long before his official retirement, and we had such a wonderful time at lunch together. Chris was always a 'class act' and good man. I loved the way his eyes lit up when he talked about his wife and life in the Bay Area. I was so saddened to hear the news of his passing. A great, great guy, who will be so missed by so many.
Connie Hall
February 22, 2014
I will never forget when Chris told me he found the love of his life and was getting married. I loved this guy, his was a heart of gold. Rest in Peace old friend.
Randy Licht
February 17, 2014
Chris was a Man among men. He wore a smile, treated all as his friends and loved Cynthia dearly. We all learned from Chris..and his departure brings us deep sorrow. A gallant knight who lived life to its fullest. You are missed.
Judy & Greg Lange
February 17, 2014
What a dear, dear sweet man.
Took us all under his wing at KFRC. Listened to him pretty much all my life.. In one way or another! Forever loved.
February 13, 2014
Chris was always a professional and a gentleman. It was a pleasure and privilege working with him over the years.
Carolyn Shaw
February 13, 2014
Chris and I were in Cub Scouts together in Mount Vernon, NY. We had great times in the late 60's when Chris was on KYA and I was stationed at the Presidio. A true life-long friend. He will be missed.
Bob Sittig
February 12, 2014
Chris and I have remained friends since the late 60's. Clearly, he's one of a kind--well-liked and adored by everyone who knew him. His passing has left a void in all of our lives. RIP my friend.
Don Burks
February 12, 2014
Chris and I started at KYA on the same day in February of 1968. He was on the air and I was an account executive. For 45 years, our friendship grew. His positive attitude always prevailed. I was proud to be his friend.
Steve Edwards
February 11, 2014
Best wishes to my life long friend and "cousin Ed". May all of your QSO's be Q5 S9 !
73 de N4OW
Al Wessel
February 9, 2014
Chris as such a nice man. I always enjoyed his rock n roll stories. My sympathy goes out to his lovely wife and family.
Abbie Luber Schultz
Novato, Ca
February 9, 2014
I will miss Chris' sense of humor and his boundless energy and knowledge of radio. He was a dear and cherished friend. My condolences to Cynthia.
stuart hinkle
February 8, 2014
Original KYA Tower
Chris Edwards was always a treat to listen to on 1260 KYA during the late '60s and early '70s. A true professional who respected the audience, had a keen sense of humor and had great camaraderie with the other jocks. Something that is even more rare these days with his passing. Looks like Heaven's line-up is more impressive now.
Tom Richard
February 8, 2014
May God bless his soul and may his memory be eternal.
Jim Pappas
February 8, 2014
I was a WFUN listener in Miami in the 60's when Chris, Dick Starr, and Bill Holley were still there. I still listen to my airchecks of Chris frequently. What a great talent!
John Brooks,
John Brooks
February 7, 2014
From the time I arrived at KYA in 1972 until the present, Chis has been a dear friend. I really got that, if you were his friend, you were friends for life. In addition to being one of the great broadcasters of our time, Chris could tell you everything about every train that passed by or plane that flew overhead. He could also remove a Volkswagen engine in 20 minutes flat.

I never met anyone who didn't like Chris. Pretty amazing, huh?
Fred Schumacher
February 7, 2014
One of our many lunches.Sep07
From the time I met Chris in 1969 to his passing he was one of my best friends. He was always one of the most upbeat & warm people I have known. We had some crazy times when we neighbors in S.F. And frankly it didn't ever really stop. I, along with many mutual friends, will miss him very much. My deepest sympathies to Cynthia and all his extended family and friends.
Ed Thomas
February 7, 2014
Cynthia, I am so sorry for your loss. Chris was a wonderful man and you two had a wonderful life together. I hope that your memories give you some comfort now.
Shirley Phelan
February 7, 2014
Chris was a wonderful man full of lively entertainment. He will be missed.
Venita Sandle
February 7, 2014
A wonderful man, kind and giving always. He loved radio and made it contagious. He made the days at KFRC a very happy time! Be at Peace dear Chrissy!
Rebecca Campos
February 6, 2014
I loved being around Chris with his infectious smile and wonderful radio stories. He was a true professional and the kindest of us all!
Melanie Morgan (formerly KSFO )
Novato, Ca
February 6, 2014
Every time I'd see him he embodied class and professionalism. He was friendly and a very good man.
Ronn Owens
February 6, 2014
At 56 we still speak of Chris Edwards and our KYA Listening Days with fond memories always remembering our Birthday shout out wishes he'd send us and playing our favorite songs.He mad to young teens feel so special. Thoughts to his family. Chris your missed by all. Stacy and Sue (Alias Sexy Susie Rosenblatt) Good Night...
February 6, 2014
Chris, I was privileged to know you for these last 30 years - you were truly one of the good ones. I delighted in (and stole)your latest jokes and I shall always carry your booming laugh as my fondest memory. With love -- The Moon
Cory Lerner
February 6, 2014
I had the great pleasure of working with Chris at KYA in the 70's and enjoyed his continuing friendship to the end. Super talent and a fabulous personality. He will be missed!
Cliff Hunter
February 6, 2014
Chris was a joy to work with and to know. Just a stellar human being.
G Nemitz
February 6, 2014
Chris was a great friend and a shining star! I will miss his warmth and energy, and him asking me, "let's meet for a cup" (coffee). The world lost a great soul and Chris will be missed. Chris, till we meet again.
George Kalianis
February 6, 2014
Chris never failed to "make my day." I never heard a negative word out of him. He was REAL radio and a helluva guy!
Jacque Skarr
February 6, 2014
Chris couldn't have been happy all the time, but he never let on if he was ever unhappy. He always seemed interested in everyone and everything. I'll miss the lunches when we got caught up on everyone we knew, and Chris knew everyone.
Anne Morse
February 6, 2014
Chris was a great friend and a shining star! I will miss his warmth and energy, and him asking me, "let's meet for a cup" (coffee). The world lost a great soul and Chris will be missed. Chris, till we meet again.
February 6, 2014
Dearest Chris...You were such a good friend. Always so full of energy and warmth. I am so honored to have been able to have called you my good friend. I'll miss you Leanne xoxo
Leanne Latimer Troy
February 6, 2014
Chris was a wonderful co-worker and a great man...I will miss his stories and his infectious smile. Spin some good ones for us upstairs, kemo sabe!
Len Konecny
February 6, 2014
A skip in his step and a smile in his heart. Good times while our paths were together. Will grab some lunch at The Double Play and raise a glass to the man...
Scotty Bastable
February 6, 2014
Chrissy will always be remembered as a shining light in my career...when I was gewtting started, Chris ALWAYS treated me with kindness and respect, and, later, we became good friends when we worked together at KSFO/KYA.
I'm gonna miss you Chris.
Love you,
Mary Ellen Collins
mary ellen collins
February 6, 2014
No matter what the circumstance, I always felt honored to be in his presence.
He was the most faithful friend one can have in this world, and I will miss him every day of of life. I'll see you soon my firend. Play the hits, and keep them always wanting more.
Ed Krampf
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