In memoriam

Spring 2016 Edition

Jay Cooper

Jay Cooper

Jay Cooper (BSJ 1970), who was part of the top-rated morning radio program, “The Dick and Jay Show,” in the Kansas City market, died April 6 in Tampa, Florida, at the age of 69. While at the J-School, Cooper studied radio, television and film, worked for KJHK (then known as KUOK), and tutored student-athletes. He worked in the radio/broadcast industry before the pursuit of his degree at KU and worked for numerous radio stations afterward. 

Cooper’s radio career began in 1966 when he was hired at KPRS as an announcer, using the tagline: “This is your blue-eyed soul brother, Jay Cooper.” In Kansas City from 1974 to 1984, Cooper enjoyed a successful FM radio DJ career at KYYS/KY-102 where he, along with co-host Dick Wilson, was instrumental in originating the model for album-rock morning teams. “The Dick and Jay Show” dominated the market and in March 2016, the team was honored with induction into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame.  

For the next 30 years, Cooper worked in a wide range of communications enterprises, including Journal Broadcast Group, Cumulus Broadcasting, Clear Channel, Cinema Advertising, and Google AdWords. Most recently, he owned and operated a strategic communications company and was a partner for an advertisement company. Read his obituary.

Samuel Elliott, 77, former J-School instructor, died Dec. 22, 2015, in Topeka, Kansas. Elliott was owner and editor of The Flint Hills Independent newspaper in Eskridge, and he owned KULY, a radio station in Ulysses. Elliott also was the host of "Let's Talk With Sam Elliott," a morning talk show on WIBW-AM 580 in Topeka. He was past president of the Kansas Association of Broadcasters. Read his obituary.

Bill Snead, 78, an award-winning photographer who attended KU and was a professional in residence at the J-School in the early 1990s, died Feb. 14 in Lawrence, Kansas. He started working at the Lawrence Journal-World at age 17 as a photography assistant and went on to work at The Washington Post, the Wilmington (Delaware) News-Journal, Topeka Capital-Journal, National Geographic and United Press International. In 1992, he won the newspaper photographer of the year award from the White House News Photographers Association. In 1993, he came back to the Lawrence Journal-World, working as a deputy editor and left in 2007. Read his obituary.

Ethel Stewart was featured in the Fall 1980  Jayhawk Journalist .

Ethel Stewart was featured in the Fall 1980 Jayhawk Journalist.

Ethel M. Stewart, 91, former librarian at the School of Journalism, died April 7 in Lawrence, Kansas. Stewart started working at KU in 1969 in Watson Library and was the J-School librarian from 1973 until 1989 when she retired.

Read her obituary.

Read story from Jayhawk Journalist.


Rodney D. Anderson, 1979 J-School graduate, died Jan. 22, 2016, in Des Moines. Read his obituary.

Don L. Baker, 1971 J-School graduate, died Feb. 5, 2016, at the age of 68. Read his obituary. 

Burton H. Brewer, 1958 J-School graduate, died Dec. 22, 2015, in Jupiter, Florida. Read his obituary.  

Judge Larry Campbell, 1970 J-School graduate, died Sept. 11, 2015, in La Selva Beach, California, at age 73. Read his obituary.

Rhonda Alisia Claudius, a 1993 J-School graduate, died Jan. 9, 2016, in Draper, Utah, at age 53. Read her obituary.

John A. Hons, 1966 J-School graduate, died Feb. 22 at the age of 71 in Wallingford, Pennsylvania. Read his obituary.

Anna Jones, 1950 J-School graduate, died Dec. 15, 2015. Read her obituary.

Harlan Lill, 1948 J-School graduate, died April 1 in Lawrence at age 91. Read his obituary.

Marilyn Miller, 1951 J-School graduate, died Dec. 24, 2015, in Madison, New Jersey. Read her obituary. 

Michael A. Morrow, 1960 J-School graduate, died March 20 at the age of 78. Morrow was an FBI special agent for 24 years and was the National Basketball Association's security representative for the San Antonio Spurs. Read his obituary.

Kathleen O'Connor Pierson, 1951 J-School graduate, died Jan. 25, 2016, at the age of 86. Read her obituary.

Naomi Oaks Reddoch, 1949 J-School graduate, died Jan. 19 in Kansas City at age 85. Read her obituary.

William T. Smith Jr., 1948 J-School graduate, died Jan. 6, 2016, at the age of 94. Read his obituary.

Charles R. Stewart, 1969 J-School graduate, died Dec. 1, 2015, in Kansas City, Missouri. Read his obituary.   

Tom Weir, 1971 J-School graduate, died Feb. 14, 2016, at the age of 66. Read his obituary.

Jeanette Whitehair, 1983 J-School graduate, died March 27 in Irvine, California, at age 58. Read her obituary.

Raymond Douglas Yocum, 1960 J-School graduate, died Dec. 7, 2015. Read his obituary.