Richard “Dick” Timmons, host of Midday Classics for the past 15 years, has died at age 84. His dedication and commitment to the WXPR family will be sorely missed.
Dick was passionate about music. He could talk about jazz and big band with authority, but classical was his true love. He played the piano, and early in his life had played the standup bass. Upon retiring as publisher of the Rhinelander Daily News (currently named Northwoods River News), Dick showed up at the doors of WXPR asking to volunteer as on-air host for one of the classical programs.
Known previously in the community for his competitive edge and sardonic wit when he served as publisher, Dick surprised many by displaying a completely different side to his personality once he became a music host. Within a short time he developed a following and became one of the station’s most popular hosts. Listeners delighted in his elegant “radio voice” and his warm sense of humor, but mostly they loved the music he shared. His tastes ranged from baroque to Scottish bagpipes to Broadway hits. As former station manager Mick Fiocchi liked to say, “Dick chooses music that has an exceptionally sweet sound, that can almost make you cry.” Because of his popularity, Dick was a successful on-air host during pledge drives and WXPR benefited greatly from his enthusiastic “pitching.”
Mr. Timmons died on July 20, 2014. He is survived by his lovely wife, Susan, and his four sons, Ben, Andy (Robin), Mark, and Bob (Vivian), and seven grandchildren.
A memorial service has been scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014, at 11 am at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 105 N First St., Eagle River. The family generously requests that memorials be given in Mr. Timmons’ name to the WXPR Public Radio Endowment, 28 N. Stevens St., Rhinelander, WI 54501. WXPR is honored to be named in this way.