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The final Walt Bodine Show aired on April 27th, 2012, celebrating 72 years of originality and honesty across print, television and radio platforms, as pioneering journalist Walt Bodine retired from KCUR. Walt died at the age of 92 on Sunday, March 24, 2013.MORE ON WALT:Walt's Beat: A Multimedia Journey Through Walt's CareerThe Walt Bodine Audio DocumentaryMarr Sound Archive Walt CollectionKansas City Star: With Bodine’s final show, KC will miss a good friendStoryCorps in KC: Walt Bodine and Tom BodineA TRIBUTE TO WALT FROM MARILYN MAYE:http://kcurstream.umkc.edu/CENTRAL/blog/maye.mp3

Walt Bodine Eulogized As 'Voice Of Everyman'

Walt Bodine “was us,” said Monroe Dodd, a long-time friend and colleague of the legendary newsman, who died last week at 92. Speaking at a packed memorial service this afternoon at Unity Temple on the Plaza, Dodd said Walt had remarkable insights. “He’d toss (them) into the conversation in the form of questions ... they were like firecrackers.”

Dodd went on to recall Walt's "nimble mind ... warm and lively conversation ... and city full of listeners who became friends."

Dodd pointed out that Bodine was born when Woodrow Wilson was president, before the first radio broadcast was made anywhere. He lived through the advent of television and the internet. He pioneered the talk-show genre with a live broadcast from Breton's restaurant. "In Kansas City, Walt was simply an institution," Dodd said.

The service began with jazz pianist Tim Whitmer playing as people walked in and jazz vocalist Millie Edwards singing 'Bridge Over Troubled Water.'

Credit Laura Ziegler
Millie Edwards belted out a bluesy version of Bridge Over Troubled Water to start the service off.

Marty Bodine, the eldest of Walt and Bernadine Bodine’s five children, thanked Walt’s many caregivers, friends and professional colleagues. 

Marty recalled growing up with the pioneer of radio and television. 

“It was hard for me to see him on TV for the first time,” Marty said. “My mom had to scrape me off the ceiling when I saw him in that little box … not paying any attention to me.”

He always had a cheerful thing to say about everyone up until the end, Marty said, in spite of a host of debilitating maladies. 

The memorial continued with an open microphone, at which friends and colleagues offered funny and touching memories of knowing and working with Walt.

KCUR's Steve Bell said Walt taught him first and foremost to "be yourself ... tell it like it is and be as colorful with it as possible." 

KCUR's Steve Bell remembers working with Walt long before either of them came to public radio.

Sam Mann, Pastor Emeritus of St. Mark's Church, remembered a show Walt pulled together called The Hell Raisers.

"We raised a lot of hell!" Mann proclaimed loudly with a grin. Other "hell raisers" included the late Sid Willens, a lawyer, and housing advocate Ruth Margolin. 

Walt Bodine donated his body to science, as did his wife, Bernie.

I partner with communities to uncover the ignored or misrepresented stories by listening and letting communities help identify and shape a narrative. My work brings new voices, sounds, and an authentic sense of place to our coverage of the Kansas City region. My goal is to tell stories on the radio, online, on social media and through face to face conversations that enhance civic dialogue and provide solutions.
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