Local radio icon passes away

For over 40 years Gary Connors was a mainstay for radio listeners

Thank you Chuck Howard Ingram for this amazing picture of Gary Connors at work.

Many have said that radio is the last personal media.  Nobody made it more personal than Gary George Connors.  The 65-year-old Morning Show announcer, who worked at CKJD, CHOK, the Eagle CKTI 107.7 and the defunct Eagle CKCI 103.3, passed away on Saturday December 16 after complications from cancer.

Gary Connors, a Sarnia radio legend, was diagnosed with cancer in 2014 and progressed through all the symptoms, but through it all he still did what he loved, being a radio announcer, doing Saturday mornings on the station in Kettle and Stony Point First Nation.

He started with CKJD as a reporter and moved up through the ranks until finally taking over the morning show until the station would close down in 1977.

He then moved to CHOK, taking over morning show duties.

He would part company with Blackburn Radio and CHOK after a lengthy stay there, and in 2001 took over the morning show in Kettle and Stony Point First Nation.

There was much more to Gary Connors than just the voice that was heard on the radio.  Connors was an avid motorcyclist, who was active in.drag racing.  His Kawasaki racer could be seen at many drag racing events and it was always a welcome sight to see his bus, which was also a mobile motorcycle garage, pull into the pit area.

Connors was also a very talented guitar player, entertaining fans with Southern Funk Experience with long time friends Stephen Dumont and Keith Stutt.  Gary would perform at many events like Ribfest and Bridgefest as well as small venues around Sarnia and area.

If it was a charity event Gary Connors would be the first to offer either his voice or his guitar for the cause.  He even offered his bus as the Eagle Express for the radio station for the Santa Claus Parade.

Gary was a family man with four children and three grandchildren, who loved to just make people smile.  When asked what it was about radio that he loved the most his answer was, “it is the last personal media.  No other media let’s someone pick up the phone and get the guy doing all the work and say “Hey Connors, can you play that song for me?’, it’s why I like working for who I work for and not the big corporations. I can be me, a little corny, not as formatted and just have fun again.” That is what Gary Connors liked to do, was have fun.

A local celebrity, either on the radio or playing music, a father and grandfather and a teacher, as he passed his experience in broadcasting on to so many.  Gary Connors will be greatly missed.

A memorial service has been arranged for Friday December 22 at Smith Funeral Home on London Line starting at 10 a.m.

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  • Jeff Feldman

    Sad to hear about Gary’s passing. Our paths crossed a little bit when I was working at CKJD, and he was at CHOK in the mid-70’s. Condolences to his family.

    Incidentally, CKJD did not close down in 1977.