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Memorial celebrates life

Submitted by Newsroom on August 3, 2011 – 12:35 pmNo Comment


Friends, family celebrate broadcaster’s life

By News Director Leslie Stratmoen

RIVERTON, Wyo. — He was an inspiration to students for 25 years, including some who work right here at KVOW/KTAK radio. That’s how many will remember Dale Smith, the legendary broadcaster and college professor who died Saturday at his home in Riverton of complications from cancer. He was 66 years old.

Dale Smith

Folks from across the state came together this morning to honor the Wyoming Hall of Fame broadcaster during a service held where he worked for so many years – Central Wyoming College in Riverton. He retired three years ago because of his health, but was honored a year later by being named a Professor Emeritus.

According to his obituary, it was his nearly life-long love of theater and athletics that led to his successful career as a broadcaster. He was a radio broadcaster in Virginia and Washington, D.C. before coming to Wyoming in the early 1980s to work as an announcer for this station — KVOW/KTAK in Riverton — as well as KCWC-TV, the state’s only public broadcasting station at CWC. It was a part-time job of teaching a few broadcasting course for the local college that led to a full-time position in 1985.

Along with training his broadcasting students he also took on the theater students, working as a dialect coach, and wrote and directed plays. He was also an actor. Locals might remember him as Big Daddy in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” or Alfred Doolittle in “My Fair Lady.”

During his radio career he interviewed many greats, like Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynne and the Statler Brothers. His family says it was his gift for broadcasting and athletics that made it possible for him to go to college and earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. He even qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team as a marathon runner but that career was halted by a back injury. He went on to earn master’s degrees in both theology and instructional technology.

His induction into the Wyoming Broadcasters Hall of Fame came just two years ago. He was nominated by Lander broadcaster Joe Kenney from KOVE/KDLY. That’s the station where Smith became known as Danny O’Day, the voice of the Lander Tigers. He was honored with a Tiger letter jacket upon his retirement during the halftime of a football game.

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