Engineers, Family Mourn Rich Heatley

Colleagues are remembering Richard Heatley, a long-time broadcast engineer in Tucson, Ariz.
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Colleagues are remembering Richard Heatley, a long-time broadcast engineer in Tucson, Ariz.

He died in Eugene, Ore., last Saturday, a week after his 68th birthday, according to his daughter Helene Kale. Survivors also include three grandchildren, a son-in-law and his second wife Paula Stone.

“My father started his career broadcast career in his teens,” Kale told RW. “He was a ham radio hobbyist in the ’70s. He first worked for KOLD, which at the time was a radio station. He joined KZAZ-TV 11 in the late ’60s and was their chief engineer though the mid-1980s.” That station is now KMSB.

She said he was founder of the local SBE chapter. “In the mid-’90s he was involved with putting the old KIKX back together and breathing new life into it as KJMM. In the late 1980s my family purchased KAYN(FM) 98.3 in Nogales, Ariz., and owned it until the early part of 1993.”

Heatley went to Casper, Wyo., to work for K2 as chief engineer in the mid-1990s, then went to work for Broadcast Software International when it was based out of Eugene, Ore. He spent the last five years of his life in retirement in Eugene; he had been in poor health recently.

“Rich and Carole Heatley were my parents,” said Kale, who is traffic manager for four Journal Broadcast stations. “They were both in Tucson Media and I was raised within the media circle, a true ‘Tucson Media Brat.’” She called her father “a dear friend and teacher to many over his life.”

Memorial services will be held at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 27 in Tucson at Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

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