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Jeff Goode Dies, Was Longtime Radio Engineer

“If ever there was an individual who transmitted the Butterfly Effect to the world of radio without knowing it, it was Jeff Goode”

Jeff Goode stands smiling in front of shrubbery.

Longtime radio engineer Jeff Goode has died.

He passed away on Friday due to complications of Huntington’s Disease, at a hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind., the city in which he was born. He was 64.

Goode is being remembered by colleagues as a “brilliant” engineer who had a native talent for technical matters and as someone who influenced the careers of many other broadcast engineers and air personalities.

Jack Didier, director of engineering at Federated Media, has known Goode since they were both in their early teens.

He said that at age 14, Goode built an FM operation in his parents’ basement “with a single-transistor modified Colpitts 100 mW transmitter design and a ground-plane antenna fabricated from aluminum clothesline wire and Plexiglas.”

Goode earned his Third Class FCC license at age 15 and his Second and First at 17. He was on-air part-time in Fort Wayne radio stations at age 16.

Spouse Laurinda Goode said he was mostly self-taught. “He did go to technical school but taught the professor more than he learned from him,” she wrote with a smile emoji.

He started learning broadcast engineering from Bill Ryan and Steve Hnat (later of Hnat Hindes). Goode moved to Grand Rapids, Mich., at age 18, and was on the air full-time and doing some engineering responsibilities at several stations. By 22 he was doing engineering for WOWO back in Fort Wayne, owned by Price Communications.

“Jeff and I started Broadcast Circuit Systems in 1983, building mic processors that Jeff designed and doing contract engineering,” Didier said.

“Our first two employees were Dan Mettler and Jeff Littlejohn. The company engineered 35 stations on a regular basis, and worked for many others building over 50 studio locations and countless AM and FM tower sites for stations in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois.”

Didier called Goode “an amazing individual with a brilliant mind that somehow just seemed to understand how things in the world of electronics functioned without much effort.”

One of his biggest passions was audio processing. “He would stand in front of a box tweaking for hours and sometimes days at a time. And if he couldn’t get it to sound the way he wanted, he would rip that thing out of the rack, drop it on the bench and start modifying the circuit board as needed to make it right.”

He moved to Indianapolis in 1994. Max Turner worked with Goode for many years at the former Susquehanna Radio, where Turner was a regional engineering manager and where Goode rose to become a chief engineer.

“Jeff worked on everything from the smallest to the biggest stations, including WOWO when it was a powerhouse,” Turner said.

“He worked at WFMS and helped with the addition of two more stations to the Indianapolis group. He also worked at a combo in Muncie and a couple of stations in Fort Wayne. I had the privilege of him working for me for almost two decades at Susquehanna Radio. He was a born genius. Brilliant beyond belief.”

Jack Didier said people whose careers Goode helped include engineers David C. Smith, Matt Kyle, Dan Mettler, Jeff Littlejohn, Kent Kramer, Mogan David, Ed Didier, Burly Stapley and Greg Trobridge, as well as numerous air talent.

“He had a love for music, Indy car racing, Formula One racing and traveling,” according to his obituary. Max Turner said, “Jeff was an avid race fan, so having the famed ‘500’ here was his cup of tea.”

A funeral service is planned for Sunday, Feb. 19. Contributions in Goode’s memory may be made to Huntington’s Disease Society of America.

“Jeff was an icon in our industry, and his contributions, if not directly, were realized by the people whose lives that he touched,” Didier said. “If ever there was an individual who transmitted the Butterfly Effect to the world of radio without knowing it, it was Jeff Goode.”