Beloved radio hosts signs off for last time
By RANDY GONZALES
Jana Jordan was glad she got a chance to be with Robert "BoB" Templeton one last time.
Jordan, the director of the Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau, for many years had an office in the same building as Templeton, at the time the executive director of the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce. They often would sit together in the morning to have coffee.
But last week, Jordan visited Templeton shortly before his death. Templeton died Thursday at 80.
Memorial services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Trinity Lutheran Church.
"Here in the last few days of his life, I was very blessed to be able to sit with him the evening before he passed away," Jordan said. "We reminisced, and his mind was just as sharp as it could be."
Templeton was working as a disc jockey at a station in Nebraska when Bob Schmidt, then general manager at KAYS Radio, heard him on the radio. Schmidt offered Templeton a job at KAYS.
"I thought he had a great voice, good delivery," Schmidt said. "What I liked about him as an announcer, he was very smooth, voice good, picked good music."
Schmidt remembered Templeton started his morning show with his trademark opening: "Hello, world, this is BoB Templeton."
Templeton worked at KAYS Radio as an announcer and later program director from 1960 to 1965 before leaving to take a job as a general manager at a radio station in Wisconsin. When the general manager's job at KAYS Radio opened in 1973, Templeton returned to Hays and worked at the radio station until 1989.
"He was a good manager, good guy to work for," said Mike Cooper, former broadcaster and program director at KAYS Radio. "He also was one of those old-time radio guys that could do anything that needed to be done at the station.
"He was one of those do-it-all kind of guys that are so important to small-town radio stations."
Templeton also filled in on the television side at KAYS, doing news and weather on the weekends.
"We couldn't afford weekend announcers," Schmidt said. "He did a great job for us."
Bernie Brown, the longtime general manager at KAYS TV before he retired, remembered his friend fondly.
"He was honest, he was sincere, he was likable," Brown said. "He was just an all-around good guy.
"He wouldn't do bad to anybody."
After KAYS, Templeton became the chamber director.
During Templeton's time in charge of the chamber, he connected with the business community, Jordan said.
"Bob did a wonderful job of reaching out to the community and getting people back involved in the chamber," she said. "Bob had a real winning personality. He was able to go in to any business and visit with the owner or manager about really being a part of the community."
Templeton's effervescent personality was contagious, Jordan said.
"He was just always upbeat," Jordan said. "Whenever you asked Bob, 'How you doing today? I'm terrific.' Always, always very upbeat. Very easy to talk to. Friendly, knew everybody in town. Made everybody feel like they were a good friend."
Jordan said she always enjoyed talking to Templeton over those morning coffees.
"It was nice to sit and visit with him," she said. "If you were feeling a little down, he would get you going again."
When Jordan was with Templeton for the final time last week, he still was cracking jokes, she said.
"That was just a very precious thing for me, to be able to sit and reminisce with him," Jordan said. "We enjoyed our time together, even to the end."