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Who Walt Riddle
When December 15, 2006
Where Marion, IN
What Walt Riddle, Longtime Indiana Country Music Radio Host Dies
 

Walter Gail "Jockey" Riddle, 74, went to be with the Lord at 1:05pm on Friday, December 15, 2006.

He was born on June 12, 1932 in Marion to the late Clay and Lottie (Teal) Riddle.

In 1950, Walt married the love of his life, Betty Lee Morgan from Mullins West, VA. This coming February, they would have been married 57 years.

Preceding his marriage to Betty, Walt teamed up with his younger brother, George, singing in the area and won their first talent contest at a medicine show. This led to a steady job in the show that traveled throughout Indiana. At that time Walt was 13 and George was 10. Later the brothers were heard on stations WBAT and WMRI for several years.

After getting married, Betty and Walt moved to Knoxville, Tenn.; where they were on stations WIVK, WNOX, and WATE TV. Walt and Betty's next stop was Louisville, Ky., where they played all the top show places and were heard on WINN radio. Upon leaving Louisville, they worked for a short time in Lexington, Ky. on WLAP.

They decided it was time to come home, at least for a while, where they sang on WARU in Peru. The owner of the station, Dr. Hanson (a nationally known ornithologist) offered them an interesting and unique profession which they accepted. They traveled all over the United States presenting in schools, churches, and on national TV; a show consisting of 20 trained rare tropical birds. It was called Hanson's Flying Circus and they performed the show for 10 years.

Walt and Betty's singing career also included several recordings in Nashville, TN on the "D" label and the "Tiger" label. Walt was an ambitious, energetic business man. He has produced and promoted all kinds of shows. He was part owner of a TV station in Noblesville, IN as well as many other business ventures.

In 1993, Mid-America Radio Corporation approached Walt about starting a classic country radio show, which he hosted for 12 years, making it one of the most popular shows in the area. At the same time, Walt also worked as a sales representative for WCJC and WBAT. Walt was a great animal lover and he and Betty often adopted pets from the local animal shelter.

Walter was one of 12 siblings and was preceded in death by his sisters, Ruth Winther, and Rosie Shaffer, Lavada Bobo; as well as brothers, Henry Riddle, Omer Riddle, Stanley Riddle, Elmer Ray Riddle and Kenneth Riddle, and his daughter, Penny Gail Riddle.

He leaves behind his wife, Betty, brother, George Riddle and two sisters, Lola (Ron) Miller and Roberta King.

Funeral Service will be at 10:00am, Monday, December 18, 2006 at the funeral home, with Rev. Marion Bush, Dr. Tom Mansbarger, and Pastor Tom Richards officiating.

Visitation will be from 2 to 6pm, Sunday, December 17, 2006 at Needham-Storey-Wampner, North Chapel, 1341 N. Baldwin Avenue, Marion.

Burial will be at Estates of Serenity, Marion.

Memorial contributions may be made to Grant County Humane Society, 2768 W. Avon Avenue, Marion, Ind. 46953.

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Marion Chronicle-Tribune