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Long-time Radio Host and Program Manager, JR (James) Reitz, Dies Unexpectedly at 66 years.
James Arthur Reitz, “JR”, age 66, lately of New Bedford, MA passed away unexpectedly on Monday, December 10, 2018.
Born in Little Falls, NY, he was the son of the late James A. Reitz and Helen (Schrader) Reitz. He grew up in Dolgeville, NY and became a regular radio host on WLFH when he was a senior in high school.
Jim was a graduate of James A. Green High School in Dolgeville, NY, class of 1970, and received a certificate in Radio Communications & Engineering from Global Communications Academy in Hartford, Connecticut.
“JR” spent 50 years in the radio industry and was a legendary Radio Personality and Program Director. He spent the early part of his career on WTLB-AM Utica, NY, when the it was one of the big Top-40 radio stations. Later, in the 1980’s JR helped launch Rock 107 at 107.3-FM in Washington Mills, NY where he served as Program Director and Afternoon Drive host on the FM TOP-40 station. During this time, JR was fortunate to meet and get to know many music and stage celebrities, he organized cruises with top celebrity entertainment, and was active in community events and charity broadcasts. During the last 20 years as Program Director and Morning Show Host on FUN 107 in New Bedford, MA, he helped build the stations’ high ratings and loyal followers. He had many friends in the broadcast and movie industries, when he retired in 2013.
After JR retired as Program Director and Morning Show Host for Fun 107, he moved to Phoenix, AZ for a time. He later returned to New Bedford in 2018 and worked as an afternoon anchor on WBSM. He also had just begun hosting a new morning show on WPLM in Plymouth, MA before his passing. The communities were shocked by the news of his passing. JR’s voice and wit will be missed throughout upstate NY and the South Coast of Massachusetts.
Survivors include a brother, John Reitz and his wife Mary of Ilion, NY; a sister, Dianna Marsden and her husband Paul of Fredericksburg, VA, a niece, Colleen Mary Reitz of New Hartford, NY, and a nephew, Daryl Scott Christensen and his wife Elaine of West Palm Beach, FL. His niece, Deirdre Christensen Esposito preceded JR in death on September 28, 2017. Deirdre leaves and daughter and granddaughter living in Virginia.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at the united Presbyterian and Lutheran Parish with burial in his hometown of Dolgeville, NY. A reception for all will take place at his cousin’s historic home at 122 Spencer Road. All are invited to share memories and good stories of their association with James (J.R.) Reitz.
The family wishes to thank all those who sent cards and messages of sympathy, donated food to the radio station staff, shared stories and highlights and memories of Jim’s life.