(MARYVILLE, Mo.) Rodney Harris spent the last 11 years of his life at Northwest Missouri State University's (NWMSU) National Public Radio affiliate KXCV-KRNW, now his friends and co-workers are preparing to say their final goodbyes.
Harris passed away from health problems on Saturday, June 22, 2019. He was hired as the station's general manager in 2008, after managing stations in both Bethany and Cameron.
"Initially, you get hooked on what's coming out of that radio and [it's] kind of a passion that's been there his entire life," John Coffey, news and sports director at KXCV, said.
Harris graduated from Albany High School in 1974, with Coffey following just three years behind. They spent a year together as broadcast students at Northwest.
"He was a broadcast student over here [NWMSU] at the time, his senior year, and kind of took me under his wing when I decided that maybe broadcast was the way I wanted to go," Coffey said.
Coffey remembers Harris always having a love for radio, and said their passion for the field began early when they would listen to St. Louis Cardinal Radio.
"Just listening to the games on the radio and wanting to do that," Coffey said. "Then, as you get into the business he'd find other avenues that he was passionate about."
Harris ended up on the sales-side of the business after graduating Northwest in 1978, and before eventually becoming a station manager.
Matt Tritten has worked in sales at KXCV for roughly three years. He was originally hired to fill the position by Harris, who Tritten said was a great mentor and educator.
"I really kind of came into this [job] hoping I'd have 10 plus years before he wanted to retire that I could really take as much knowledge from him as I could because, I mean, the guy really was a wealth of knowledge," Tritten said.
Before his passing, Coffey said Harris was adamant in remodeling the university's on-campus radio studios and offices.
"He was very instrumental in getting the remodeling of our studio row as well as our offices," Coffey said. "I think that's one legacy that people can come in and see immediately."
Tritten said after hearing the news of Harris' death, support began pouring in from all over the Northwest Missouri area.
"You see that out-pouring of support from folks calling and emailing into the station and going onto social media and posting their condolences," Tritten said. "It really is kind of crazy how many lives that that one man can impact."
A visitation for Harris was scheduled for Wednesday from 6 - 8 p.m. His funeral will be Thursday, June 27th at the Roberson-Polley Chapel in Albany, according to the obituary.
His family is asking for support to be shown in donations to the KXCV station along with flowers and cards.
You can find Harris' full obituary by clicking the link here.
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