A Collection of Memories by Bill Wippel

 Bill Wippel will be one of the presenters at NCWA’s Renewal Conference in May. See links at end of post.

Some time ago, Lou Guzzo, former Managing Editor of the P-I and KIRO-TV commentator urged me to do a collection of memories…

My life as a child was hampered by severe asthma, which I still have as this is being compiled. But it was so filled with life in its fullness. Born April 7, 1935 in Ellensburg, WA at Kittitas Memorial Hospital on Sunday at 8:45 A.M.; Dad was a grocer with 3 stores (Red&White), I started at age 6 working for 10 cents/hr. stocking shelves and marking cans with prices.

Mom was a housewife. She was born in Greenwood, SC and met dad on a blind date on July 4, 1929 and were married on Labor Day. Dad would say he’s been laboring ever since. Dad wanted me to take over his stores when I graduated from college, but my love for radio came first.

Dad was so honest.  He treated his customers with respect and good humor. Long days on his feet took its toll and he sold the stores and sold life insurance for New York Life until he passed away from leukemia in 1991. Mom died of lung cancer at age 49 in 1955.

My first station was KXLE in Ellensburg from 1950 to ‘53. I sold produced and announced the Ellensburg High School Hit Parade, a top 40 show with school news.

Enrolling at Gonzaga U. in Spokane I worked weekends at KNEW (now KJRB) from 1953-’55. Mom died during this time, so I came home for the summer to help dad in the store. Normally I would stay for the summer  and work in Spokane, We had a dance band that played at Post Falls, ID. Between that and radio I made a suitable living.

After coming home dad persuaded me to go to the UW. I enrolled in communications. Wally Nelskog visited our radio class. He told me of an opening at KUTI, Yakima. I left school to accept the job and devote myself full time to a  career in broadcasting.  That was also the year I married Norine Smith and we began our life together.


Bill’s Wippel’s  “Heavenly Help Hastens His Story” will be one of the Saturday workshops at the conference. Click here for more information about the Northwest Christian Writers’ Association’s Renewal Conference in May.

Bill’s work experiences include:  News Director KIRO Radio; Community Relations Director, Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission; Executive Director, Tape Ministries Northwest.

Currently, Bill is an announcer and producer of  The American Christian Network. He lives in the Northwest with his lovely wife and has three children.


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