Chico, CA Radio Vet Lisa Kelly Succumbs To Cancer
March 9, 2016 at 3:11 PM (PT)
Thirty-year CHICO, CA radio vet LISA KELLY lost her battle to pancreatic cancer early this morning (3/9), surrounded by her family. KELLY landed in CHICO in 1986 at Rock KFMF, then spent over a decade at Classic Rock KTHU (100.7 Thunder), before returning to KFMF in 2012 to do middays, while also co-hosting the morning show on Country KALF (957 The WOLF).
In OCTOBER 2015, doctors found the cancer, which KELLY fought to this day.
NEAL "CHARLIE" WEST expressed his thoughts on her passing:
I am heartbroken at the passing of my friend and colleague, LISA KELLY. Heartbroken because “friend” doesn’t really cover it. Some family we get stuck with, but some we get to choose, and I count myself lucky that Lisa chose me.
She wasn’t particularly famous on the world stage, but to her listeners and family, she was the First Lady of Rock N Roll. She made her way from WASHINGTON state to NORTHERN CALIFORNIA in 1986, and rocked the airwaves at KFM, where friend and former PD RON WOODWARD remembers “...she did her rock n roll radio show from a double wide mobile home near lookout point between CHICO and PARADISE. Boy if that trailer could talk.”
Although I had known she was sick for quite some time, her death caught me by surprise. Our last talk was a month ago, and although she made sure to tell me that she loved me, and our friendship was forever, I had no indication then that the end was so near. In her own way, she was telling me goodbye.
LISA’s friends and family gathered a couple of weeks ago for a gigantic celebration of her life, a rallying point for everyone who stood with her. I suppose that was her way of saying goodbye to her adoring fans, too. She was the epitome of a community broadcaster, a local legend, an icon.
Radio is a rather transient lifestyle, but once in awhile, we happen across those that are true of spirit, and of brilliant character, and LISA was my light. She took a young man, and helped him find his way, and I’ll never forget you for it. To her, I would always be “CHARLIE.”
Pancreatic cancer is no one’s friend. It doesn’t feel good. It’s not fun. But Lisa never wanted to burden anyone with what she was facing, her biggest fear was to ‘linger.’ I will miss your strength, your grace, and your sense of humor. They say pain of loss turns to treasured memories. I’ll have to take your word on that one…