UTICA/ROME -- We regret to report that Bill Heiderich, whose radio career at WIBX spanned more than 60 years, passed away on Saturday at the age of 89. Word of Heiderich's passing first came in from CNYRadio.com readers over the weekend, and the news has been confirmed this morning.
According to Lou Barile's uticaamradio.org, Heiderich accepted an offer to sell air time for WIBX in 1947, after spending some time in the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Army. A clipping from a January 1986 Utica Daily Press article includes an article about Heiderich's promotion to GM of WIBX and sister station WNYZ (which would become WLZW three years later), following a 20-year run as sales manager.
Even following his retirement as GM, Heiderich continued to work for WIBX as public relations director, a title he would hold until his passing.
Heiderich's obituary, in today's Utica Observer-Dispatch, also notes his involvement with many local civic organizations including the Jaycees, the Optimist Club, the American Legion, and as co-founder of the Mohawk Valley Advertising Club. Heiderich is survived by his wife Norma -- the two celebrated their 61st anniversary in June -- as well as their three children, seven children, seven grandchildren and a sister.
According to the obituary, calling hours are tomorrow (Tuesday) from 4-8pm at Heintz Funeral Home, 1517 Whitesboro St., Utica. The funeral will begin there on Wednesday at 8:15am, followed by a mass of Christian burial at 9:00am at St. Joseph & St. Patrick Church in Utica. Heiderich will then be entombed with military honors, at Calvary Cemetery Mausoleum in Utica.