Herbert "Jay Walker" W. Brabander

June 11, 1937June 6, 2012

HERBERT W. "JAY WALKER" BRABANDER, of Fort Wayne, passed away Wednesday, June 6, 2012. Born June 11, 1937, in Chicago, Ill., he was a graduate of Southfield High School in Michigan. He served as a U.S. Marine for two years prior to entering his career in broadcasting. Before retiring in 2006 as morning Weather Anchor for WPTA Channel 21, he had already left a legacy in broadcasting in the Fort Wayne area. Prior to moving to the Fort Wayne area, he started as a disc jockey in Boston, Mass. and then became a disc jockey for WKFR in Ann Arbor, Mich. He began his Fort Wayne broadcasting career in 1966 as a rock and roll disc jockey for WLYV. In 1976, he joined WPTA in production and moved to prime-time Weather Anchor in 1979 and did this until the mid-1990's when he returned to radio as a morning talk-show host on WOWO and weekend weather anchor for WPTA. Throughout his career, he also provided weather every morning to area radio stations WMEE, WAJI, WOWO and WFGA. He adored his weekends spent on Big Barbee Lake in North Webster, Ind., where he and his family had a cottage. He loved to water ski and to take his daughters tubing. He was an avid Michigan Wolverines fan. His other hobbies included snow skiing and restoring his '57 Chevy convertible. He is survived by his wife, Deborah Brabander; two daughters, Korrie Wilhelm and Kimberly Watson; his brother, Gary Brabander of Ward, Conneticut; and several nieces and nephews. He was "Grandad" to five grandsons, Trevor, Hayden, Simon, Logan and Connor. He was preceded in death by his father, Herbert Brabander Sr.; his mother, Mary Jane Davenport Brabander; and his brother, Fred Brabander. "In the end the love you take is equal to the love you make" -The End by The Beatles, Abbey Road. Funeral service is 2 p.m. Sunday, June 10, 2012 at Hockemeyer & Miller Funeral Home, 6131 St. Joe Road, Fort Wayne. Calling is from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 9, 2012. Donations and memorials to the American Diabetes Association


  • Visitation Saturday, June 9, 2012
  • Visitation Saturday, June 9, 2012
  • Funeral Service Sunday, June 10, 2012


Herbert "Jay Walker" W. Brabander

have a memory or condolence to add?

Terry Butz

June 14, 2012

Jay, you were a lousy softball player, but a great laugh on the bench and a very warm person. You were too nice a guy to be in broadcasting, but you made the industry better for your presence. Miss you, buddy.

Terry Butz

Mary Ann Brabander

June 11, 2012

Even from afar Herb was a wonderful uncle to my children, Robbin, Freddie and Jackie. We all cherished their relationship with him. It was a privilege to have such a genuine, warm and loving person in our lives. He will be missed but will we carry you forward in our hearts. I extend my sincere condolences to Debbie and their daughters.

Greg Miller

June 10, 2012

Keeping You in my thoughts and Prayers Dear Friend . I'll never forget the times we spent together !


June 10, 2012

I remeber watching your dad on 21alive since I was a kid he will be missed love to his family may he be watching over you

Phil Gallup

June 9, 2012

I had been working at 21 Alive for one year. I moved from a downtown apt to West Wind Apts. close to the station. I was getting a Reader's Digest delivered to the door for a "Herbert W Brabander." I thought, what a funny name. When I went to work on a Sunday evening,(I worked in production running a studio camera,) I mentioned to the director Frank Surovec that this guy's Reader's Digest was coming to the apt. He laughed, he said, 'Don't you know who that is? It's Jay Walker! Jay turned from the weather board when he heard his name, and come to find out I had moved into his old apt at West Wind. I will miss Jay. He was as genuine as you could be. He always made people feel more important than he was when you met him anywhere. He was one of only a few men that I knew who never knew a stranger nor anyone else ever have a negative thing to say against him. I will miss him saying "Hey Phil baby, how you doing! Thanks Jay!

June 9, 2012

Deb & Family,
What a profound loss. Our thoughts are with you and your family. I had the joy of working with Jay for many years. He was always kind,considerate and would bring smiles with his caring & clever personality to a bad news day.
He will be remembered fondly by many. Barbara Wigham, Indianapolis, IN

June 9, 2012

Deb and family: Connie and I just wanted to let you know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Jay was always one of our favorite people and one we could always count on. He will be missed by his friends, co-workers and family. Jay's loss is Fort Wayne's loss.
Don and Connie Bradley, Waco, TX

June 8, 2012

Deb, Kim and Korrie Et.Al.
First, my deepest sympathys to all! Peg and I have so many fond memories of you at Big Barbee and coming to the Cove, even just for a simple visit! You were always one of Peg's favorites whenever you stopped by. (even in the '57) I fondly remember the several personal tours of the broadcast studio and watching how the news and weather was orchestrated! What a facinating career and such a wonderful family. You touched so many people and will be missed by them very much. The uplifting part of your personality was that in 30 plus years, I do not recall ever seeing you in a bad mood!
Absolute best to you Deb and family!
Love from Chuck, North Webster, IN

Richard Bryant

June 8, 2012

My most sincere condolences & prayers of peace to the family. His enthusiasm, kindness will be missed.

Linda T

June 8, 2012

To my dearest family, some things I'd like to say...
but first of all, to let you know, that I arrived okay.
I'm writing this from heaven. Here I dwell with God above.
Here, there's no more tears of sadness; here is just eternal love.

Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of sight.
Remember that I'm with you every morning, noon and night.
That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me and He said, "I welcome you."

It's good to have you back again; you were missed while you were gone.
As for your dearest family, they'll be here later on.
I need you here badly; you're part of my plan.
There's so much that we have to do, to help our mortal man.

God gave me a list of things, that he wished for me to do.
And foremost on the list, was to watch and care for you.
And when you lie in bed at night, the day's chores put to flight.
God and I are closest to the middle of the night.

When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years
because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.
But do not be afraid to cry; it does relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers, unless there was some rain.

I wish that I could tell you all that God has planned.
But if I were to tell you, you wouldn't understand.
But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is o'er.
I'm closer to you now, than I ever was before.

There are many rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb;
but together we can do it by taking one day at a time.
It was always my philosophy and I'd like it for you too...
that as you give unto the world, the world will give to you.

If you can help somebody who's in sorrow and pain,
then you can say to God at night......"My day was not in vain."
And now I am contented....that my life has been worthwhile,
knowing as I passed along the way, I made somebody smile.

So if you meet somebody who is sad and feeling low,
just lend a hand to pick him up, as on your way you go.
When you're walking down the street, and you've got me on your mind;
I'm walking in your footsteps only half a step behind.

And when it's time for you to go.... from that body to be free,
remember you're not're coming here to me.

Ruth Ann Mahaffey (author)
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