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Berry Highland West

OBITUARY

Walter Francis Wawro

October 26, 1951March 4, 2021

Wally, born October 26, 1951 in Hammond, IN, passed away peacefully at home on March 4, 2021 in Fairfield Glade, TN.

After Graduating from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale’s School of Communications in 1973, his career in radio broadcasting began. Wally became a legendary sound engineer at WFAA-TV in Dallas, Texas and was instrumental in shaping the “WFAA sound”. He produced countless music packages and jingles, and conquered anything and everything tricky in audio production during his 35-year tenure. Those who worked with him called him a mentor, cheerleader and a really good guy. He always had a big smile on his face and in his heart.

Wally’s passions included, first and foremost, spending time with his family as well as shopping for obscure record albums and old-fashioned microphones, attending car shows and traveling with his wife, stopping to view radio towers and lighthouses.

After years of cardiac issues Wally was blessed to become a heart transplant recipient in 2007. Knowing how this changed his life, he elected to be an organ and tissue donor upon his death.

Wally was preceded in death by his parents Walter J. Wawro and Josephine Kowal Wawro. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Rosemary Diehl Wawro, daughter Tamara Rogers, her husband Willie Frank Rogers Jr., grandchildren Ryan, Jackson and Cheyenne and sister Mary E. Wawro. He will be sorely missed by other extended family members and many friends.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, March 26, at 10:00 a.m. at Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 7503 Peavine Road, Fairfield Glade, TN 38558. Please see the church website, www.saintfrancisfairfield.org if you wish to view services via livestream. Family will be gathered in the church foyer for visitation beginning at 9:15 a.m. Following the funeral Mass, we will walk to the Columbarium on the church property. All are welcome to see Wally put to rest.

Services

  • Visitation

    Friday, March 26, 2021

  • Funeral Mass

    Friday, March 26, 2021

Memories

Walter Francis Wawro

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Janet Carroll Richardson

March 18, 2021

I worked with Wally in the Promotion Department at WFAA and he regularly shared sweet, funny, and poignant stories about Rosemary and Tamara...his dear family who he so adored. I learned to write and produce at Channel 8, and Wally was often my sounding board. He showed me the amazing impact audio has on a story. He coached me on music selections and voice over tracks. He always made time for my ongoing questions. And when I started producing my TV series, he consulted me on all of the music. When I couldn’t afford original music, but so needed it, he suggested I jump in on the tail end of his music recording sessions where the musicians and composer were already assembled. He was such a pro and a dear friend. Wally definitely changed my life for the better!

Doc Morgan

March 18, 2021

When I think back on my life and career path and all of the God Winks that directed my career, one of the most outstanding was meeting, working with, and befriending Wally Wawro.
I had a successful radio career that led to many great locations and interesting people but when I started working at KZEW, right across the hall from Wally, everything changed in an astounding way. Wally hired me on WFAA-TV to be a station announcer. All of a sudden I was approached by several Talent Agencies to do voice-work for a living. My career trajectory was about to change in a most outstanding way.
Wally was so funny and inspirational. I am now waiting to exhale at the news of his passing. He and his family are so loved by so many amazing people.
Wally, you are to be greatly missed.

Frederick Vobbe

March 17, 2021

I met Wally through a radio listener club. We worked together on a books for the blind project, and conspired running a pirate radio station at some radio listener conventions. We also shared interest in pro microphones, tape machines, audio boards, and jingles, to name a few. His death came as a shock as we were engaged in a discussion days earlier on ProTools recording. I remember Wally always talking in endearing terms about family, kids, even sharing pictures his sister Mary had sent from Antarctica, and of course his love for Rosemary, Tammie, and the kids. He never ended a conversation without telling me that I should retire and “enjoy yourself”. When the sad news came, one could only realize that he touched the lives of so many people in radio, recording, and other venues. The good words people spoke about Wally is his legacy to the many lives he touched in his time with us. God speed, Wally. You were a true friend and wonderful mentor.

Dean Bailey

March 17, 2021

I first met Wally in 1978 when I joined TM Productions and Programming. Wally worked 2 studios down from mine. We realized we had similar interests and became friends. He later left TM and worked for a Dallas radio station before finding a home at WFAA, Channel 8. Wally enjoyed producing audio, like myself, and we frequently discussed music, sound-effects, and the latest equipment over Bar-B-Que. This continued through the years while I worked at KVIL, and later KDMX. He got his HAM radio license and I did as well. Always available to share ideas or a helping hand, Wally will be missed! However, as I told someone the other day, with all of the artists we've lost lately, God must've needed him to make them shine.

Art MacLaren

March 13, 2021

I truly respected Wally for his amazing audio skills at WFAA-TV. But more so I respected his good nature, and I was honored to work with him. I will always treasure our time shared talking about music, life, and family. I will never forget him.

Jay Cresswell

March 13, 2021

I was fortunate to meet and work with Wally at KLUV radio beginning in 2001. He was the local producer for our broadcasts of the Dallas Cowboys games. Needless to say, it went flawlessly. But more importantly I learned what a wonderful person and friend he was. We had many similar hobbies and interests. I am just so sad to hear of his passing, but very grateful that I knew him and considered him a good friend.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY