OBITUARY

Howard Richard Trickey

January 8, 1925October 22, 2018
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Howard R. Trickey Obituary

On October 22, 2018, Howard R. Trickey passed away at age 93. He spent the last few weeks enjoying the company and visits of his wife, children, grandchildren and family members. He passed peacefully with his son and daughter by his side and with the compassionate support of hospice. He was a World War II veteran, a broadcaster, artist and sports fan. He spent 72 years married to the love of his life, Valerine M. Trickey. Before passing, he told her with a smile on his face that he “loved her every day” they spent together.

Born on January 8, 1925, Howard was raised in the village of Knapp, Wisconsin. He graduated from the Knapp School in 1941 with his life long friend Jack Ubel and future sister in law Patricia Frazier. Howard attended Menomonie High School, graduating early when he enlisted in the Army to serve in World War II.

In 1943, Howard joined the Army to begin his service. Howard took basic training in California and Hawaii before being assigned to the 27th Mechanized Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop of the 27th Infantry Division. He was a Tec 4 (Sargent) Radio Operator. He served in the Pacific Theater, participating in landings at Okinawa, Saipan, Tinian and more. Like many WWII vets, he did not talk about his combat experiences until years later. He could not explain his good luck when others were wounded and enemy rounds missed him. Shortly after the Armistice was signed, he landed on the main Island of Japan to assist with the occupation. He held a vivid image for the remainder of his life of walking down a main street of Tokyo just ten days after the Armistice. He described the Japanese as polite, and accepting the outcome, and wanting peace.

Like many WWII veterans, Howard attended college on the GI Bill. Howard graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in 1952 with a B.S. After working for General Mills, Howard attended the Brown Broadcasting School in Minneapolis to get licensed and training in radio broadcasting. He had secretly harbored an interest in being a radio broadcaster from childhood but thought such a goal was foolish for someone from a small Wisconsin village. After graduating from Brown, Howard launched a career in broadcasting that he pursued for more than 50 years.

Early in his live radio and television broadcasting career, Howard decided to be different. As the weatherman for WEAU-TV in Eau Claire, Wisconsin he pioneered a unique blend of humor, cartooning, and public service. While delivering the weather forecast, Howard drew cartoons with charcoal, delivered a joke, and promoted a local non-profit by wearing zany hats sent in by listeners. His drawings featured “Luke Back”, a character who looked back at weather records, and “Veep”, the vice president in charge of inclement weather. He capped off the show with a visit from “A Walk Up the Creek”, a stuffed bird with a witticism about the long range forecast. The love of his life, Val, assisted the show’s success byfinding the daily joke or witticism that the “Walk Up The Creek” delivered. At one point, Val has amassed thousands of jokes. Howard’s weather show garnered a big audience in northwestern Wisconsin. The weather show reflected Howard’s fine sense of humor and natural story telling ability. He often quipped, “Don’t knock the weather, because nine tenth’s of us could not start a conversation without it.”

After a few short years in live broadcasting, Howard’s character and popularity paved the way to new challenges in sales, sales management and senior management. In 1968, Howard moved to Tampa/St. Petersburg to launch WTOG-TV for Hubbard Broadcasting. With the support of Hubbard Broadcasting, he literally built the station from the ground up. WTOG-TV did not have a network affiliation at the time and had to arrange for all its own programing. Under Howard’s leadership, the station grew to become a programing and financial success.

Howard always said he had a Guardian Angel. In 1984, Howard met Hank Ash. They launched a business together based on a handshake, Howard trusted and respected Hank. And Hank saw the same in Howard. The result of this uncommon respect was the formation of Petracom Media. The company’s initial intent was to acquire distressed radio and television stations in mid-sized media markets around the country. Over the course of 11 years, Petracom acquired stations in eight markets, including Rockford, Illinois; Roanoke/Lynchburg, Virginia, Springfield and Joplin, Missouri; Lubbock, Beaumont and Texarcana, Texas; Evansville, Indiana and Show Low, Arizona. Based on his experience in sales and management, Howard had developed a formula for improving stations operations, ratings, and sales to bring stations back to programming and financial success.

In 2013, Howard’s nephew, retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel David Horwitz served as guardian for his uncle to participate in an Honor Flight to Washington, DC. The event also included a recognition ceremony at the WWII Memorial. Howard loved reading the letters from students and family welcoming him home from the War. Even though the appreciation had been deferred, he felt that the Honor Flights did a remarkable job recognizing the service and sacrifice his generation made to protect the countries freedoms.

Howard enjoyed following and participating in sports. As a native Wisconsinite he rooted for the Green Bay Packers during the Lombardi years. He spent two years at WLUK-TV in Green Bay and personally met many of the Packers of that era, including Lombardi, Starr, Davis and Kramer. He admired Lombardi’s leadership style and emulated it in his own business-style. He attended, with his son, the famous “Ice Bowl Game” and endured the negative 38 degrees to see his team pull off the win in the final drive. In 1994, Howard, his son, and grandson attended the first Wisconsin Badger win in a Rose Bowl Game. After moving to Florida in 1968, he took up golfing and thoroughly enjoyed the game. Invited by CBS Sports, he attended The Masters with his friend and partner Hank Ash. The two of them also played at St. Andrews in Scotland and were invited by Fox Sports to attend two Super Bowl Games, including the Packer win over New England in New Orleans.

Howard failed at retirement and continued broadcast consulting into his 80’s. In his version of retirement, he took up painting. He always had a creative and artistic side to his life. As a struggling college student, he painted Christmas and Holiday Greetings on the display windows for local merchants. With more time to pursue art, he painted in the style of abstract impressionism. He entered one of his paintings in a juried award show and won. He placed another painting in a Gallery and sold the painting after only a few days. He produced more than 30 paintings during retirement. Each of his children and grandchildren has one of his original paintings to remember him by. Howard also drew and captioned political cartoons that he shared with his friends hoping to poke fun at their political views. He enjoyed teaching his great grandchildren how to draw, the basics of cartooning, and some painting, too.

The family celebrated Howard’s 90th birthday four years ago on Captiva Island. As a family fun activity, everyone present was asked to write down some family values. Indicative of Howard’s sense of humor, he wrote “develop close friendships with at least seven people, they will make great pallbearers.” He instilled in his family the need to work hard, never give up, do your job well and not to take yourself too seriously.

Howard is survived by his wife of 72 years, Valerine M. Trickey. They met the first day he returned home after the war in Knapp, Wisconsin. Val was helping Howard’s mother in her home when Howard burst in to surprise his Mom. The surprise turned into a life-long marriage to Val. Val’s family lived across the street. Val had packed K-rations during the war. Howard is also survived by his two children, Howard Stanley Trickey and Colleen Trickey-Bergquist. Howard Stanley Trickey is a partner at Holland & Knight. Colleen Trickey Bergquist is Co-founder of Trickey Jennus, a Tampa, Florida advertising agency.

Howard S. Trickey and his wife Kenna Sue live in Denver. Colleen resides in St. Petersburg. Howard Richard Trickey is also survived by three grandchildren, Maureen Mueller and husband Jeff of Boca Raton; Brendan Trickey and wife Emily of Seattle; Nicole Baruth and husband Brendan of Denver. His great-grandchildren are Aidan and Evan Baruth of Denver and Sloane and Jack Mueller of Boca Raton.

A memorial for family and friends to celebrate Howard’s life will be held 2:00 p.m. Friday, November 9, 2018 at Garden Sanctuary Funeral Home.

Arrangements were made under the direction of Garden Sanctuary Funeral Home and Cemetery, 7950 131st Street, Seminole, Florida 33776 / 727-391-0121

  • FAMILY

  • Valerine M. Trickey, Wife
  • Howard S. (Kenna Sue) Trickey, Son
  • Colleen Trickey Berquist, Daughter
  • Maureen (Jeff) Mueller, Granddaughter
  • Brendan (Emily) Trickey, Grandson
  • Nicole (Brendan) Baruth, Granddaughter
  • Sloane and Jack Mueller, Great-grandchildren
  • Aidan and Evan Baruth, Great-grandchildren

Services

  • Life Celebration Service Friday, November 9, 2018
  • Fellowship Reception Friday, November 9, 2018
REMEMBERING

Howard Richard Trickey

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Vicki (Lundholm) Gillett

November 7, 2018

Dear Howard, Colleen, and Family -
I just wanted to extend my condolences to you and to say how sorry I was to hear of the passing of your dad. I remember him so well from his days as the weather man at WEAU-TV in Eau Claire. Such a funny guy. And after reading his obituary, what a a successful and full life he had. I know well your pain of loss as my dad passed away in May of 2016, followed by my mom in January of 2017. I miss them so much and think of them almost every day. So my deepest sympathies go out to you both and to your families. You are in my thoughts.
Sincerely,
Vicki Gillett

Andrea Holmes

November 7, 2018

To the Trickey’s you have my deepest sympathy in you loss of a great man.
I meet Howard about 5 years ago, and he made an impression on me from that day to the day he left us. He called me his other daughter and I loved all his stories. I will miss him deeply and I know his family will also but just know that he was such a loving and caring man. His wife Val is such a lucky woman to have shared 73 years with him and the love he had for her was undeniable. So to the family he maybe gone but forever in you all hearts ♥️

Dina Vandeberg

November 3, 2018

Dear Trickeys,
My earliest memories are of a very noisey house late at night when you all came for a visit. Lots of laughter and I do believe some drinking and smoking!! I did think you were relatives.
I also was delighted to actually know someone on TV!!
My deepest sympathy to all of you. Howard was a very unique fellow, so quick witted and seemingly always in a happy disposition. I hope his very good qualities will appear in the grandchildren and they will comfort you!
Love to all of you! Dina

jody johnson

November 2, 2018

My thought s of howard s big smile and warm happy conversations will stay withme forever.
he will be missed by many people who he brought such happiness to.
my parents muggs and gordy had nothing but praise for the friendship they shared for so many
years.
may they all be in a happy place

Bob Jorgensom

November 1, 2018

Howard stood behind a glass map to do the weather round-up at WEAU (1950s). People wondered how he was able to write the temperature numbers backwards so we would see them left to right. The engineers had reversed the horizontal scanning...a Trickey Trick of that era.

Collin Pitt shared a story with me when he was cameraman for Howard's Show. Maybe he will send that along.

I visited WTOG back in the 80s as an RCA Field Service guy. I think Howard may have been there at the time, but I didn't know until now that he was there. I did see Bob the River Pilot of the boat that Stanley Hubbard used to drop down the Mississippi from KSTP to visit WTOG.

I'm glad to learn of Howard's many successes. Broadcasting is a wonderful way of life.

Janae Wulff

November 1, 2018

Dear Trickey Family-

I grew up watching WEAU TV with your husband, father & grandfather doing the weather. I always got such a kick out of him & made the weather fun especially with all those hats!

I want to express my deepest sympathy to your family. Please know that he brought joy to a lot of people for many years.

Sincerely,

Janae Wulff
(now living in Omaha, NE)

JOHN UBEL

October 30, 2018

Trick; also known as Howard and I met when we were in 1st grade and have been best friends since, really the closest I have to a brother. I could have possibly have had him as a real brother in law, as I propositioned Vals older sister Patty several times, but she knew I would never amount to anything, smart gal. Our families share a long lifetime of memories Howie and Colene were my niece and nephew and cousins to my kids. I know you will miss him as I will , however I am sure I won't miss him as long

























Hank Ash

October 29, 2018

Howard was my mentor as I tiptoed into the world of Broadcasting ownership. We met in the early days of Family Group Broadcasting and developed a friendship that endured for more than 40 years. With his years of experience in Broadcasting, Howard knew much about the right and wrong ways to run TV and Radio stations. Needing expert management at some of its troubled stations, Family Group called on Howard to stabilize stations in Eau Claire, WI, Roanoke, VA, and Biloxi, MS. Universally loved and respected by employees, advertisers and vendors, he often performed seeming miracles just to keep these stations on the air. As the Family Group operation failed, he oversaw management the Family Group portfolio through Broadcast Management Associates, providing guidance through an orderly liquidation of the various properties. He and I joined forces to form Petracom Media and bought some of the Family Group stations, later adding other TV stations to the group. As we acquired more Radio stations, he even managed our Show Low, AZ, stations for a few months. Howard and I traveled across the Country for meetings, conventions station visits and due diligence, often sharing hotel rooms, which contributed to my appreciation for ear plugs! Up until the end, Howard remained a great friend, advisor and confidant, providing wisdom for everything from programming to hiring. Without his humor and deep insight into Radio broadcasting, a large slice of life will be missing!

Dan Schillinger

October 28, 2018

I remember watching Howard on TV from my home in Knapp when I was a child. Later, when I became interested in a broadcasting career, my mother offered to contact Howard on my behalf. She figured since he was also from Knapp, he'd take a chance on a guy like me! He certainly confirmed for me that even a kid from a small village in Wisconsin could be successful in broadcasting.

Carolyne Bryant

October 27, 2018

My first memory of Howard and Val took place at the WTOG-TV studio where they hosted a scholarship fund-raiser event for the American Women in Radio and Television. Howard and Val were gracious hosts and went on to do great things in the broadcast industry throughout this country. Howard endeared himself to so many of us then and now with his charm and wit and sincere affection for us all. We will miss him dearly and know that he will remain in our hearts always.

Biography

Howard R. Trickey Obituary


On October 22, 2018, Howard R. Trickey passed away at age 93. He spent the last few weeks enjoying the company and visits of his wife, children, grandchildren and family members. He passed peacefully with his son and daughter by his side and with the compassionate support of hospice. He was a World War II veteran, a broadcaster, artist and sports fan. He spent 72 years married to the love of his life, Valerine M. Trickey. Before passing, he told her with a smile on his face that he “loved her every day” they spent together.

Born on January 8, 1925, Howard was raised in the village of Knapp, Wisconsin. He graduated from the Knapp School in 1941 with his life long friend Jack Ubel and future sister in law Patricia Frazier. Howard attended Menomonie High School, graduating early when he enlisted in the Army to serve in World War II.

In 1943, Howard joined the Army to begin his service. Howard took basic training in California and Hawaii before being assigned to the 27th Mechanized Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop of the 27th Infantry Division. He was a Tec 4 (Sargent) Radio Operator. He served in the Pacific Theater, participating in landings at Okinawa, Saipan, Tinian and more. Like many WWII vets, he did not talk about his combat experiences until years later. He could not explain his good luck when others were wounded and enemy rounds missed him. Shortly after the Armistice was signed, he landed on the main Island of Japan to assist with the occupation. He held a vivid image for the remainder of his life of walking down a main street of Tokyo just ten days after the Armistice. He described the Japanese as polite, and accepting the outcome, and wanting peace.

Like many WWII veterans, Howard attended college on the GI Bill. Howard graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in 1952 with a B.S. After working for General Mills, Howard attended the Brown Broadcasting School in Minneapolis to get licensed and training in radio broadcasting. He had secretly harbored an interest in being a radio broadcaster from childhood but thought such a goal was foolish for someone from a small Wisconsin village. After graduating from Brown, Howard launched a career in broadcasting that he pursued for more than 50 years.

Early in his live radio and television broadcasting career, Howard decided to be different. As the weatherman for WEAU-TV in Eau Claire, Wisconsin he pioneered a unique blend of humor, cartooning, and public service. While delivering the weather forecast, Howard drew cartoons with charcoal, delivered a joke, and promoted a local non-profit by wearing zany hats sent in by listeners. His drawings featured “Luke Back”, a character who looked back at weather records, and “Veep”, the vice president in charge of inclement weather. He capped off the show with a visit from “A Walk Up the Creek”, a stuffed bird with a witticism about the long range forecast. The love of his life, Val, assisted the show’s success byfinding the daily joke or witticism that the “Walk Up The Creek” delivered. At one point, Val has amassed thousands of jokes. Howard’s weather show garnered a big audience in northwestern Wisconsin. The weather show reflected Howard’s fine sense of humor and natural story telling ability. He often quipped, “Don’t knock the weather, because nine tenth’s of us could not start a conversation without it.”

After a few short years in live broadcasting, Howard’s character and popularity paved the way to new challenges in sales, sales management and senior management. In 1968, Howard moved to Tampa/St. Petersburg to launch WTOG-TV for Hubbard Broadcasting. With the support of Hubbard Broadcasting, he literally built the station from the ground up. WTOG-TV did not have a network affiliation at the time and had to arrange for all its own programing. Under Howard’s leadership, the station grew to become a programing and financial success.

Howard always said he had a Guardian Angel. In 1984, Howard met Hank Ash. They launched a business together based on a handshake, Howard trusted and respected Hank. And Hank saw the same in Howard. The result of this uncommon respect was the formation of Petracom Media. The company’s initial intent was to acquire distressed radio and television stations in mid-sized media markets around the country. Over the course of 11 years, Petracom acquired stations in eight markets, including Rockford, Illinois; Roanoke/Lynchburg, Virginia, Springfield and Joplin, Missouri; Lubbock, Beaumont and Texarcana, Texas; Evansville, Indiana and Show Low, Arizona. Based on his experience in sales and management, Howard had developed a formula for improving stations operations, ratings, and sales to bring stations back to programming and financial success.

In 2013, Howard’s nephew, retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel David Horwitz served as guardian for his uncle to participate in an Honor Flight to Washington, DC. The event also included a recognition ceremony at the WWII Memorial. Howard loved reading the letters from students and family welcoming him home from the War. Even though the appreciation had been deferred, he felt that the Honor Flights did a remarkable job recognizing the service and sacrifice his generation made to protect the countries freedoms.

Howard enjoyed following and participating in sports. As a native Wisconsinite he rooted for the Green Bay Packers during the Lombardi years. He spent two years at WLUK-TV in Green Bay and personally met many of the Packers of that era, including Lombardi, Starr, Davis and Kramer. He admired Lombardi’s leadership style and emulated it in his own business-style. He attended, with his son, the famous “Ice Bowl Game” and endured the negative 38 degrees to see his team pull off the win in the final drive. In 1994, Howard, his son, and grandson attended the first Wisconsin Badger win in a Rose Bowl Game. After moving to Florida in 1968, he took up golfing and thoroughly enjoyed the game. Invited by CBS Sports, he attended The Masters with his friend and partner Hank Ash. The two of them also played at St. Andrews in Scotland and were invited by Fox Sports to attend two Super Bowl Games, including the Packer win over New England in New Orleans.

Howard failed at retirement and continued broadcast consulting into his 80’s. In his version of retirement, he took up painting. He always had a creative and artistic side to his life. As a struggling college student, he painted Christmas and Holiday Greetings on the display windows for local merchants. With more time to pursue art, he painted in the style of abstract impressionism. He entered one of his paintings in a juried award show and won. He placed another painting in a Gallery and sold the painting after only a few days. He produced more than 30 paintings during retirement. Each of his children and grandchildren has one of his original paintings to remember him by. Howard also drew and captioned political cartoons that he shared with his friends hoping to poke fun at their political views. He enjoyed teaching his great grandchildren how to draw, the basics of cartooning, and some painting, too.

The family celebrated Howard’s 90th birthday four years ago on Captiva Island. As a family fun activity, everyone present was asked to write down some family values. Indicative of Howard’s sense of humor, he wrote “develop close friendships with at least seven people, they will make great pallbearers.” He instilled in his family the need to work hard, never give up, do your job well and not to take yourself too seriously.

Howard is survived by his wife of 72 years, Valerine M. Trickey. They met the first day he returned home after the war in Knapp, Wisconsin. Val was helping Howard’s mother in her home when Howard burst in to surprise his Mom. The surprise turned into a life-long marriage to Val. Val’s family lived across the street. Val had packed K-rations during the war. Howard is also survived by his two children, Howard Stanley Trickey and Colleen Trickey-Bergquist. Howard Stanley Trickey is a partner at Holland & Knight. Colleen Trickey Bergquist is Co-founder of Trickey Jennus, a Tampa, Florida advertising agency.

Howard S. Trickey and his wife Kenna Sue live in Denver. Colleen resides in St. Petersburg. Howard Richard Trickey is also survived by three grandchildren, Maureen Mueller and husband Jeff of Boca Raton; Brendan Trickey and wife Emily of Seattle; Nicole Baruth and husband Brendan of Denver. His great-grandchildren are Aidan and Evan Baruth of Denver and Sloane and Jack Mueller of Boca Raton.

A memorial for family and friends to celebrate Howard’s life will be held 2:00 p.m. Friday, November 9, 2018 at Garden Sanctuary Funeral Home.

Arrangements were made under the direction of Garden Sanctuary Funeral Home and Cemetery, 7950 131st Street, Seminole, Florida 33776 / 727-391-0121