Bodine, Walt (Walton Marshall), 1920-
- Existence: 1920 - March 24, 2013
Walt Bodine was a Kansas City institution, broadcasting across the airwaves in this region for over seven decades. His on-air voice and reporting persona captivated listeners, and his remarkable ability to sculpt engaging stories from the barest of facts made him a charismatic raconteur for generations of Kansas Citians. When he migrated from reportage to a talk show format, Walt's storytelling acumen, coupled with his impressive improvisational skills and his engaging conversational style, ensured the long-running success of this phase of his career.
Born in 1920, Walt Bodine, lived virtually his entire life in Kansas City. He was the only child of Walton Martin Bodine and Mary Gilmore Bodine. His career spanned 70 years from 1940 until his retirement in 2012. In 1950, Walt married Bernadine Beisner and they raised a family of five children: Marty; Tom; Damien; Rebecca and Mary. Bernadine Bodine passed away in 2003. Walt gave to his family his values, humor and love of Kansas City people, places and food. He set an example of how to live a rich, creative life. Walt loved conversation and the open exchange of ideas.
In later years when losses of vision, mobility and then memory set in, Walt relied on many steadfast friends who kept him up-to-date and took him out on the town. Walt was a man who rarely complained and forged ahead every way he could. He once said, “Being blind isn't a tragedy. It's just one hell of an inconvenience.” Decades of blindness could not dim his imagination and interest in people. Walt and his wife Bernie helped to establish the Jackson County Board of Services, which is a vital support to many local people with disabilities. Walt was a founder of a Saturday lunch group where lively ideas, views and news flew around the table every week, and still do.
Walt Bodine passed away on March 24, 2013, at the age of 92.
Sources: “Kansas City's Master Broadcaster.” Marr Sound Archives. UMKC Miller Nichols Library, 2009. Web. 9 Sep. 2013. Walt Bodine obituary. Legacy.com. Kansas City Star, 2013. Web. 9 Sep. 2013.