Vernon J. Kaspar

January 5, 2018

Vern Kaspar Signs Off.

Vernon J. Kaspar, 95, of Frankfort Indiana died in his sleep at 2:47 Friday morning January 5, 2018 at Milner Community Healthcare, Rossville, Ind.  Vern was born on January 15, 1922 in Sioux City, Iowa to Charles and Alma (Goering) Kaspar.  He married Lillian Lundgren on September 2, 1944 and she preceded him in death August 20, 1999.

Vern Kaspar graduated from Iowa State College in 1945 with degrees in Physics and Engineering.  A veteran of World War II, he enlisted in the Navy and completed officer training school at Princeton and Columbia in 1945.

In the early 50’s Vern Kaspar was in a management position at the only TV station in Iowa at the time, WOI Des Moines.  By the late 50’s Vern and Lillian Kaspar purchased WILO AM 1570 at the age of 39.

Kaspar Media now includes some 10 AM/FM/translator stations in Indiana and Missouri and other holdings.

Vern and Lillian Kaspar traveled extensively with other members of the press and personally interviewed world leaders including Saudi King Abdullah, Yasser Arafat, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Polish President Jarwarski, the King of Jordan, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Vern Kaspar traveled behind the iron curtain before its fall and visited Cuba and editorialized to open up relations there before Clinton did the same. He broadcast on the radio from Havana, Cuba.

He had many interest, he had visited 61 countries and Vern enjoyed learning something each day.  He enjoyed observing national and international politics and delivered hundreds of editorials on WILO, WSHW, KWRE and KFAV over the years.  He was an advanced extra Amateur radio operator and able to send and receive Morse code in excess of 60 words per minute.

Vern Kaspar was inducted into the Indiana Broadcasters Hall of Fame in October 2004.  He was a former board member of the National Broadcast Editorial Association.  At the age of 13, he received his FCC License, and he is most likely holding the oldest FCC license in the United States of America.  He was a 32 degree master mason and was widely known for his generosity.

Visitation and Services

Visiting will be 4-7 p.m. Friday, January 12, 2018 with services 10:30 a.m. Saturday, January 13, 2018 at Goodwin Funeral Home, 200 S. Main St., Frankfort. Burial will follow in St. Luke Cemetery, north of Frankfort. Those wishing to make a memorial contribution may do so to the Clinton County Humane Society , Camp Cullom or the Clinton County Community Foundation c/o the Vernon and Lillian Kaspar Scholarship Fund.

Survived by:

3 Sons: Victor (Karen) Kaspar of Dunn, NC, Steven (Pat) Kaspar of Warrenton, MO, Russell (Susan) Kaspar of Frankfort, IN, 10 Grandchildren, Dawn (Sam) Constance, Don Boisvert, Kelli Jo Kaspar and husband Bill Shroyer, Justin (Kelly) Kaspar, Michael (Lindsey) Kaspar, David (Michele) Kaspar, Benjamin (Megan) Kaspar, Ryan (Fiancee Lafayette Deon Kelly) Kaspar, Alex Kaspar, Trevor Kaspar, 16 Great Grandchildren and 1 Great Great Grandchild.  4 Nieces also survive. 16 Great Grandchildren and 1 Great Great Grandchild. 4 Nieces also survive.

Preceded by:

his parents, wife, Lillian Kaspar, brother, Raymond Kaspar, infant daughter, Susan Kaspar and granddaughter, Angela Kaspar.


Leave your Condolences

13 Condolences for “Vernon J. Kaspar”

  1. Keith Cearlock January 5, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    Russ and family, so sorry to hear of Vern’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. With deepest sympathy, Keith and Marilea Cearlock

  2. Mark Becker January 5, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    As many of us know, Vern was a man who knew what he wanted and, with a strong vision toward the future, what he expected from others especially in his employ. In the 38 years that I’ve worked for him I can proudly say that no other person has had as much of a positive influence in my adult life as Vern Kaspar. I will sorely miss him and express my condolences to all who are part of his family. God Bless and Take Care.

  3. Jim Eldridge January 5, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    Vic, Steve, Russ, So sorry to read of the passing of your father. I pray that God’s peace may be with you.

    Jim Eldridge

  4. Pam January 5, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    Sorry for your loss. I am thinking of you Steve, Pat, Ryan, Alex, and Trevor. My prayers are with all of you

  5. Gary ZL2iFB January 6, 2018 at 12:13 am

    Sad news of Vern. I enjoyed only one contact with Vern in 2015 but it’s clear from the notes in my log that he made quite an impression on me. His excellent high speed Morse put my feeble attempts to shame! I wish we had had more opportunities to chat ‘on the key’. It’s clear from the obituary that he was a remarkably accomplished man. Best wishes to all who knew him from New Zealand. SK but not forgotten.

    73 Gary ZL2iFB

  6. Mr. Carmen Drogo January 7, 2018 at 12:58 am

    Dear Family Members, All of our members would like to express their sincere condolences. Vern was a long time member of our Ham Radio Club called the Chicken Fat Operators (CFO). Vern was an outstanding High Speed Morse operator and also helped other ham’s become High Speed Morse operator’s. Vern was truly a Class Act. Thank God for Friends like Vern.

    God rest his soul.

    Mr. Carmen Drogo, K1LKP

  7. Pam & Gerald Shelburne January 9, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    Vic and family
    So sorry to hear about your father. It sounds like he had a fasinating life. I know you will miss him.

  8. Alan & Joanne Hoeckelman January 9, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    Always enjoyed hearing Vern on KWRE Livewire. Grew up with, & greatly enjoy KWRE. So appreciate all Vern did to make it possible. He was such a learned man, so interested in life. Our condolences. He will be missed.

  9. David Bunte January 12, 2018 at 12:24 am

    I am blessed to have met Vern well over 45 years ago. We met first because we were both radio broadcasters, but it was our mutual love of Ham Radio that kept us so close over the years. Among many positive impressions Vern left with me over time was his intention to do good every day, and to always keep learning. Advice does not get much better than that. I know how he loved his family, his community and his country. If we build on his vision and his goals, we will live in a better place.

    Very 73 dear friend de Dave – K9FN

  10. Linda Gibson Benge January 12, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    I met Vern Kaspar while a waitress at Key West Shrimp House probably around 1972. He came in to the lobby and we chatted while he was waiting to be seated. He was accompanied by Russ, if memory serves me correctly. I remember talking to him about my limited experience with “radio” at IUK. He decided that we should talk further and had Russ take my contact information. Some years later, while I was teaching at Frankfort Christian Heritage, I prevailed upon Vern to come speak to my high school history classes. That was an unforgettable few hours as he spoke passionately about his experiences not only in service to our country, but in his persistence in acquiring his degrees, and his varied interests including travel, politics, ham and broadcast radio, and his family. During breaks between classes I had opportunity to speak more privately with Vern and he allowed me a glimpse of a tender-hearted man missing his wife dearly, loving his family and his community. I had not seen Vern over the last several years but heard his unmistakable voice over the radio. Russ and I spoke recently and when I asked about his dad, informed me that he was ill and in the nursing home. I will miss this eloquent man and his voice. I praise God for bringing him to our community and gracing us. May God send His Comforter to all.

  11. Valerie Abram January 13, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    It was so nice to see everyone today. It’s hard to believe 18+ years have gone by since I worked for Vern and Russ. Russ/Susan, your kids and extended family are amazing. The sermon was one of the finest I have ever attended. It’s taken me many years to truly appreciate the man Vern was. Not everyone learns to appreciate someone with such intelligence and dedication to life as a whole as Vern was. I know I did. Losing both parents will be hard. Mine are both gone as well and I sometime feel like an orphan. But, I too am fortunate to have siblings. We are all close which I am thankful for. The fond memories, the love and important things Vern and Lillian taught all of you will carry with you forever and on for generations to come. May you always embraces these wonderful memories, hold your siblings and family close. Vern’s accomplishments are nothing less than amazing. What a wonderful long life he lived. God’s blessings to all of you….Your friend, Valerie Abram

  12. Bruce Patrick February 20, 2018 at 11:24 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. A good friend of mine, Bill Harris (K9FOV) always talked good about Vern. My good friend passed in about 1980, but I had the pleasure to meet Vern and his son, Russ in later years while I was a Engineer for WASK Radio. I have had the pleasure to have a few good QSO’s with Vern on 40 Meters, and I will always treasure the friendship I shared with Vern. Not only will Vern be missed by many in the Radio Broadcast Industry, but he will also be greatly missed by many who enjoy Amateur Radio.

    Bruce Patrick (WB9UBB) Formerly K9FOV / KC9KTJ

  13. Eric R. Hudson April 28, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    I am extremely saddened to learn late of the passing of Vern Kasper, I had the extreme pleasure of being able to have a good number of ssb and high speed cw contacts with him.. Absolutely some of the most thought provoking conversations I have ever had. Vern was larger than life and I count myself blessed for having the privileged to share ideas with him. My deepest heart felt thoughts are with his family now. He was a radio pioneer and an icon .. God Bless

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