A. Paul Willey of North Adams, beloved husband of Mary (Fierro) Willey, died October 28, 2019 at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield.
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He was born in Burlington, Vermont to Harold and Gertrude (Tice) Willey, on April 4, 1930.
After high school, he attended the Mass Radio School in Boston, MA and obtained an FCC License to work at radio stations as a broadcast engineer. His first job was at the radio station WTWN in St. Johnsbury, VT. He then went to Biddeford, ME. After that he went to WDEV, a 5kw directional on 550KC in Waterbury, VT. As time went on, he accepted the position of Chief Engineer for WMNB in North Adams and WBTN in Bennington, VT. At that time the general manager of WMNB was Donald Thurston. In 1964, Paul had built the first commercial stereo station in Western Massachusetts for WCFM at Williams College. In all, Paul spent 45 years at Berkshire Broadcasting. At that time Don Thurston owned WMNB, WSBS, WCAT, WCNX and WMNS FM.
In 1971, while taking courses at Purdue University, Paul discovered paging services with beepers where there was no such thing in Western, MA. Paul, Dick Gore and Don Thurston began a company named Berkshire Communicators.
Paul retired from WMNB in 2005 at the age of 75. He continued to be an engineer at MCLA and Williams College radio stations until he reached his 83rd birthday with a reputation as one of the best radio engineers in the business. In 2009 he was inducted into Radio Guide Magazine’s Hall of Achievement.
Paul is survived by his wife Mary of 45 years and 3 children including, Dr. Cynthia Willey and her husband Lester Temkin of Rhode Island, Paul A. Willey and his partner Vicki Rider of San Diego and Lisa J. Fine and her husband Gene of Oxnard, CA. He also leaves 3 grand-children, Rachel Moreschi and her husband Sean of FL, Jackson T. Fine of CA and Emery S. Fine of MT who will all miss this loving man terribly.
FUNERAL NOTICE: A Celebration of Paul’s Life will be held at the First Baptist Church, North Adams, MA on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. Burial will be at a later date. Calling hours will take place on Monday, November 4, 2019 from 4-7 p.m. at the Flynn and Dagnoli West Chapels, 521 West Main St., North Adams, MA. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Eleanor Sonsini Animal Center through the funeral home.