I've known this day was coming, but I've also known I would never be ready for it. I am so sad to pass along the news that Dennis Oliver, a Quincy, Illinois radio legend has passed.

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I remember the first time I heard Dennis Oliver on the radio. I was playing tennis at the tennis courts next to the Hannibal Municipal swimming pool (back when they had tennis courts there) and KQ102 was blasting over the pool speakers. His personality was bigger than life. Dennis began radio long before I heard him dating back to 1976 in Pittsfield before he joined KQ102 in 1980.

I'll never forget the first time I met Dennis. Dennis was one of the anchor personalities for the "new" 99Q along with Jeff Dorsey, Liz Lukowski, David P. Norman and Reggie Coleman when it launched in 1985. I joined 99Q during the summer of 1987 to do the afternoon show. I had a perception that a superstar like Dennis would have an ego the size of Mars. Boy, was I ever wrong.

Photo, Townsquare Media
Photo, Townsquare Media

In my life, I've never known a nicer and more down-to-Earth person than Dennis Oliver. Dennis and I shared many an airwave together. When KRRR became classic rock in 1994, I did news for Dennis during his morning show and we were always in trouble, the good kind. So many laughs.

In 1995, KRRR became Y101. I was on-the-air when it happened. Dennis was the morning man and program director of course. I was on afternoons. We emceed the annual bass tournament at Mark Twain Lake and also the National Fence Painting at National Tom Sawyer Days together for years.  The Y101 Cardboard Boat regattas were a blast, too.

After ruling the morning airwaves on 99Q during the 80's, Dennis and Jeff Dorsey reunited and ruled once again on Y101 years after I left. There will never be a duo to rival them. Jeff Dorsey was also Dennis Oliver's best friend and he reached out to us and shared this:

D.O. was the best. We were like brothers. Heck, I was the best man in his wedding and he was my best man in my wedding. When he found out he had Alzheimer’s I think it hit me harder than him. Having had Alzheimer’s in my family, I knew the war and the fight he was about to enter. Was he frustrated with it? Yes, but he never really complained about it, at least not to me. That was D.O. He was the most compassionate, fun-loving guy you would ever want to meet. I don’t think he ever had an enemy in his life. He loved everybody. We both had our moments in our lives where there were highs and there were lows. He was my go to guy and I was his. I will miss him for that and a million other reasons!

We all learned a few years ago that Dennis was suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. He bravely turned his retirement into an effort to help the local Alzheimer's organization because helping others was the life of Dennis Oliver. Every. Single. Day.

There are a million Dennis stories I could share, but there's just one thing I want you to know about him if you weren't fortunate enough to know him. He considered everyone his friend. Everyone. 

In my more than 40 years of being a radio warrior, I've seen many personalities come and go. In my life, I've never worked with or met any of them that didn't have any enemies with one exception - Dennis Oliver.

There will never be anyone that does a radio show in the tri-state area that will ever be better than Dennis Oliver. We all lost a good friend today.

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