SANDUSKY - Richard E. "Dickie" Schock, 71, a WLEC Sandusky country music host of almost 40 years, died of complications from cancer Thursday, in Firelands Regional Medical Center after a long bout with the illness.
Lease Schock said his father's career and the popularity of his Dickie Schock Show, which for years was the only country radio show in the area, were rooted in "his 40-year love affair" with Sandusky.
"He was country before country was big; he had a distinct voice," Lease Schock said. "People would call him from hospitals or people who were home bound, and he would play song requests and would say their names on the radio as he did that."
Mr. Schock, a native of Republic, Ohio, began playing a guitar when he was 7. Ten years later he began to play and sing on WTTF radio, where he started his own show. He later formed a group, which he called The Melody Mountain Boys.
In 1951, Mr. Schock graduated from Tiffin Columbian High School and went to work for WFOB in Fostoria.
He sang, played guitar, and was a disc jockey there for five years and then went to work at WLEC, where he was an announcer, an engineer, and a newscaster until retiring in 1997, his son said.
"He was so foxy on the air, you felt like his best friend," Mark Fogg, sports and program director at WLEC, said. "He had time for everybody and he treated everybody the same."
While working for WLEC, Mr. Schock, who lived in Castalia, was active in a number of charities and nonprofit organizations such as the American Red Cross and Toys for Tots.
"He knew everybody. If we went anywhere with him, it took twice as long because he knew everybody in town and had to talk to everyone," Lease Schock said.
In his free time, Mr. Schock enjoyed playing his guitar.
He was a member of Tiffin St. Joseph Catholic Church.
Surviving are his wife of 48 years, Margaret "Peggy" Schock; sons, Lease, Doug, and Randy; daughter, Mary Danhke; sister, Leona Joseph; four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Services will be at noon Tuesday in SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Sandusky. There will be no visitation. Arrangements are by David F. Koch Funeral Home here.
The family suggests tributes to the Firelands Chapter of the American Red Cross or to a charity of the donor's choice.