Engineer/DJ Pat Hurley (Pat Henry) passes on

We’ve recently learned that Northwest engineer & DJ Pat Hurley has passed away at age 78.  Pat worked in Seattle, Dallas, Delhi, L.A., eastern Wash. & in Bellingham at 1170 KPUG where he was known on air as ‘Pat Henry’ hosting the mid-day shift when not taking care of chief engineer duties.  This was first brought to our attention by Grays Harbor broadcaster Bill Wolfenbarger, who posted a comment a few days back regarding this.  QZVX contributor & beat reporter Bill Ogden worked with Pat at KPUG & noted he was funny, kind & very smart – always quick with a joke. Bill O also recalls that Pat considered his mid-day shift an interruption to his engineering duties & was guilty on more than one occasion of ‘dead air’  when trying to juggle an air-shift & technical work. I met Pat twice in the mid to late 60’s while he was at KPUG.  I talked with him on the phone, explained I was a ham radio operator & was at Columbia School of Broadcasting learning the ropes to go on air & that I eventually hoped to get into the technical/engineering end of radio.  He kindly offered me a thorough but unauthorized tour of the KPUG transmitter, audio & technical equipment. The 2nd time I met with him he had some newly printed coverage maps & other technical data that he made copies of to give me & I got to sit in with him on his air-shift. Pat eventually moved to Plano, TX where he retired from radio.  He’s survived by his wife of 42 years – Aline. Unfortunately, we have no other information at post time & promise to update readers if/when we know more.

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Author: Mike Cherry

retired broadcaster: on-air, MD, PD, asst PD, Prod Mgr, IT, station technician/engineer, pioneer Internet webcaster, station installation/maintenance; 12 years in commercial radio, 17 years volunteer in campus/community radio in B.C., Alberta & Wash. Amateur radio operator & "DXer" specializing in AM night-time DX, short-wave DX/listening & remote SDR DXing/listening
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12 thoughts on “Engineer/DJ Pat Hurley (Pat Henry) passes on

  1. Does anyone remember Pat’s 1937-38 Aeronca K airplane with the 2 cylinder Prestwich engine. Picture of Bugs Bunny on the canvas covering.
    2 seater with roll down windows. We barely cleared the tops of the trees at the end of the Bellingham airport runway on takeoff. Cars on I-5 heading north toward Ferndale were going faster than the plane. Now that I think about it, it might not have been my best decision to hop in with him.

  2. John, I recall when you were at KPUG. I also met your dad and maybe your step mom….June. she did sales at KBFW. And I was working there. I think at the time they said you were at KREM.

  3. My memories of Pat come from when I worked with him in the late ‘60’s while a student at Bellingham’s Sehome High School. Bob O’Neil was the Program Director who had hired me, Marc Taylor was the Music Director and “Jungle George” Ruggles was the inspiration who suggested I come by and apply with Bob O’Neil. I remember hanging around in the control room one day, which must have distracted Pat, who was caught off guard as his song faded out. He quickly opened up the RCA studio mic, and stammered “KPUG the Big 11-7, with Pat Hurley..ah Henry”. He also encouraged me to get my FCC License, which I did one winter day, skipping school to drive to downtown Seattle to take the test. Passed with flying colors, and was feeling pretty good about myself until I got back to Bellingham and was informed by my less than enthused and unsuspecting parents that “Pat Henry called from the station, and wanted to know how you did on your Test in Seattle”. While I got roasted but good at the time, when that official letter came later from the FCC, I suddenly was elevated to the “Golden Boy” at home, and, thanks to Pat, my dear late friend George and Bob O’Neil, that beginning to my Broadcast Career opened the door to a 50+ year career which included multiple appearances with NBC TV in Hollywood and becoming the host of PM Magazine. And Pat had something to do with it.

  4. Jay & Mike L – thanks for adding stories & knowledge about Pat’s life. My attempts at researching additional material to add to this post came up blank. I was hoping some of our readers had some personal experiences & knowledge about him. That’s no surprise he managed to obtain his FCC ‘first phone’ without attending any schools or courses to pass the exam. I guess I too can brag abut getting my ‘first phone’ to work in US radio without the need for a course. I obtained my advanced ham radio ticket before the opportunity came up to make use of the ‘first phone’ for employment so much of the technical details came naturally. Pat not only designed & built the mixing board at KPUG, but also the phone patch bay which allowed listeners calls to be taken on air & to accept audio from ‘remotes’. He also designed the remote board & set-up used for KPUG live appearances.

  5. Nice comment, Jay. I only knew of Pat. When I was at KPUG in 1974, I know he had custom built the control board…slider post. And when you pushed them UP that automatically started the turntables. And when you pulled them past low volume it put them in the cue speaker. He was one of those guys who really loved engineering,so I am not surprised he did the 1st phone sans a course.

  6. In all our lives there are people who we crossed paths with, that have no idea the impact they had on our lives. When I was still looking forward to a career in radio I met Pat Hurley at KLOQ (Clock Radio) in Yakima. Both he and Lee Hurley (no relation), along with Paul Berg (Pat O’Day) and Jerry King (Jerry Kaye) we’re on the staff. Because Pat was younger than I, I assumed he was a Yakima kid, but apparently he was from Boise. Anyway, during my conversations with Pat he was “that person” who suggested I get an FCC 1st Phone, because many stations, at that time, required it for employment. He told me about Ogden’s Radio School in Burbank, CA where I eventually acquired my license. That small snippet of information from Pat completely changed my life from that point forward.
    I asked Pat if he had gone there to get his 1st Phone and he said no, but passed along this story. He told me he locked himself in a motel room for an entire weekend and did nothing but study for the FCC exam. It paid off, he took the exam and passed.
    I was aware Pat continued in broadcasting, but our paths never crossed again … although we did work at some of the same stations, but at different times.

  7. Pat Hurley is one of the first voices I remember when I discovered radio as a teenager growing up in the Tri-Cities–he was only eight years older than me. As I recall, he was on KEPR nights in the early ’60s and would end his shift with “Mama, come get your favorite boy.” Of course I also remember Bill Wolfenbarger as Billie B. Williams on KALE, more like mid-sixties. I believe both were more interested in engineering than on-air but did both in a small market. Others I remember from the Tri-Cities 1960’s airwaves, Rich Osborne, Mark Wayne, Grant Newsome, Greg Conners, Bobby Simon, Lanny Wynia, Dan Monahan, Lloyd Allen, Jerry Robinson, Ken Murray, Herb Brindamour, Ed Jones, Wally Reid, Dean Mitchell, Sparky Dix, and my high school speech teacher who jocked summers at KORD, Jim Loss.

    1. This info is SO INTERESTING. I was just asking my sister-in-law if she remembers Pat Hurley (to us) , my late brother’s buddy back in the 60’s in Kennewick (Tri- Cities, WA). We lived outside of the city limits, where next to our house was a small building out “in a field” here Pat was working & my brother got to pick his brain about DJ-ing. Later, when Pat lived in CA, my brother visited him for a few hours near a beach where Pat lived. He was always kind to my brother & just today (3-29-2023) I googled Pat’s name & found this google entry. I’m sorry Pat’s passed but I have nothing but good memories of him!! Thanks for adding to this story!

      1. I was fortunate enough to have worked with Pat at KPUG in Bellingham, WA in the late 60’s. Great guy and I owe him a lot as the deal he made with me and management was that if I stayed after my board shift and assisted him with engineering he would babysit the transmitter while I was on the air. I only had a 3rd. He got a third hand and I got to live my dream.
        What a guy.

        1. Tom…..you were the only on-air jock I knew of at KPUG who didn’t have to get a First Phone. You were a rarity.

          1. Yes Steven, I was very lucky and I know it. Probably wouldn’t have happened without Pat’s support.

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