Dr. Thomas K. Kim, longtime supporter and fundraiser for KACU-FM, AbilenePublicRadio passed away Monday, March 12, 2012 at the age of 83. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 17th at St. Paul United Methodist Church, 525 Beech St. in Abilene.
Dr. Kim was one of three local university presidents who combined efforts to bring public radio to Abilene and 17 counties of West Texas to provide “in studio”, hands on experience for area broadcasting students. In 1986, as President of McMurry University between 1970 and 1993, Dr. Kim joined Dr. Jesse Fletcher, then President of Hardin Simmons University and Dr. William J. Teague, President of Abilene Christian University to establish the public radio station in studios provided by Abilene Christian University. Dr. Kim, Dr. Teague and Dr. Fletcher were honored for their contributions at KACU’s recent 25th Anniversary Luncheon on Thursday, March 8th.
Dr. Larry Bradshaw, the first General Manager of KACU shared his thoughts about Dr. Kim and his contributions to AbilenePublicRadio. “Dr. Kim was a delightful help as we launched the radio station. He came to every fund drive that we had and enjoyed interacting with the students. He would just give us a spark that would encourage us in the pledge drives. He was a wonderful man.”
Dr. Kim remained a faithful and dedicated supporter of public radio and as such, rarely missed being a part of KACU’s pledge drives held in the spring and fall each year. Celia Danforth Gesting, former KACU Development Director said, “Dr. Kim was one of my most dependable on air volunteers and he would always work hard to raise the money. If the phones weren’t ringing, he would call his friends! We all loved his enthusiasm. To best of everyone’s knowledge, he was part of almost every pledge drive over the 25 years.”
Myra Dean, current KACU Development Director remembered Dr. Kim saying “Whenever I saw Dr. Kim out and about, he would be sure to remind me he would be glad to be part of the next pledge drive. He always had a wonderful sense of humor, a kind word and a twinkle in his eye. I can still hear his low, deliberate voice asking listeners to be members of KACU by calling in their pledges. I feel privileged to have known him and to have been on the air with him over the years. He shared our love and commitment to KACU and we will be forever grateful for his support in securing a public radio station for our community.”
John Best, General Manager of KACU, said, “When Tom was in the station for one of his many on-air times during our fund drives, he brought a spark of excitement to those of us listening and working with him. He would remind the listeners of how important he considered the world-view that public radio brought to Abilene each day and he always expressed his love of classical music.”
KACU joins the community in mourning the loss of a fine man and a dedicated member of the KACU family.
KACU is dedicating the Friday, March 16, 2012 day of programming in his honor and memory.