The Life of Richard Kutan
Richard “Johnny Kay” Kutan, 88
MARYSVILLE - Richard Kutan, 88, a longtime resident of Austintown, passed away peacefully late Friday evening, Dec. 5, 2014, at the Gables of Green Pastures in Marysville, after a long and fulfilling life.
A well-known local disc jockey and radio personality who was known professionally as “Johnny Kay,” Dick was born Oct. 14, 1926, in Youngstown, a son of the late Richard and Nellie Nicola Kutan, and lived in this area for much of his life until moving to Marysville in 2012.
He was a 1944 graduate of The Rayen School and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Dick graduated from the Northwestern University Navy Radio School and the National Radio School of Cleveland, and subsequently worked for several radio stations around the country.
In 1961, he came home to the Youngstown area, and began working as a disc jockey at WHOT. In 1980, he became the program director for WFMJ, and retired in 1987. Much to the delight of his fans, Johnny Kay reentered the workforce in 1993, and hosted programs on WHOT, WNIO, and WSOM radio stations. He also hosted “Who’s News in Austintown” on cable TV public access Channel 19 in Austintown.
Dick was an active member and an elder of Tabernacle Evangelical Presbyterian Church, and was involved in moving the church from its downtown Youngstown location to its present location on South Raccoon Road in Austintown. During his "retirement" from broadcasting he served on the staff of the church as Director of Lay Ministry. For many years he was overseer of the church food pantry and volunteered his time at the Rescue Mission. He was also co-chair of a church fund-raising project to construct a community all-purpose building that later became a reality.
Dick leaves his beloved wife of 53 years, Shelley Fogel Kutan; four children, Robin (Troy) Wright of Marysville, Richard (Shawn) Kutan of Canfield, Terry Werner of Butler, Pa., and Charles (Cheryl) Kutan of Houston, Texas; eight grandchildren, Caila, Andrew, Jacob, Alannah, Danielle, Nathan, Douglas, and Chas; a niece, Paula Clarke; and a cousin, Jodie Lewis.
A brother, Norman Kutan and a sister, Louise Shank, are deceased.
Per Dick’s request, private funeral services were held. Interment with military honors took place at Green Haven Memorial Gardens.