Song - Artist - Album
Black Betty - Ram Jam - s/t
It is with both great sorrow and great memories that I inform you all of the passing of a long-time staff member, Ita Kanter. Ita was on the air at WHUS for many many years, programming classical music from 9am-noon on Sunday mornings. She passed on April 7, 2010 in South Windham, CT (full obituary below).
Recent additions to the WHUS staff and listeners will not remember Ita; she left the staff a few years back because of health issues. She was wonderful in many ways, and those who were fortunate to know her will understand why we say that. We're currently trying to dig up some old pictures of Ita hard at work on the controls at WHUS, and we'll post them here when we find them.
Also, we'd like to send out our best wishes and condolences to Nessa, Ita's daughter, who you may remember as "Mabel Turner," her moniker on the WHUS airwaves. She took great care of Ita, including helping her with her program when it became difficult to do alone. Nessa left WHUS a few years ago, but you may remember her popular old time jazz program.
The obituary from the Willimantic Chronicle is below:
(Elizabeth) Ita (Bergin) Kanter Beloved Mother, Grandmother and Sister SOUTH WINDHAM - (Elizabeth) Ita (Bergin) Kanter, 91, of South Windham, CT, widow of Robert L. Kanter, died April 7, 2010 in St. Joseph Living Center. She was born September 1, 1918 in Kearny, NJ the oldest child of Charles Joseph and Mabel Josephine (Turner) Bergin. She gradu ated from All Saints High School in Detroit, MI and later, Wayne State University with a Master of Fine Arts Degree, where she was an editor for the Wayne State University Press for several years. She also worked for the U.A.W. International in Detroit. When Bob retired and he became a professor at UConn, they moved to Windham where she did editorial work for the Connecticut Botanical Society of which she was a lifetime member. Ita was a faithful and committed patron of classical music in this area. For 25 years she had a radio show on WHUS-FM. Her enjoyment of classical music was very important to her during her time on the radio and in her later years. An avid gardener, Ita was also a life member of the North American Rock Garden Society and the Garden Gate Club. A life-long “birder”, Ita enjoyed trips to see both local and far-away species. Ita was a talented and accomplished charcoal art ist, sculptor and painter and won many many prizes in varied shows. She was also a gifted needle worker and designer and sewed as well as knitted and crocheted many items. She was a communicant of St. Joseph Church in Willimantic. Her survivors include a daughter, Nessa Louise Kanter of South Windham; grandchildren, Darcy Lomba of South Windham, and Glenn Kanter, Scott Kanter and Wendy Kanter Gallant of Detroit, MI, as well as numerous great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Her Funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, April 9, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. in St. Joseph Church in Willimantic. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery in Windham. There are no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Holy Family Shelter, 88 Jackson St., Willimantic, CT 06226. The Bacon Funeral Home, 71 Prospect St., Willimantic has charge of arrangements. Please visit www.baconfh.com to register your condolences online.
Ben Shaiken and John Murphy
Operations Manager and General Manager
As we receive memories from our staff, we'll be posting some of them below:
From Susan Forbes Hansen (Host, Sunday Night Folk Festival):
As I age into becoming one of the senior members of WHUS (both in years lived and years on air), I keep Ita in mind. She reminded me of the quip "old age isn't for sissies," and let me tell you, she was no sissy. She was not intimidated by change, she didn't sink into an easy chair in her -- ahem -- golden years, she had a million activities, and she didn't put up with much. She knew her music and she was a sharp questioner at meetings (sometimes her questions were followed by "What? Speak up!"). Some years ago she lost a son who was about my age, and she kept on going, which I thought was remarkable. She had an enviable relationship with her daughter, who was also an excellent music-host here at WHUS. She lived her life well, or so it seemed to me.
From Joel Krutt (Host, Pushing the Envelope):
Over the years, I had the opportunity to help Ita with her show in addition to the privilege of filling in for her numerous times. Her love of classical music paired with her "one of a kind" personality made her one of my on air favorites. I will surely miss her.
From Lee Cameron (Program Director, 1983):
I remember when she started. Always very passionate about classical music and her show. You'll be missed.
From Jim Beaver (Host, Bluegrass Cafe):
Ita was one of the first personalities I met at WHUS. Marti and I had the time slot just before her show when she moved to 6-9 am Sundays. Nessa would bring her in and get her set up to comment on the music. My favorite memory of Ita was the the time she stuck her finger though a hole in my jeans, as if to point out that I had a hole in my jeans. She was one-of-a-kind, and I miss her.
From Frank Cornell (Host, Scandinavia to San Diego):
At one point in the WHUS schedule, I had a show that was adjacent to Ita's "Morning Classics". My memories of Ita, a petite bundle of energy, include her extensive knowledge of the classical music she featured, much of which she shared with her faithful listeners. I credit Ita with renewing my interest in classical pieces, especially those by Dvorak & Debussy. Ita also knew the history of music and its uses in the labor movement, and provided valuable assistance when I was searching for that information. Finally, Ita always had a smile on her face, and a positive attitude. Many fond memories. Hopefully, Nessa will someday return to the WHUS airways, as her contributions are also missed.
From Dean Farrell (Former Host, The Soul Express)
During my early days at WHUS, Ita had made an entry in the Equipment Failure Log to the effect of, "Cartridge on Turntable 1 is loose. Attempted to tighten it using my Visa card." To which the engineer replied, "Turntable 1 only takes Discover."