THE PASSING OF FARM BROADCASTER GEORGE GATLEY
Mar. 12, 2021
National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) reports:
The following obituary was provided by the Gatley family.
George Grant Goodacre Gatley left this earth to be with his heavenly father on February 24, 2021, at the age of 87.
A son to Howard and Dorothy Gatley, and a brother to Howie Gatley and Mickey Hlapcik, he was born on March 3, 1933.
A man with many accomplishments, he started his overachieving early in life as a Boy Scout, helping to run the Boy Scout camp with his dad. He earned the highest rank as an Eagle Scout. He attended Kenosha High School, graduating in 1954. George then went directly into the Navy and was a Navy Corpsman during the Korean War.
After the Navy, he got a job working as a Boy Scout Executive in the Washington, D.C., area. As part of his duties, he started his radio career in doing a weekly report for the Boy Scouts.
George was been a faithful member of Church of Latter-Day Saints since 1990. He loved his church and working with the missionaries, and was a faithful home teacher.
His career in radio spanned more than 50 years. He always included farm news in his programming. He was recruited to come to Yuma by Bob Crites to develop farm programming there and started on KBLU radio and television. They developed Western Agri-Radio Networks. In 1979, he became owner and president of Western-Agriculture Radio Networks and dba California Agri-Radio and Southwest Agri-Radio. There were 17 affiliates (radio stations) that carried his 17 minutes of programming Monday through Friday: Today In Farming, Research In Agriculture, and Commodity News. One of his affiliate stations that picked up his programming was KBLU-AM.
During this time, George was on local television, first KWST and then KYMA. He loved the Yuma community. On his television shows, he liked to highlight what was going on in farming in the Yuma, Wellton, and El Centro areas. He worked with the U of A Cooperative Extension office and the University of California.
He served on several boards, including the Food Bank, the Airport Authority, and Humane Society of Yuma. He gave scholarships through Arizona Western College, the University of Arizona, FFA, and the National Association of Farm Broadcasters (now, Broadcasting). George was a mentor to kids who would contact him, and some have been successful in broadcasting.
George was a voting member of NAFB since 1974. His participation in this assocation included: West Region Vice President for 1978-79, Chats Editor 1982-833, 1993 West Region Farm Broadcaster of the Year, and NAFB Convention photographer for more than 20 years. George's greatest honor was when he was inducted into NAFB Hall of Fame in 2012. He rubbed shoulders with best in farm broadcasting industry.
George is survived by his wife, Christine Gatley, of 25 years. He also is survived by nine children: Diana Eberhard, David Gatley, Robin Gatley-Greenberg, Jennifer Solis, Joseph Gatley, Jeremy Schell, Dana Connor, Andrew Connor, and George Michael Gatley; 14 grandchildren; and 2 great grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his daughter, Debra Gatley, and one grandchild.
George will be missed more than words can express. We love him dearly and know he is at peace. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, March 20, 202,1 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 4200 West 18th Street, Yuma. Arizona.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the University of Arizona Extension for Youth scholarships in honor of George Gatley. He was a big supporter of the Extension office and 4-H. Program. The address is 2200 West 28th Street Suite 102, Yuma, Arizona 85364.
If you would like, please share memories and/or pictures of George for his family by visiting: http://www.forevermissed.com/george-gatley
Saturday, March 20, 2021
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
4200 West 18th Street
Yuma, AZ 85364