Patchogue (WALK) - Long Islanders, the local broadcasting community, and anyone who appreciates swing, big band and American standards is mourning the death of Long Island radio legend Jack Ellsworth.
Jack broadast his program "Memories in Melody" on WALK 1370 AM until the recent death of his wife of more than 60 years, Dot, in July. Family members say he struggled after the death of his wife and business-partner, and died Thursday evening in in the company of his family. He was 91.
Jack was raised in Brooklyn, served with the Marines in World War II, and had his first big break in commercial radio in Providence, Rhode Island in 1947.
Among his many professional acheivements, Jack managed radio stations including WALK-FM and was co-owner (with his wife Dot) of WLIM-AM in Patchogue. He was recently inducted in the New York State Broadcast Association Hall of Fame. Jack returned to WALK more than a decade ago to host "Memories in Melody" with his wife Dot.
Fans will remember Jack as the "Silver Fox," who was committed to local, community-service broadcasting, to keeping alive the work of recording artists in the categories of Swing, Big Band and American standards, and in introducing his listeners to contemporary artists who measured up to "the Best."
Artists he met, interviewed and established decades-long relationships with include: Dick Powell, Benny Goodman, and the artist Jack called, "My Man," Bing Crosby. Jack also hosted Long Island's longest-running program of Frank Sinatra's music, "Sunday Mornings with Sinatra" on WALK-AM.
Jack is survived by his daughter Susan, sons Glen and Gary, his sister Ruth of Ballston Spa, New York, and nine grandchildren.
Visitation is scheduled for Sunday from Noon to 4:00 p.m. at Robertaccio Funeral home on Rt. 112 in Patchogue. A Memorial Service will be held Monday at the Congregational Church of Patchogue on East Main Street at 10:00 AM with burial at Woodland Cemetery in Bellport.
Donations can be made in Jack’s name to Stony Brook Hospital’s Sunrise Fund for children with cancer. To make a donation, click here.
Fans and friends interested in more information about Jack, his family, his life and times, may consider a recently published book, "Memories in Melody: A Lifetime of Experiences from the Golden Era of Popular Music." For information, click here.