Ralph E. Meador
(1920 – 2015)
Ralph E. Meador was married to Thelma Meador for 65 years. Thelma died in 2005. They had two children, Randy Meador (wife Lynn) of Kansas City, Missouri and Carla Fritts, (husband Steve) of Louisville, Kentucky, five grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Ralph started his radio career in 1942 employed by the Federal Govemment in the Radio Laboratory at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio as crew chief installing and testing radio and radar systems in military aircraft. He completed courses in Radio Engineering at Dayton University. His first job in radio broadcasting was at Radio Station WING-AM, Dayton, Ohio in 1943/44. He spent eighteen months overseas during World War II serving with the Armed Forces Radio, American Forces Network, installing Radio Stations in Paris, France and in Frankfurt and Bremen, Germany. He served as Chief Engineer of AFN Bremen.
Upon returning to the States in 1946, he was employed at Radio Station KSFM, Joplin, Missouri and later with Radio Station KFSB, Joplin, Missouri as Chief Engineer until 1954. He moved to Spokane, Washington working as Chief Engineer of KREM TV and KREM AM and FM until September of that year when he moved back to the Midwest to Quincy, Illinois. He was employed by Gates Radio Company as a development engineer designing remote control systems for radio broadcast stations. While working in engineering, several of his designs were issued patents by the U.S. Patent Office in Washington, D.C. and by the Canadian Patent Offices. He was later given the position of Manager of the General Products Division of Gates Radio Company, now known as the Harris Corporation.
In 1955, he applied for a construction permit to install a Radio Station in Lexington, Missouri. The permit was granted in 1956 and Radio Station KLEX-AM, Lexington, Missouri went on the air in April of that year. KLEX-FM was added later for a KLEX AM and FM operation. Ralph owned and operated KLEX AM and FM for 15 years. The FM station is now located in Kansas City with studios in Kansas City, Missouri. Ralph Meador supervised the installation of over 10 radio stations and one television station in his broadcast career.
He served on the Board of Directors of the Missouri Broadcasters Association in the 1960’s. While serving on the Board, he made the recommendation and the Board approved the adding of an awards program at their annual convention to recognize Outstanding Broadcast Members of the Missouri Broadcasters Association.
After selling Radio Stations KLEX AM and FM in 1970, he founded the Brokerage firm of R.E. Meador & Associates, Inc. For over 42 years, he was an active fulltime Media Broker in appraisals, acquisitions and as a media consultant throughout the Midwest.
Ralph Meador was active in civic organizations and churches acting as President of the Joplin Junior Chamber of Commerce, Joplin, Missouri, President of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce and First Vice-President of the Lexington Lions Club, Lexington, Missouri. He was a member of the Second Baptist Church of Liberty, Missouri and was an ordained deacon in the Baptist Church. Ralph continued to consult broadcasters and attend broadcast conventions until his passing on May 25th, 2015.