Aug 17, 2011

Memorial service planned for Shirley Gillette, formerly of WNET

Shirley Gillette, who worked for more than two decades at New York’s WNET, died July 26 at her home atop Schooley’s Mountain in New Jersey, after an illness.

“In her own strong and forthright way,” said a tribute Tuesday (Aug. 16) on the local Long Valley Patch website, Gillette “blazed a trail for women by earning her master’s degree at a time when only a small circle of women attended institutions of higher learning, and worked as one of the early pioneers in public television.”

She spent 23 years as director of educational programming at the station.

She was born in Pontiac, Ill., to Ralph and Lavica Bradshaw. She earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois in 1956, where she was a member of Phi Delta Psi and Alpha Omega Pi. She spent 10 years as a high school speech and drama teacher in Manhasset, N.Y.

Gillette was a former campaign coordinator for the New York State Young Republicans, was on the campaign staff for Richard Nixon’s presidential bid in 1960, and in 1965 was the New York State co-chair on the Republican Senatorial Campaign. Also that year she earned her master’s degree at New York University.

She was preceded in death by her husband, George Gillette. Survivors include her daughter, Michele Mellon, of Florida; son, Terry Gillette; granddaughters, Erin Carey, Georgia and Paige Gillette, all of Florida; niece, Catherine Fetzner of Michigan; and nephews, Brad and William Ulfig of Illinois.

A memorial service is planned for 1 p.m. Aug. 21 at Schooley's Mountain Lodge, with a celebration of her life to follow. For more information contact Scala Memorial Home, 124 High St., Hackettstown, N.J.; (908) 852-2420.

Rhode Island Public Radio hoping to finalize lease swap by October

Rhode Island Public Radio is working on a three-way lease swap. WRNI currently broadcasts on 1290 AM in Providence and 102.7 FM in Southern Rhode Island. The 10-year lease would allow its news-talk WRNI AM to broadcast on Wheeler High School's WELH 88.1 FM, and the NPR member station would lease its 1290 AM signal to Latino Public Radio, which currently leases 5 a.m. to noon on WELH. Joe O'Connor, RIPR g.m., says he hopes the switch, which will allow the station to reach tens of thousands of new listeners, can be made by Oct. 1. RIPR would pay $75,000 dollars a year for 88.1 FM as well as three percent of any additional revenues. Latino Public Radio would lease 1290 AM at cost.