Eugene Free, a popular Northeast Pennsylvania radio personality, passed away Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at John T. Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson, NY.
The 60-year-old Carbondale native lost a hard fought battle with cancer.
Friends and colleagues remember Gene as a gifted broadcaster, cherished boss, co-worker and family man with a big heart of gold.
In Scranton, Gene was the radio voice of The Globe Store during the 1970s and ‘80s.
A 1974 graduate of Scranton Prep High School, Gene studied for the Priesthood at St. Pius X Seminary and graduated from the University of Scranton in 1978 earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication.
He launched his radio career as a weekend anchor at the Scranton Times owned radio stations WEJL and Rock 107, where he became Morning Personality and Program Director of The Music of Your Life station.
Gene went on to become Program Director of Stereo 101 WGBI from 1983 to 1986.
Gene moved to Westchester County, NY in 1985 where he met his future wife, the former Stephanie Gandert of The Bronx, while serving as Program Director of WFAS-FM.
Know as Gene Michaels in New York, he gained industry-wide recognition as Vice President of Programming and Marketing for Long Island’s WALK-97.5 impressively delivering 13 years of #1 rating.
Joining Shadow Traffic as Operations Director in 1992, Gene was heard doing traffic reports on radio stations throughout the New York Metro. He was also heard nationwide as the morning personality on Sirius Satellite ‘60s Vibrations Channel.
More recently, Gene was a reporter and anchor for the most listened to All News Station in the nation, 1010 WINS, where he covered major news events including Super Storm Sandy and the shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
Gene shared his passion for radio with students at St. John’s University and Five Towns College on Long Island as an adjunct professor and director of radio station WFTU.
Gene’s resume also include the Wall Street Journal Network, Fox News Headlines, Merlin Media and Connoisseur Media.
Born in Jersey City, NJ, Gene was the son of the late William and Margaret Coleman Free.
Gene is survived by his wife, Stephanie, and daughter, Samantha, as well as six brothers and sisters; Jeanine & Thomas Houser, Margaret & John Wallace, Nancy Free, Gert and Ed Moorehead, Ann Free and Jim & Chris Free as well as nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Funeral services were held at Caroline Church of Brookhaven in East Setauket, NY and Gene was laid to rest in the Caroline Church yard of Setauket on Monday, May 15, 2017.