Breaking News out of Milwaukee:
One of our well known voices in the Milwaukee Community has passed. If you haven’t heard the name of Eric Von then maybe the ears weren’t open. He was the voice in Milwaukee’s media for several of years that was on our TV’s and also mostly, Radio. There were times that I listened to him on the radio in which the topics ranged from the news, sports and health were on point. No question that his voice or commentary was indeed legendary just as OC White in his hey day. Either on 1290 WMCS or recently, his segment on WNOV of “The Eric Von Show” that comes on at 7:00am, two hours before “The Forum” appears on air.
I had the opportunity to meet him 2 years ago at my old High School of John Marshall. Now it’s called “Milwaukee Marshall High School” but still it’s John Marshall ANYWAY! The occasion was the Alumni Reception that was featuring the former students and guests that meet up prior to the 2014 Graduation Ceremony. Eric was with his wife, Faithe Colas who was the special guest speaker for the ceremony. Plus also, Faithe (class of 79 Alumni) was the recipient of the John Marshall High School’s Alum of the Year Award. And yes her pic is in the school for all to see. Plus also I had to play the official photographer for the Alumni to capture pictures like this:
Now just to point out here: Eric is pictured on the far right.
After the ceremony we went to Saz’s on State Street for the followup to our fellowship. Eric was sitting across from me. Faithe was on the same side on an angle. I like everyone else introduced myself, with me being the youngest Alumni Board Member in the house. We conversated just the basic stuff of work and volunteering. But to hear him and be in the prsensence was just that: priceless.
Yes, I’ve meet the man that we know. And black Milwaukee knows as well.
For the lessons this week, yes Eric was cool. No matter what subject or topic he was on, he was on it. Plus he was a US Veteran that served in the Air Force.
One of the things of his work as we know, it’s called Brain, Brawn and Body. His work and awareness about African-American Men and their families to maintain the needs of health. Yes black men, as we know doctors and us don’t mix. But we have to face the music sometimes of getting back with the Medics. Even me. But don’t quote me on that.
Another was with the election connections. He was featured on a show on Channel 12’s “It’s Your Vote” in dealing with the voting issues that the voters in Milwaukee faced at the time. Even Milwaukee Black Voters as usual.
He was also featured on other shows like “Black Nouveau” which comes on our Public Broadcast Station here in Milwaukee of Channel 10. And for that was discussing the concerns and issues in Milwaukee’s Black Community. Black Nouveau is still on point today with issues and news that the community is still informed.
In 2003, he was a Campaign Co-Director in lieu of one of the past Elections that propelled Tom Barrett to his first mayoral bid for the city.
When the day of September 8th came when Eric’s death came up: it was like a shock. I kept reading my Facebook Newsfeeds to see if this was real. When you get those notices of a well known figure around your community that died, usually it’s a hoax via Social Media. BUT……this was no hoax. Eric Von really did die at his home in the Sherman Park Community. The next day, WNOV was really focused on him, his life and work. I was listening to his segment and The Forum and let me tell you: it was sad, but it was a time to celebrate him of what he brought to us over the years. No matter if it was his days at 1290, or WNOV. The callers kept calling the station to offer their condolences and sympathies. Even former 1290 Personalities that called in to do the same thing. And those that used to rival WNOV were also called in to equal the messages of those offering condonlences.
I will admit, it will be hard to replace him on the radio. But I think that with all of this, the WNOV Family; no, the remaining WNOV family will be fine. It will take time, but still will be fine.
This coming week, there will be a Community Memorial Celebration for Eric at Marquette University’s Alumni Union. And the date will be September 14th.