WAKO Radio founder Stuart Lankford has died



Sad news today, concerning a broadcast colleague in the region.  Stuart K. Lankford has passed away.  He was the former owner of WAKO Radio in Lawrenceville, Illinois.  Lankford actually founded the station over 60 years ago and is considered a broadcast pioneer for Southeast Illinois and Southwest Indiana. He was owner and operator of WAKO up until this past year.  Lankford was 87.


Here is the full obituary from Emmons, Macey and Steffey Funeral Home.

Stuart K. Lankford, 87, of Lawrenceville, Illinois passed away Thursday, March 16, 2017 at St. Vincent Hospice in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was born March 3, 1930 in Michigan City, Indiana, the son of M. R. and Myrtle (Allen) Lankford. He married Dolores L. Board on January 26, 1951 and she survives.

Stuart, along with his wife, Dolores, put WAKO Radio on the air in 1959. They owned and operated the radio station until their retirement in January of 2017. They also owned and operated WREY in New Albany, Indiana and WIKK in Newton, Illinois. Stuart’s memberships included the Mt. Carmel Masonic Lodge, Elks, 50 years + of the American Legion, the Hadi Shriners of Evansville. He was also a Danville 32nd Degree Mason and a 1951-1952 army veteran in the Korean Conflict.

Preceding him in death were his parents; one son, Kent Lankford; two brothers, Ray Jay Lankford and Richard Lankford; and one sister, Wilma June Kennard.

Survivors include his wife, Dolores; one daughter, Paige Lankford Petty and husband, Terry, of Bridgeport, Illinois; one sister, Marrianne Showalter of Du Quoin, Illinois; and three grandchildren, Alexandria Petty, Sydney K. Petty, and Olivia Lankford.

A memorial service will be Saturday, March, 25, 2017 at 6:00 PM at the First United Methodist Church in Lawrenceville, Illinois. Visitation will be Saturday, March 25, 2017 from 3:00 PM until 6:00 PM at the church. Memorial donations in Stuart’s memory may be made to the Lawrence County Humane Society. A private burial will be conducted at a later date.



services are pending at Emmons, Macey and Steffey Funeral Home in Lawrenceville.