From The Daily Post-Athenian
McMinn and Monroe County listeners have
lost a beloved voice with the passing of Hayward Armstrong.
Armstrong died Tuesday morning in
Athens at the age of 85.
The longtime local radio news reporter
gave his final broadcast for listeners last Tuesday (Nov. 5) morning
on WJSQ, his home station.
Shortly after finishing his live 7 a.m. edition of "The Hayward Armstrong Report" that morning,
he checked himself into Athens Regional Medical Center. A week later,
Armstrong succumbed to a longtime health problem, passing away
Tuesday morning just after 6 a.m. while surrounded by family members.
Armstrong had been in declining health
for the past few months but he continued working daily as a radio
He first went to work as a reporter for
Athens radio station WLAR in 1967, where he spent the majority of his
career. When WLAR's sister station, WJSQ, went on the air Armstrong
simulcast his daily radio report on both the AM and FM stations.
During his 65-year career, he worked periodically with other radio
stations and operated a news service.
His gravelly voice and unique style of
delivering the news made him one of the area's most-recognizable
and iconic broadcast journalism voices even beyond the borders of
Monroe and McMinn counties.
Focusing mainly on covering crime and
court actions during his 46-year career, with his trademark fedora
hat and notebook in hand, Armstrong was a familiar sight around the
McMinn County Courthouse and Justice Center as he gathered the arrest
reports and court decisions. His main focus was McMinn County, but
Armstrong reported some Monroe County news and many tuned in to hear
him read regional obituaries.
After Randy Sliger, of WJSQ/WLAR,
posted the news of Armstrong's death on his Facebook page several
people commented on his passing, including former McMinn County
resident Patrick Henry, who said, "I considered him 'the Voice of
A native of Gadsden, Ala., he was a
veteran of the U.S. Navy and served during World War II.
Obituary information was incomplete at
press time and will be announced later by Ziegler Funeral Home of
Athens. However, the family will receive friends from 4 to 8 p.m.
Wednesday at the funeral home.