Longtime Fairbanks radio broadcaster Pete Van Nort dies at 66

Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 4:25 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Pete Van Nort, a radio announcer icon and the voice of morning radio on KIAK 102.5 FM, died on Wednesday, May 26th.

Van Nort began his broadcasting career more than 50 years ago. The last 42 years were spent at KIAK in Fairbanks.

Kathryn Harris, Van Nort’s coworker and fellow announcer, announced the news the next morning.

“The thought of KIAK without Pete or even living in a world without Pete was more than our little radio family could bear,” she said.

Longtime friend and fellow broadcaster Monte Bowen said, “He was always out there wanting to help people. He was involved in a bunch of charities. He was always doing something to try to make things better in the community.”

In 2000, Van Nort was named to the Alaska Broadcast Hall of Fame, and he is the recipient of many Goldie Awards. Goldie awards are the Alaska Broadcasters Association version of an Emmy.

Bowen said, “He was a very loving character, very friendly, friendly to everybody, and I very seldom if ever saw him absolutely angry.”

But there was more to Van Nort’s life than radio. He is survived by Renee Van Nort, his wife of 30 years. He was also father to Jennifer, Sarah, Ben and Summer, and a proud grandfather.

Van Nort was also a licensed pilot, a recent college graduate and an avid videographer.

“The one thing that people don’t know, maybe, or they’re not saying about him is he was really ornery. He was a really good prankster or practical joker, and he would get you if you weren’t careful,” Bowen said

Pete Van Nort was 66 years old.

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