I just found out that Bob Melton passed away...
by Ray Lindstrom
I saw Lloyd Melton, Bob's brother, as soon as he arrived at our 2017 Arizona Survivors Reunion.
I went up to him and the first thing I asked was, "Is Bob coming this year."
"No," Lloyd said in hushed tones, "He passed away last month. I lost my brother and best friend all at once."
I couldn't believe it. Bob was a tough guy, I thought he would live forever.
"I didn't hear a thing about it," I replied. "Was there an obituary or funeral announcement?"
"No. Bob and I had an agreement. Neither one of us were going to have an obituary or ceremony of any kind. Our ashes would be scattered in our favorite place, Hawaii. It was up to the survivor to make sure the deceased wishes were honored."
I appreciate Lloyd adhering to the promise he made his brother. But, I believe everybody should be remembered. So I am going to write a little about Bob, maybe not so much as he would be embarrassed by it, but enough so to show my appreciation for what he meant to me, personally.
Bob was born in Phoenix to a rather large family. He was good at sports, expecially baseball. He was so good that he was signed by the Cleveland Indians when he graduated from North High School. He was a catcher in B and C level ball in the minor leagues on 9 different teams. His best year was 1952 when he played 138 games for his hometown Phoenix Senators, batted .312 with 22 home runs. His knees finally gave out from being a catcher and his career ended in 1955 with the Tucson Cowboys.
He started selling radio advertising with KRUX and was very successful. He was creative and persistent. In the early 1960's he was named Sales Manager. Our paths crossed in 1965 when he hired me as a salesman on his 3 man staff. In the running at the same time for the one position was his brother Lloyd. He gave me the job and forever changed my life. I had been in Tucson at KTKT, KRUX's sister station. Now, I had moved up to the big time. On that sales staff were Monte Kobey, Tony Hirsch, and me. Soon Tony left and Bob hired his brother Lloyd.
I learned a lot about sales from Bob. After 3 years I left and joined the sales staff of KTAR-TV. Shortly after I left, Bob left KRUX, too. He and his good friend Jack Norris, co-owner of Marston Supply Co, bought the struggling Phoenix stations, KUPD AM and FM. They turned the FM into a rock giant in Phoenix. Lloyd joined him on the sales staff at KUPD.
Bob maintained a home in Hawaii. He spent much time there. He and I would have lunch when he was in Phoenix occasionally. He was always in good spirits and liked reminiscing about the "good old days at KRUX."
His wife Ann died in 2000. He is survived by his four children, Stephanie, Debra, Robert, and Thomas. He also leaves behind his long-time companion Norma Hein.
Thanks, Bob, for having the confidence in me, to bring this 23 year-old kid to Phoenix and teach him how to sell radio advertising.