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Thank You for Being a Friend

Colleagues share outpouring of love for Nancy Turner at the long-time host's retirement from Moody Radio
  • June 28, 2022

Moody Community Relations Director Roy Patterson leads a time of prayer for Nancy Turner (middle) during her retirement party from Moody Radio. Below, Nancy talks with Nancy Hastings, former executive director of the Moody Alumni Association, and is feted with "Retiremints" from Dan Craig, Moody Radio manager of programming. Photos by Bethanne T. Tremper

This is the second of a two-part story about long-time Moody Radio host Nancy Turner. Click here to read part one of Nancy Turner's story.

By Linda Piepenbrink

When Nancy Turner retired from Moody Radio in May, her colleagues in the industry wouldn't let the beloved host walk away without gathering together to celebrate the incredible legacy Nancy left in 16 years on the air at Moody and 34 years prior to Moody.

During a retirement party for Nancy on May 11 at the Chapman Center on Moody's Chicago campus, coworkers and friends shared stories and gratitude for Nancy’s profound influence in their lives and in the lives of the listeners she touched.

A party of appreciation

Ally Domercant thanked Nancy for encouraging her when she began cohosting WMBI Chicago’s Karl and Crew Mornings with Karl Clauson a few years ago.

“You looked at me, this naïve stay-at-home mom turned radio host who’d never done radio, and you’d pull me aside and you would speak such words of encouragement: ‘You can do it, you’re doing it,’” Ally said.

“For you to be able to speak into me and to help me believe that I really could do this crazy job that I was called to do, I really appreciated it.”

Chris Papendick, a senior producer who’s known Nancy since they worked for competing secular radio stations, said he switched to Moody Radio in 1997 after Nancy encouraged him to apply. “That’s why I’m here, and I just want to thank you,” he told Nancy.

‘You’re Nancy, and you’re their friend’

There are many listeners Nancy has never met whose hearts sank when they heard about her departure from Moody Radio. Jon Hemmer, who served as Nancy’s program director, told about a single mother at his church who battles mental health struggles and has appreciated hearing Nancy’s soothing voice on air.

“Your ministry has helped keep her going,” Jon said. “She tells me all the time, ‘Please, please, please give Nancy a hug for me.’”

Judy Kron said, “That’s the special connection that you have with people that you don’t know about. . . . You’re not being fake. You’re not just being a talent. You’re Nancy, and you’re their friend.”

Coworker and friend Joanna Kubiak read portions of Psalm 63, adding, “I’ve seen beauty pour out of her as she encourages—as we’ve all said, she encourages—and that depth has given her such compassion on the radio.”

Diana Berryman, who works on the WMBI morning show, described her special relationship with Nancy. “You are my forever sister. I can never thank God enough for bringing us together. The times that we've had—and we have shed tears and laughter and beautiful moments.”

Technically challenged?

Chris Segard joked about Nancy’s history of calling repeatedly for engineering help to operate her studio equipment. “Then COVID hit, and I did business with God right there in my office,” Chris said, wondering, “How are we going to support Nancy Turner at home?”

But after he set up a makeshift studio in Nancy’s home, she started broadcasting from there and it worked. She wasn’t even calling for extra help. “I’ve gotta say, Nancy, way to go. It’s like running a brand-new studio, and you did it!” Chris said. “You kept us on the air. All of your encouraging words we heard through COVID. Thank you.”

Thanks for keeping us sanitized

Moody Community Relations Director Roy Patterson, “a fan of Nancy Turner” who said he has been blessed by her sweetness, tenacity, and friendship, teased Nancy about her ritual of continually sanitizing her workspace, even pre-COVID, with a can or two of Lysol in her desk drawer.

“Eventually I just learned not to even go in her studio in Crowell 8,” he said with a laugh. “She would wipe down the headphones and wipe down the mic. But like everyone, I just can’t thank God enough for you. You really are somebody special.”

Roy then sang her a hymn, He’ll Understand and Say Well Done, before closing in prayer.

Nancy was overwhelmed by the well wishes of colleagues and friends at her retirement party, saying she was grateful to end her radio career at Moody.

“I’m so glad it was here at Moody with my family, with people who love the Lord, and wasn’t in the secular stations. God knew. It was the perfect place. Thank you.”