Christopher Larko, 51, long-time Northeast Indiana radio personality and radio station owner, died Friday, Feb. 19, 2010 after an 11-month battle with cancer. He was born in Fort Wayne on May 30, 1958 to Arthur Lawrence Larko and Roberta Louise (Brodbeck) Larko.
Chris was founder and President of Larko Communications, Inc., which owns WMYQ-FM 101.1 and WBZQ-AM 1300. He began his radio career at age 15, working for area stations including WLYV, WAFX, WLKI, WHUZ, and WAJI, as well as stations in Wheeling, West Virginia and Fort Walton Beach, Florida. While at WAFX in 1984, he produced and engineered a Peabody Award-winning radio documentary entitled D-Day: 40 Years Later.
In the 1980’s he owned and operated a popular mobile DJ business, Dancemusic, and established Audio Masters and Chris Larko Productions, which provided audio production services to area and national businesses and advertising agencies. In addition, he often advised radio stations throughout Michigan and Indiana on issues of engineering and programming.
His dream, however, had always been to own a radio station. He got his opportunity in 1992 when he obtained the license for a newly-allocated frequency and went on the air with Q101 (originally WLZQ-FM, now My Q101, WMYQ-FM), broadcasting to Kosciusko, Whitley, Wabash and Huntington counties. In 1998 he acquired WBZQ-AM 1300 (Oldies 1300) in Huntington. An avid Chicago Cubs fan, Chris proudly signed Oldies 1300 to the Chicago Cubs Radio Network in 2002 as the sole broadcasting affiliate for northeastern Indiana.
Chris is survived by his fiancé Kelli Richards, Fort Wayne; daughter Jennifer Larko, Fort Wayne; longtime family friend Susan Derr, Fort Wayne; half-brothers, Lee (Carolyn) Larko, Georgia, and Beaudine (Michelle) Larko, Florida; half-sister Teri Larko Rametta, Florida; and his father. He was preceded in death by his mother and grandparents.
Calling hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday with a brief prayer at 2 p.m. at D.O. McComb and Sons Lakeside Park Funeral Home, 1140 Lake Avenue with a Graveside service following at Greenlawn Memorial Park Cemetery. To sign the online guest book, go to www.mccombandsons.com.