A Dothan ICON That Many Heard But Did Not See - Has Passed Away - LAURA MICHELLE PATERickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Aug 29 2017 8:52 PM
DOTHAN: A Dothan icon passed away this week. Many never knew what she looked like but thousands knew her voice. And many knew her heart.
Laura Michelle Pate passed this life last week after a brief sickness. She was known by literally thousands of people because she was the afternoon drive time voice on WOOF FM, 99.7.
For those who did not know Laura except by listening to her on the radio, Laura was as genuine in person as she was on the radio. That caring sweet personality was not one just when the mic button was on, it was the same when the mic button was off.
Laura was originally from Enterprise and graduated from Enterprise High School. Her grandparents lived in Dothan and spent a lot of time in Dothan.
Laura worked for Starship’s Records which changed to Liverpool Record’s and Tapes in Enterprise. The owner, Bill Goree, said "Laura was one of the great".
Laura loved old music like "The Beetles" and a huge fan of "The Journey".
People recognized Laura’s voice and talent. They told her she should be in the radio business.
At age 19, when AM was the dominant station and not FM, Laura started her career in the radio business. During that era many used stage names on the radio. But Laura, well she used her real name. On WOOF AM Laura played Rock-n-roll. She loved her job.
Laura moved to the Virgin Islands for three years. She then returned to the WOOF RADIO Family. Laura started the afternoon drive time in February 1989.
There has been NO ONE PERSON who has remained in the drive time for 28 1/2 years other than Laura Pate. And the listeners loved her.
Laura Pate ruled the afternoon drive time in this market.
Laura was a true and genuine person. She took many under her wing and "taught" them the radio business. Not just showed them what to do but she "taught" them what to do in the radio business.
Over the last several months when Laura was very sick her passion for her work continued. I am told that she was pump herself up to handle the break and literally collapse across the desk while the song was playing. But her drive, determination, ambition and dedication to her listeners made her press on.
In addition to the radio, a strong driving force of Laura Pate’s was animal rescue. She loved animals. Her porch was closed in and air conditioned with a pet door to care for the animals.
She was not a FACEBOOK fan. But she started one to have the animals adopted and cared for.
So in addition to her love for her audience in the radio business, her passion was "fur babies" - animals.
WOOF RADIO is owned and operated by Leigh Simpson. The staff of WOOF Radio, well they are a family. They all love and care for each other and their customers.
I have called that station at 10 PM at night and 6 AM in the morning and Leigh Simpson will answer the phone. She has created a work environment where everyone is a family.
The WOOF RADIO family is hurting right now. While they rejoice that Laura is "pain free", they are sad because a close family member has passed away.
And the audience family of WOOF Radio is sad. Because their family member since February 1989 has passed away.
Laura you were loved and will be missed.