WLLR radio host Bo J. Spates passes away

A host from local country radio station WLLR has passed away.

According to the station's Facebook page, Bo J. Spates died in his sleep sometime during the night of June 9 into Sunday. He was 57 years old.

His sudden death shocked and saddened many in the Quad Cities, where Spates had been a longtime radio voice.

"He's absolute guy next door. I think that was a big part of his appeal to the Quad Cities and the WLLR audience," said Jim O'Hara, Senior Vice President for Programming with iHeartMedia in the Quad Cities, the company that owns WLLR.

"He worried about the same things, he loved the same things," he said.

WLLR paid tribute to Spates on Monday, June 10, during his 1 PM - 6 OM DJ time slot. 

On the air and on WLLR's Facebook page, many expressed their shock and sadness.

"I really want to listen this afternoon but I don’t want to be crying at work," wrote Stefani Kelsey.

"I am heartbroken for his family and the WLLR family and for all of us who enjoyed his humor and infectious laugh," wrote Sheila Howell.

O'Hara said people would listen at home, on their commute or at work, and "life was normal because Bo J. was on the radio."

Spates often spoke of his daughter Charly on the air. His colleagues at iHeartMedia in the Quad Cities have set up a GoFundMe page to help with her future college expenses.

Funeral arrangements for Bo J. Spates are handled by Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory in Rock Island. Visitation is on Thursday, June 13 from  4-7 PM. Services are at 10 AM on Friday, June 14.
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