Gil McCall, 83, on July 29, at Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake, BC. McCall was one of the original on-air personalities on CKCQ Quesnel, BC, joining Cariboo Broadcasters in 1958 after moving to the area from Edmonton. He was quickly promoted to program director and later station manager in 1979. McCall moved north to manage CJCI Prince George in 1982 and was recognized that same year with the B.C. Association of Broadcasters’ Roy Chapman Memorial Award as Broadcast Performer of the Year, one of the first small market broadcasters to receive the honour. In 1987, he moved again to CFFM-FM Williams Lake to both manage the station and take an on-air role. McCall retired from radio in the 1990s.
Gabe Khouth, 46, on July 23, of cardiac arrest in Port Moody, BC. Born in North Vancouver, Khouth and his brother Sam Vincent started acting in the 1980s as Vancouver’s film industry was taking off. Khouth was best known for his role as “Sneezy” on locally-shot ABC series Once Upon A Time, along with roles on Supernatural, MacGyver, Stephen King miniseries IT, and ABC TV movie Santa Baby, in addition to feature films like Ernest Goes To School. He was also an accomplished voice actor, lending his voice to animated series like Fruit Ninja, Hot Wheels: Battleforce 5, and Beyblade Burst. Khouth, who suffered from a congenital heart defect, died following a motorcycle crash in Port Moody.
Susan Woods (nee Fisher), 66, on July 20 in Victoria after a fight with cancer. Woods started her 30-year broadcasting career with BCTV Vancouver in 1974, moving over to News 1130 (CKWX-AM) as a reporter in 1976. She went on to report for CKVU-TV from 1982-89. In 1989, Woods moved to Victoria and became editor and publisher of the Fairfield Moss Rock Review. She also hosted and produced local history program “Remember When” for CFAX 1070 Victoria. Airing from 2003 to 2010, the show earned her a B.C. Heritage Preservation Communication Award, as well as a Victoria Woman of Distinction honour.
Rodney Merritt, 67, on July 15 in Yorkton. Merritt was a sales representative with CTV in Yorkton for nearly 40 years. Dedicated to both his clients and the community, Merritt earned several awards over the years, including inductions into the Yorkton Sports Hall of Fame and Canadian Broomball Hall of Fame. He was also a Canadian 9-ball billiards champion. Watch CTV’s tribute to Merritt here.
Leigh Kelk, 76, unexpectedly on July 17. After graduating from Ryerson University in 1964, Kelk embarked on a long career as a broadcast advertising executive. He started as a junior buyer for Ogilvie and Mather, moving on to work as a radio rep at Stoven Byles, then Stephens & Towndrow, and later Paul Mulvihill for many years. He wrapped up his career working in sales for Global TV, retiring to New Hampshire in the fall of 1999. He was married in 2000 to Linda, a former sales assistant at Stephens & Towndrow that he had kept in touch with over the years. Together, they owned and operated the American Plate Glass Company, until selling the business and returning to Toronto in 2013.
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