Ron Vigue passes

This remembrance of Ron Vigue is a contribution from Cheri Russo, Community Engagement Manager for WOUB Public Media in Athens, OH. WOUB is a member station of both PBS and NPR serving 55 counties throughout southeastern Ohio, western West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. A version of this article appeared earlier on their web site. We appreciate them allowing us to share it with our readers.

WOUB Radio is remembering one of its most dedicated bluegrass volunteers who passed away in April. Ron Vigue was 85 years old. He was a volunteer DJ on WOUB FM’s D28 + 5 radio program for more than 20 years, and was an avid promoter of bluegrass music.

“I was really saddened to hear of Ron’s passing,” said WOUB Director of Radio Rusty Smith. “In addition to being a bluegrass host and community volunteer at WOUB, he was also a good friend. We had some adventures.”

Vigue was born May 18, 1934 in Norfolk, New York. He was an army veteran and served as mayor of Junction City. He was also a member of Whitey’s Wonders Square Dance Band. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Patricia Vigue, and children: Ron, Mike, and Marie.

In letters written to WOUB staff after his passing, Vigue’s son Mike talked about how important WOUB and D28 + 5 were to his dad.

“He loved doing the D28 + 5 show,” said Mike Vigue. “So to honor his memory, I’m donating to 91.3. Keep the bluegrass coming.”

Band Promoter Stacey Wright met Ron in 2013 when she started as a booking agent for the Kentucky bluegrass Kevin Prater Band and scheduled the band to appear on D28 + 5. 

“Meeting Ron was like meeting your favorite old shoe,” said Wright. “You wanted to put in on and keep it on forever.”

Kevin Prater posted on Facebook about Vigue’s passing. “He was the one that you couldn’t wait to just sit and have a good conversation with about anything. Yes, he supported me and my band very much, but he was a great friend,” wrote Prater. “Ohio has lost a great radio personality, but the people have lost a great man. Rest easy my friend, and I look forward to seeing you on the other side so we can have our talks about whatever.”

Wright says Vigue’s passion for bluegrass music was contagious and he did everything he could to make others aware of the music.

“First in his life was family, then bluegrass, then eating. He loved good food, always having time to visit with a friend,” said Wright. “Bluegrass meant the world to him. When I learned he passed away, I was heartbroken. It absolutely devastated me. I was losing my bluegrass father.”

About D28 + 5

On Sunday afternoons from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., a rotating group of staff and community volunteers present bluegrass on D28 + 5. The program’s name is a nod to the Martin D28 guitar paired with a 5-string banjo to form the foundation of bluegrass.