DETROIT - Detroit radio legend Dick Purtan said farewell to the WOMC audience with a tear in his eye Friday morning.
Purtan spent the morning listening to some of the crew's favorite moments of the past 45 years. And in typical Purtan style he kept the audience laughing through it all.
He took calls from listeners that had memories and favorite moments of him and his show throughout the years.
He thanked his family, his coworkers of the past and present.
The room was filled with family whose eyes were filled with tears as he said his goodbye.
"But most of all I want to thank the love of my life, my wife, who always listened to me," said Purtan just moments after he said his goodbye. "Thank you, honey."
"It's time for me in what seems like a blink of an eye, to hang up the microphone," Purtan said into the microphone before he said Goodbye for the final time.
On February 11, Purtan announced he would be retiring.
He has worked in local radio for 45 years. He has hosted the morning show at WOMC since April 1996. He said he has loved the job with all his heart, but the passion is not there anymore.
Purtan, 73, said he and his wife, Gail, had decided over Christmas that it was the right time.
He said he is looking forward to throwing away the alarm clock.
He did joke that he was waiting to retire until the Detroit Lions won the Super Bowl, but he was getting tired of waiting.
Purtan's co-host and one of seven daughters, Jackie Purtan held back tears at the thought of not working with her father everyday.
"It's hard to see him go," said Jackie Purtan.
Jackie is one of six daughters to Purtan and his wife; Jennifer, Jill, JoAnne, Jessica and Julie and seven grandchildren.
When he was asked what it's like to be a legend in the community, he laughed and said, "It's like being old."
He is known for his on-air commitment to professionalism and his off-air commitment to his community.
"Detroit and southeast Michigan have always given back," Purtan said.
Purtan said he will never give up his charity work, but he plans on doing a bit less.
Purtan is heavily involved with the Salvation Army's Bed and Bread club, which helps feed and gives shelter to people in the community and provides assistance to get them back on their feet.
Over the years, Purtan's radiothons for the Salvation Army have raised more than $22 million for the organization.
In 2003, Dick was inducted into the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and in November 2004, he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago.
In April 2006, Dick was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasting Hall of Fame in Las Vegas.
Only one person in the radio industry is inducted each year.
Purtan has also had some courageous battles in his personal life. Purtan was diagnosed with prostate cancer over 15 years ago. He is now cancer-free. Although, it was just years later that his wife Gail was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Both of them were very vocal during their fight, in hopes of raising awareness about cancer.
The two formed the Purtan Family Ovarian Cancer Research Fund at Karmanos Cancer Institute and the Purtan Family Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation.
The two funds have raised more than a million dollars for research efforts.
Here is your chance to send Dick Purtan your well wishes.
He has set up a Web site to keep in touch with his friends and fans and
you can also Follow: Dick Purtan On Twitter
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