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MARYSVILLE - Richard Kutan, 88, a longtime resident of Austintown, passed away peacefully late Friday evening, Dec. 5, 2014, at the Gables of Green Pastures in Marysville, after a long and fulfilling life.

A well-known local disc jockey and radio personality who was known professionally as “Johnny Kay,” Dick was born Oct. 14, 1926, in Youngstown, a son of the late Richard and Nellie Nicola Kutan, and lived in this area for much of his life, until moving to Marysville in 2012.

He was a 1944 graduate of The Rayen School and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Dick graduated from the Northwestern University Navy Radio School and the National Radio School of Cleveland, and subsequently worked for several radio stations around the country.

In 1961, he came home to the Youngstown area, and began working as a disc jockey at WHOT. In 1980, he became the program director for WFMJ, and retired in 1987. Much to the delight of his fans, Johnny Kay reentered the workforce in 1993, and hosted programs on WHOT, WNIO, and WSOM radio stations. He also hosted “Who’s News in Austintown” on cable TV public access Channel 19 in Austintown.

Dick was an active member and an elder of Tabernacle Evangelical Presbyterian Church, and was involved in moving the church from its downtown Youngstown location to its present location on South Raccoon Road in Austintown. During his “retirement” from broadcasting, he served on the staff of the church as Director of Lay Ministry. For many years he was overseer of the church food pantry and volunteered his time at the Rescue Mission. He was also co-chair of a church fund-raising project to construct a community all-purpose building that later became a reality.  

Dick leaves his beloved wife of 53 years, Shelley Fogel Kutan; four children, Robin (Troy) Wright of Marysville, Richard (Shawn) Kutan of Canfield, Terry Werner of Butler, Pa., and Charles (Cheryl) Kutan of Houston; eight grandchildren, Caila, Andrew, Jacob, Alannah, Danielle, Nathan, Douglas, and Chas; a niece, Paula Clarke; and a cousin, Jodie Lewis.

A brother, Norman Kutan and a sister, Louise Shank, are deceased.

Per Dick’s request, private funeral services were held. Interment with military honors took place at Green Haven Memorial Gardens.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Kinnick Funeral Home, 477 N. Meridian Road, Youngstown.

His family suggests that anyone wishing to make material contributions, do so by donating to the Alzheimer’s Association through

Richard’s family sends sincere thanks to all of Johnny Kay’s listeners for their loyalty and friendship throughout the years. “Thanks for the memories.”

Visit to view this obituary and to send condolences online to Dick’s family.

Guestbook Entries

“Johhny Kay was one of the reasons I got into radio...It was an incredible pleasure to know him...great talent and an even better man.”

 » Mark Levy on December 14, 2014

“Johnny became more then the program director, he became a friend. I will always remember his kindness...God has another wonderful voice in heaven. ”

 » Larry Jensen on December 19, 2014

“We miss you dearly, Johnny K. Radio is not what it was when you were there. Every time we hear SLEEP WALKING, we remember you signing off WSOM. God Bless.”

 » Richard & Marilyn Ramskugler on January 17, 2015

Johnny Kay's life spilled over in blessings!

“Johnny invited me to preach at an outdoor meeting at Austintown Fitch Football Stadium. We had a crowd nearly the size of the Billy Graham Associates' previous meeting with virtually NO advertising other than Johhny's promos on his radio show. Before the meeting started I was on the inside of the track praying. I noticed two men in wheelchairs on the other side of the track near the stands. I thought to myself, "I wonder what decision those men will make tonight?" During the invitation, one of the men named Jim rolled forward (or, was rolled) and made a decision to follow Christ. A few days later that man came to a seminar I was teaching, at Pleasant Valley Evangelical Church in Niles. Jim had been in the wheelchair nine (9) years due to TWO conditions: 1. He had been in an auto accident where a semi-trailer truck ran into him and broke his spine in several places; and, 2. He had Multiple Sclerosis. During the last day of the seminar Jim walked out of his wheelchair (for the first time in 9 years) during Holy Communion. Two years later, Jim gave his testimony in a large Presbyterian church somewhere in the area and several hundred people fell out of the seats under the power of the Holy Spirit. Thanks to Johnny Kay's life ... and the LORD working through him ... many other people have received God's blessings!”

 » Prince Handley on July 28, 2017

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