On Wednesday, Woody Durham, the radio voice for the University of North Carolina “Tar Heels”, passed away at age 76. The radio announcer was diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia, a brain disorder that affects speech, in 2016. He passed away peacefully on Tuesday night, according to his family.
Durham was married with two children. Read on to learn more about them.
1. He Married His Wife After Graduating from UNC in 1963
Woody was married to his wife, Jean, for 54 years.
The two met through a regional-debate when they were just teenagers. Speaking about her husband to Our State in 2010, Jean said, “Woody’s always had this burning about everything… He has a smoldering fire about everything he does. Reading a book, golf, eating dinner, drinking a glass of wine. Everything.”
After marrying, the couple moved to Greensboro and Woody took a job at a local TV station. They later moved to Cary, and when their son Taylor was in high school, they moved once again, this time to Chapel Hill.
Jean shared with the Our State, “He is the perfect example of the father that shows it’s not the amount of time you give your family, it’s the quality of that time. I can still see him coming in from a trip at 2 or 3 in the morning and getting up and playing with the boys at 7 in the morning.”
2. His Son Wes Is the Play-By-Play Radio Voice for the Atlanta Falcons
Wes works as the radio voice for the Atlanta Falcons and broadcasts college football and basketball for Raycom Sports, and Fox, according to Scout.com.
From 1995 through 2010, he worked as the play-by-play announcer for the Georgia Tech football and men’s basketball teams. He continued to announce these games through 2013.
Wes and his wife, Lynn, currently, live in Atlanta.
3. His Son Taylor Is a Radio Announcer for the Elon Phoenix
Taylor, Woody’s youngest son, is the play-by-play announcer for Elon University. Last June, the Director of Athletics, Dave Blank, said of Taylor, “Taylor is a true professional and we’re thrilled to have him move into the play-by-play role this upcoming season… Additionally, we couldn’t be more excited to add Matt Krause to the mix on our football broadcasts.”
4. He Has Two Grandchildren
Durham and his wife have two grandchildren; twins Will and Emily. The two are now teenagers, but according to a 2016 article in Technique Sports, “Georgia Tech” and “Go Jackets” were among the twins’ first words.
In an old interview with the outlet, Wes said, “Oh, they love Buzz. They think Buzz is the greatest thing ever known. If it comes down to going with daddy or going with Buzz, they’re going with Buzz.”
Will one of the twins go into broadcasting one day, and make radio announcing a three-generation legacy? Wes says, “I think it would be neat. I think that if one of our kids wanted to get involved in it, that would be great.
Wes worked for a radio station in high school and went on to study at Elon College. After graduating in 1998, he went on to work in broadcasting gat Marshall University, which is where he met his wife, Lynn.
5. Woody Wrote Jean Letters Every Single Day While They Were Long-Distance
Jean and Woody met in 1957, when Woody was just 16. When they first met, they dated long distance. Woody was in Albemarle, North Carolina, and Jean was in Winston-Salem. Jean shares with the News Observer that Woody would write her letters every single day for six years until they officially tied the knot.
Speaking of dealing with Woody’s neurological disorder with the outlet before Woody’s passing, Jean said, “He talks, but it’s quiet. Really quiet. That’s the sad thing. I can handle everything else. It’s just – he’s there. But it’s different… It is the same person, but it’s not, you know?”
Up until his death, Woody and Jean were regulars at the UNC coaches’ shows, which Woody used to host.