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Remembering Felipe Pérez


Northwest Ohio’s Latino community has lost a giant!  Felipe G. Pérez, age 79, of Findlay, Ohio, died at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 1, 2009, in Jacksonville, FL.  He was born in San Antonio, TX on May 19, 1930, to the late Gerardo and Carmen (Gonzáles) Pérez. 

Felipe Pérez


He married Herlinda “Linda” Casiano in 1953, and she survives in Findlay.  Felipe worked for the State of Ohio at the Migrant Rest Center in Liberty Center, OH where he retired in 1974.  A devoted catholic, Felipe was a member of St. Michael’s the Archangel Catholic Church, Findlay and was also a member of the Guadalupe Society in Findlay for ten years.


Among his contributions to the Latino community, Felipe had a long and distinguished career as a DJ of Latino music.  Many DJs cite Felipe as helping to lay the groundwork for Northwest Ohio’s Latino radio industry. 


One of the earliest Mexican DJs in the area, he started a radio career in 1966 with programs on WFIN.   More recently, Felipe was a known radio personality at WFOB in Fostoria, where he helped expand the listening pool.  He was well known for his distinct and likeable radio personality and for his sharp humor on the air. 


According to DJ Freddy “G” Gutiérrez of 1430AM: “He had a great sense of humor, he had a great radio personality, and was always ready to help or community.”  Similarly, DJ Jimmy Bejarano of WLEN discussed how Felipe was an inspiration to other DJs, “He set a good example for other DJs to look up to.  He had a great personality, style, and presence.”


Other DJs remember his knowledge of Mexican vernacular.  Long-time DJ Sylvester Durán said he often learned new words from Felipe and was impressed that he conducted his program in Spanish.  


Even if DJs did not have the opportunity to meet Felipe, they were still aware of his significance.  Lupe “the Doc” Moreno from www.TejanoFM stated that Felipe “opened the door for other DJs.”  According to Moreno, “Though I didn’t know him, I knew him as a DJ and I knew of his accomplishments.” 


And DJ Gerald Rosales of La Unica 88.1FM in Bowling Green remembers listening to Felipe’s show on Friday evenings when he was in his early teens.  As he recalled, “Mom would be fixing cena with the radio on.”  Little did he know that listening to Felipe would later influence him to become the Latino program director at WBGU.   


Felipe was also recognized in the broader Latino community for his work as a DJ. In 2003, he received an award from the Hispanic Awareness club of Fostoria, OH for his contributions to the Latino community for all the years in radio. He was also the recipient of the Annual Estrella Award or “Shining Star,” award at Terra Community College in 2004.


Rico Neller of La Prensa remembers Felipe’s active participation with the Midwest Tejano Music Awards, from 1991 to 1997. “He was one of a kind,” remarked Rico. 


Most of all Felipe was remembered as a fun-loving man with a great sense of humor and a heart of gold.  He enjoyed telling jokes and hitting all the garage sales and taking items to Texas for the less fortunate families. 


Felipe taught his children the value of family unity. He is survived by his wife, Herlinda Casiano and his seven children: Jerry(Sharon) Pérez, Diane  (Richard) Téllez both of North Baltimore, Phillip Pérez of Findlay, Yolanda (Jamie) Téllez of North Baltimore, Richard (Arlene) Pérez of Findlay, Norma (Todd) Sands of Jacksonville, FL and Daniel Pérez of Neptune Beach, FL.  One sister, Clara Herrera, 21 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren survive.  He was preceded in death by two sisters; Margarita Pérez, Andrea Uvalde and one grandson, Cory Pérez. 





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