A Tribute to Donna Fowler Harrison

In radio, tone is everything. The way we sound invites people to listen. It allows our audience to relate to us, to engage with us in a unique way.

You might think that the tone of our station is set by the on-air talent, but it goes deeper than that. Our conversations, our transitions, our commercials, our promotions—all of these things establish our tone on a daily basis. Someone has to make sure that those elements work together to make us sound as good as we can sound.

At The Roar, Donna Fowler Harrison did that for us. She was our tone-setter.

Eight years ago, Donna joined our family with one all-encompassing goal in mind. She came to make us better, and she did, in more ways than you can imagine. Her decades of expertise in the radio industry gave her a keen ear for quality sound. Quite a few of our commercials featured Donna’s voice. She handled many of the behind-the-scenes tasks that no one outside of the four walls of our studio would ever think of, like setting our commercial schedules or producing our show opens or being a liaison of sorts between the sales staff and the on-air folks.

She was great at her job. Truly great.

But she wasn’t just the tone-setter for our product. Day after day, she set the tone within our building, as well.

Donna loved to work. She worked hard, so hard that it raised the bar for the rest of us. She knew exactly when to dole out compliments and exactly how to make suggestions. She was direct, but kind; serious, but quick-witted; driven, but patient. She helped us all love what we did just a little bit more by engaging with us and by taking on stress so that the rest of us didn’t have to do it.

But it didn’t stop there—and this is where the words get harder to write. Donna cheered for us as people. She cared about us deeply, more deeply than she cared about the work we did together. She wanted us to be successful people and spurred us on to accomplish our personal goals. It isn’t uncommon to hear an organization talk about being a family, but Donna embodied that principle as well as a person can.

We knew how much her family meant to her because she shared that part of her life with us. She loved her husband. She loved her children. She loved her grandchildren. She loved being a wife, and mother, and grandmother. We love her family now because she allowed us to share the joys and pains of their lives with her.

We watched as Donna lived out her faith in her daily life. Hers was a deep, abiding faith that drove her to serve her neighbors and love the least of these with the kind of zeal and passion to which we should all aspire. Even as she battled cancer, she continued to seek out ways to care for the needs of other. The way she lived out her faith, the way she talked about it with us, the way she put her hands and feet to work in service to her God—those are things we will all miss.

Donna is now free from struggle. She is free from pain. She is free from disease, free from cancer, free from the burdens of this life. We miss her every single day, but she lives within our hearts. Her words stick in our minds. Her example motivates us to continue to live up to her expectations of us.

She may be gone, but her voice remains. Every show, every ad, every promo, every interview, every phone call, every rejoin, every segment—it’s all Donna’s voice. Our sound is her legacy.

The next time you feel thankful for something you heard on The Roar, before you reach out to thank us, close your eyes and thank Donna first. After all, she set the tone.

Rest in peace, Donna.

Love,

Your Roar Family