Ed Kasuba, 74, of Millville, a longtime reporter and South Jersey bureau chief at KYW Newsradio, died Sunday, Aug. 1, of heart failure at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Galloway Township.
Mr. Kasuba noted on Saturday, his family said, that it was five years ago to the day that his wife of 49 years, Donna Lee, died of cancer. He had a heart procedure in 2019 and entered the hospital two weeks ago after feeling ill.
Mr. Kasuba spent 33 years on the airwaves at KYW-AM (1060) and reported on 11 New Jersey governors, sports, and other big stories from Atlantic City to Cherry Hill.
His 1977 report on coach Dick Vermeil and the Eagles’ training camp, as heard on this audio clip (skip ahead to 15:19), features a clear voice and measured cadence that made for easy listening.
He served as a shop steward and president of the local chapter of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and left the radio station voluntarily in 2008 so others would not be laid off during company cutbacks.
David Madden, a longtime KYW colleague, said Mr. Kasuba was the “most giving person I ever met.”
As a reporter, “he knew how to work a source, which buttons to push,” Madden said. “He could tell a hard story but not hurt people who did not hurt themselves. He had a lot of empathy.”
Mr. Kasuba also worked from 2008 to 2012 as communications director for the Delaware River Port Authority, and taught journalism at Rowan University. He demanded accuracy and punctuality in students’ assignments.
In a Facebook tribute, Mr. Kasuba’s nephew, Brian Kelleher, called him “one of the most honorable people I’ve ever known” and recounted stories of their time together. “You brought more great memories into my life than I could ever count,” he wrote.
Greg Orlandini, an editor at KYW and South Jersey native, said he grew up listening to Mr. Kasuba on the radio and valued his mentorship when Orlandini was hired by the station in 2007.
“If it happened in South Jersey, Ed knew about it,” said Mark Abrams, a retired KYW reporter, editor, and anchor.
Mike DeNardo, a reporter at KYW, said Mr. Kasuba was adept at putting interview subjects at ease and describing live events. “He could paint a picture with words for his listeners,” DeNardo said.
Remembered by relatives for his love of family, charcoal grilling, his Catholic religion, swimming, and musical instruments, Mr. Kasuba left KYW in 2008 when it was apparent that others might lose their jobs if he did not retire. Even then, he saw both sides of the situation and voiced appreciation for CBS Radio in giving him a chance to act.
“Management did not have to do this,” Mr. Kasuba told The Inquirer in 2008. “They just as easily could have lopped off two people. By asking for volunteers, they did it as humanely as it could have been done.”
Born in Berwyn, Ill., 11 miles west of Chicago, on Nov. 20, 1946, Mr. Kasuba graduated from the University of Illinois-Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in communications, and married Donna Lee Brown in 1967. He worked at WOWO news/talk radio in Fort Wayne, Ind., before joining KYW in 1975.
He and his wife lived in West Deptford, Sicklerville, and Millville, and their daughters, Katherine and Kristine, grew up in Sicklerville.
A lover of the arts, Mr. Kasuba also was an Eagles season ticket holder. But he rarely cheered. When asked once by son-in-law Rocco Fucetola why he would clap and pump his fists in celebration but never yell himself hoarse, Mr. Kasuba said: “My voice is my job.”
He had a place in Brigantine but went to the beach only because his grandkids hung out there. He was Grand Knight for the Knights of Columbus Council 7774, and volunteered at Millville’s Levoy Theatre. He and his wife, who died in 2016, often went to movies and Mass together.
In addition to his daughters, son-in-law, and nephew, Mr. Kasuba is survived by a brother, Mike; six grandchildren; and other relatives. He and his fiancée, Mary Haskell, were to be married in January.
Viewings are scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 4, from 6-9 p.m., and Thursday, Aug. 5, from 10-11 a.m. at Christ the Redeemer Parish, 318 Carl Hasselhan Dr., Atco, N.J. 08004. A Funeral Mass and burial in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Cedar Brook, are to follow on Thursday.
Donations in his name may be made to Christ the Redeemer Parish and the Knights of Columbus Council 7774, PO Box 129, Cedar Brook, N.J. 08018.