Farewell to a Friend: RD Summers passes

I was driving home when I got the call. RD Summers, long time host of the Sunday Night Oldies Diner passed away suddenly in his sleep.

I guess if you have to go that's not a bad way.

Tom (RD to most) was a good friend. I spent four years producing the oldies show on 3ws with him. He gave me a chance to learn radio. Many of the songs you would hear came from our own collections that we would lug into the station every weekend. My father took over producing for awhile when I left the station. I remember hanging out backstage with RD at the Root of Rock and Roll shows surrounded by the who's who of oldies. Tom was even in my wedding party and while I didn't see much of him in the later years he was always a good friend.

My deepest sympathy goes out to his Mother and family and the Pittsburgh oldies fans who knew and loved him.

We always had fun and you will be missed Tom. I raise a Black Velvet and Coke to you.

Thomas L. Renkenberger, 60, of Virginia Ave., Rochester, passed away Sunday, February 15, 2009, peacefully in his sleep.

He was born January 12, 1949, in Rochester, and was the son of Lenora Chambers Rubeis and the late Thomas F. Renkenberger. He was a well known DJ going by Rinky Dink and RD Summers and worked for 3WS.

In addition to his mother, he is survived by a sister, Marie 'Mimi' Hinzy, Rochester Township; a niece, Kerry, a number of aunts and uncles, including Juanita Webb and Mr. and Mrs. Pete Chambers, Brighton Township, numerous cousins, including special cousins Sue and Gary Matsook, and many friends.

Friends will be received Tuesday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. in the TODD FUNERAL HOME, 340 Third St., Beaver, where a funeral service will be conducted Wednesday at 11 a.m. by Rev. Gary Wackler of the First Christian Church of Beaver, officiating.

Interment will be in Beaver Cemetery.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tom, Rinky Dink, RD Summers was my first contact to the world of entertainment by music. He inspired me to begin a 32 year journey that goes on to this day and has taken me to the summits of working on the radio in New York, LA, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, Miami, Houston, Minneapolis, Jacksonville, Tampa, and many other cities. I'm still 'spinning the hits', and programming radio after all these years, thanks to the inspiring show Tom did as a mobile dj pioneer on that one particular night in 1970 at my high school when I looked over his equipment and said to him "You get PAID to do this?? Well i've just found my lifetime job!" And it was that simple. Through the years we always stayed in touch, and he remained a good advisor and someone that helped me through some difficult times. At one point he wanted to re-enter radio and we discussed his name Rinky Dink...he thought that it needed an update, and I said "why don't you just call yourself "R.D.?" and he liked that but still wanted a last name. He called me back a few days later and said...you know, you used to be Cat Summers on the air...I always liked the sound of that, would you mind if I called myself RD Summers? So that's where Summers came from. He loved his radio career, and spoke passionately about his Diner shows. He loved his listeners and if you ever met him, you saw the twinkle in his eye when he greeted you. He loved everyone he met.
But most of all, he loved his mother. I know it was a special relationship. My heart goes out to her and his family, and with great sadness I bow my head to the man who was my greatest mentor of all;
Tom Renkenberger