GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Longtime West Michigan radio personality Connie Kellie of the Connie & Fish Morning Show on Mix 95.7 (WLHT) has passed away after a short battle with liver cancer.
Kellie died Monday, Jan. 4, at 2:18pm according to her longtime co-host, Fish Calloway.
"Over 25 years ago, this incredible, smart and strong woman allowed me the opportunity to be a part of her radio career. Our journey will not only be with those who were touched by her immense talent, but engraved in my heart. Thank you, Connie, for this adventure. I look forward to the day we meet again," said Calloway in a statement.
FOX 17 had the chance to sit down with Calloway on Tuesday following the first on-air show since Kellie's passing.
Calloway spent the past few months helping Kellie and her family navigate the disease after she was diagnosed in September.
He said "In less than four months, this deadly terrible disease just ravaged through her body.”
By October, 2020, Kellie learned her cancer had reached stage 4. That would also be the last month she'd call in to her own show to leave a message with her listeners.
During that message, Kellie said in part "I love you guys and I love our listeners and I just feel that, I consider myself lucky that I get to say 'goodbye' to everybody and I get to have time to tell everybody how much they mean to me.”
Kellie's decades in radio earned her the Alliance of Women in Media ‘Gracie Award’ in 2019. It's an honor Calloway said is just a small part of her legacy.
"She broke barriers for women, she really did,” he said, "It was a different time when she started broadcasting. It was rare that every market she went to, she was the first woman to headline the show."
Beyond all of that, Calloway said that her kindness was unmatched.
“Connie was a strong, powerful, independent,feisty, beautiful woman. A beautiful human.”
Calloway went on to say that Kellie had the ability to reach people without even trying.
"We had a woman call today and her child gets picked on because of her deep voice, the kid does, and then she heard Connie. Connie had a very deep, boisterous, powerful voice, and she heard Connie and it motivated her and now she’s like the lead singer in her choir," Calloway said.
As their show officially moves forward without half of the team, Calloway said that Kellie's spirit remains.
"She truly loved, loved people and really just wanted people to be happy," he said.
Townsquare Media said Kellie joined the team in 2012, and was the driving force behind such causes as Connie & Fish’s Christmas Kids and the station’s efforts to support the Susan G. Komen 'More Than Pink Walk.' She was also known for her infectious laugh.
The station has posted a tribute to Kellie online. You can view it here.
Remembrances for Kellie will continue on air on the Mix 95.7 throughout the week.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Kellie is survived by her husband, Dan, and longtime on-air partner Fish Calloway.