Ruth U. “Dene” Wagner Pellegrinon

Published 4:07 pm Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ruth U. “Dene” Wagner Pellegrinon of Tryon, NC  passed away on Monday, June 26, 2017, at SmithPhayer Hospice House in Landrum, South Carolina.   A native of New Boston, Ohio, she was the daughter of the late William G. and Alberta E. Dutiel, who proceeded her in death, as did her younger sister, Betty Jean Dutiel Burnside Rader.  
Dene started her career in radio at WPAY in Portsmouth, Ohio in 1939 – first, with a weekly singing program and eventually as a full-time staff member.  In 1946, she married the boss – Station Manager, Paul Wagner.  Their radio careers took them to Columbus, Indiana… Middletown, New York… Cincinnati, Ohio…. San Juan, Puerto Rico… and then back to Cincinnati, where their daughter Lynn was born in 1958. 
The family moved to Gallipolis, Ohio when they purchased the local radio stations WJEH AM & FM in 1967.  Dene started a daily 30-minute talk show, “The Chatterbox”, which she continued to do for 31 years.  Dene interviewed everyone from local politicians to state governors to national and local celebrities.  
She carried on her involvement in the community through personal tragedies… the deaths of both of her parents, husband Paul’s death in 1980, … and through all the major changes in her life, including her marriage to former high school sweetheart, Homer Pellegrinon, in 1982.  Homer was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease in 1985 and Dene cared for him at their home until his death in 1995.  Her sister, Betty, died in 1997.  In 2007, Dene was inducted into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame…. In 2009, she moved to Tryon, North Carolina to be with Lynn and her husband Eric Turner, who survive her.
Dene immediately became involved in the community… as a regular volunteer at St. Luke’s Hospital Thrift Shop in Tryon as well as a participant in the Community Chorus, and a member of Tryon United Methodist Church.  She even did an online talk show, called “Voices of Our Foothills”, in conjunction with local newspaper The Tryon Daily Bulletin. 
In addition to daughter, Lynn and son-in-law Eric, Dene is survived by 2 nephews: Randy (Sue) Burnside of Jeffersonville, Ohio and Joe (Linda) Burnside of Wheelersburg, Ohio… their respective children and grandchildren.
In accordance with her wishes, a celebration of her life will take place in Gallipolis, Ohio at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Smith-Phayer Hospice House in Landrum, SC.
Condolences can be made to the family at
Sanders Funeral and Cremation Service
Columbus, N.C.

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