MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A radio legend in West Virginia, known best on the Morgantown airwaves, has died. Lacy Neff, a former longtime air personality and program director for Morgantown’s WVAQ-FM, died Wednesday at the age of 49.
Since Nov. 2013, Neff had been a patient at Mass General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
Diagnosed with amyloidosis in 2013, a rare disease that builds up abnormal proteins in vital organs, Neff had spent the time since then in and out of hospitals. In his case, those abnormal proteins were attacking his heart. His initial diagnosis also included multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood cells.
He had a heart transplant and stem cell transplant among many other surgeries and medical procedures, but always kept a positive attitude.
“Lacy was one of the most upbeat and optimistic people you would ever meet. His positive attitude and joy of life lifted others up and inspired them to be better, in their lives and in their jobs,” said Hoppy Kercheval, MetroNews vice president of operations and host of MetroNews “Talkline.”
“He brought incredible energy to the radio station every day.”
Neff was first hired at WVAQ-FM as the nighttime DJ in 1987.
During his radio career that spanned decades, Neff won two national Marconi Awards, presented by the National Association of Broadcasters, for “Small Market Personality of the Year” and led West Virginia Radio Corporation to three Marconi Awards.
Every year from 2003 to 2007, the West Virginia Broadcasters Association named Neff “Best On-Air Personality.”
In 2014, Neff was inducted into the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
“It means everything,” he said at the time. “You never get into this business to win an award, but when they do come along it is kind of a reflection of a lot of hard work and the people who help get you there — the Hall of Fame is the pinnacle.”