Mark "Hawkeye" Louis and Terry Dorsey way back in 1999, 11 years into a partnership that ended on Dec. 17.

Mark "Hawkeye" Louis and Terry Dorsey way back in 1999, 11 years into a partnership that ended on Dec. 17.

/DMN file photo


That's the word used over and over by those who knew Terry Dorsey, the longtime voice of Dallas-Fort Worth country-music radio, and are suddenly having to say their farewells. Stunned.

Dorsey, who retired only months ago following 34 years on local radio, died Saturday night at his farm in Illinois. He was 66. According to a tweet from his longtime co-host, Mark "Hawkeye" Louis, Dorsey died peacefully in his sleep.

"My heart is broken over the loss," Louis said via Twitter.

Louis and others say he hadn't been feeling well in recent days, but most thought it was just a winter cold, nothing to be concerned about.

Terry Dorsey

Terry Dorsey


"We were not expecting this," says "Trapper" John Morris, assistant program director at KSCS-FM and producer of Hawkeye and Dorsey in the Morning. Morris says Dorsey died of natural causes, according to his family.

"We're stunned," Morris says. "Hawkeye found out last night. I was at the gym this morning and got a text from someone that said, 'What's this I'm seeing on Facebook?' I was hoping someone had been hacked. But in the back of my mind it was like, 'Oh, no.'"

Dorsey retired on Dec. 17, and said he was moving to his Illinois farm to enjoy old age. Instead, tomorrow Hawkeye and Morris will spend the morning remembering their old friend.

"Tomorrow morning there will be a full-on tribute," says Morris, with calls and guests.

When he retired, Dorsey was easily among the most beloved and honored radio voices in Dallas-Fort Worth. The Cincinnati native collected every major award his industry had to offer, including Billboard's Local Radio Air Personality of the Year. In 2006 he was inducted into the Country Music On-Air Personality Hall of Fame.

Just month ago Dan Bennett, regional vice president and market manager for Cumulus Dallas/Houston, said that "Terry's contribution to Dallas/Fort Worth radio is monumental. He is an Iconic figure in our industry, and we are all better because Terry Dorsey was in it."

As Morris notes, Dorsey hasn't always been in perfect health. Just last year an article published by Methodist Health System cataloged his myriad ailments: "In addition to the blockage in his carotid artery," which had been causing him to black out, "he had a heart attack 23 years ago when he was 45 years old, prostate cancer 15 years ago, a small stroke five years ago, and esophageal cancer."

And "he'd beaten everything," Morris says.

Dorsey retired in December with very little fanfare. On Dec. 9, he went on the air and told his listeners he'd be leaving in about a week's time. Even his colleagues had little advance warning.

"After 47 years in the broadcasting business - and 33 of those years here in Dallas-Fort Worth, and 26 of those years being here at 96.3 KSCS - I say, with a lot of sadness and yet a lot of joy, I've decided it's time to step down," he said at the time. "I've decided to retire ... and turn the reins over to Hawkeye and Trapper here. We get up every morning at a quarter to 3, and I'm ready to sleep in just a little bit.

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