Greensboro loses legendary sports announcer and a man who was once known as, “The Voice of the City”

Posted by Andy Durham on January 25, 2014 at 5:44 pm under High School, Professional | 2 Comments to Read

Bill Ownbey was the public address for the old Greensboro Generals, the Greensboro Monarchs, the East-West All-Star High School Football Games and many more events…Bill was very much a part of the local golf fabric, having announced golf scores and reports on local radio since back when Sam Snead was just warming up to the GGO galleries…..Bill Ownbey was “The Voice of the City” on the old WKEW AM1400 radio and his voice was the official voixe of the station and of the ‘Gate City’….Bill is gone, but not forgotten and you can read more below, with his obituary from today’s Greensboro News and ReocrdBill Ownbey is a large part of Greensboro sports history……

from www.news-record.com:

WILLIAM OWNBEY GREENSBORO

Well-known Greensboro native, local businessman, and radio personality, William “Bill” Monroe Ownbey, 85, passed away peacefully January 23, 2014 at his home surrounded by his family.

He succumbed to kidney cancer after battling it for several months. His funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, January 27, 2014 in the Hanes-Lineberry N. Elm Funeral Chapel, followed by burial at Forest Lawn Cemetery. The family will visit with friends Sunday 5-7 p.m. at the Hanes-Lineberry N. Elm Funeral Home.

Bill was born October 31, 1928 in Greensboro, the youngest child of Juanita Sue Shepard and Dr. Arthur Dennis Ownbey and spent nearly his entire 85 years in Greensboro. As a young man, Bill graduated from Greensboro Senior High and Oak Ridge Military Institute, where he relished his duty as the “TAPS” trumpet player.

He joined the United States Army, served in WWII under General McArthur, and had the privilege of guarding 26 of the most feared Japanese war criminals including Hideki Tojo at Sugamo Prison. After receiving his honorable discharge from service, he married Ann Marie “Tootsie” Ridenhour in 1949.

His working career began at Mann’s Pharmacy in the O’Henry Hotel at the soda fountain before enlisting in the Army. After his return to Greensboro, he spent over 25 years as a part-time Deputy and Special Deputy with the Guilford County Sheriff’s department and proudly spent over 50 years as owner of Ownbey Rental Service.

He most enjoyed his part-time career as a radio announcer at WBIG, sitting in for Bob Poole’s morning radio show, and as a local sports announcer from the 1950s through the early 2000’s.

Bill was often referred to as “The Voice of The Generals and Carolina Monarchs” ice hockey teams from the 1950s through the 1980s, announced the ABA Carolina Cougars, and announced play-by-play coverage of the “GGO”, “GGCC”, Wyndham Championship, Planters Pat Bradley Classic, and Men’s and Women’s US Open golf tournaments at Pinehurst, for local radio stations. He also announced the East-West All-Star High School Football games for over 50 years.

Bill was a member of the Greensboro Elks Lodge #602 and served as Exalted Ruler, Trustee, Esteemed Loyal Knight, and as Chaplain, won the Thad Eure Award, the highest award in the North Carolina Ritual Competition. He was past president of the Greensboro Jaycee Old Timers, a member of the 100 Club, Carolina Golf Reporters Association, American Rental Association, and the NC Rental Association.

On line condolences may be made at www.haneslineberryfuneralhomes. com

Read full Bill Ownbey obituary from the News and Record on-line when you CLICK HERE….Bill was quite a character and will be remembered by all that heard him over the years….


  • Witness said,

    Khalil Vance (Dudley High School) #36 DE has committed to play football for the University of North Carolina at Pembroke after playing only 1 season for the panthers! The 6’2 237 pound senior was terror from his strong side defensive end position! Khalil recieved numerous accolades for his stellar season and seemed UNBLOCKABLE by most of his opponents! Vance became a focal point for opposing coaches on an already stacked defense. Congrats to Khalil! Well deserved for this great young man!

  • Gfan said,

    **Above certainly NOT the place for that post**

    I remember the voice of Bill on the air for years. Great, gentle man. Another local legend gone on before us. Prayers go out to his family.