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Released December 19, 2003

By David Tisdale

HATTIESBURG - Dr. Robert Cade, a retired faculty member of The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Radio, Television and Film, died Thursday at Oschner Medical Center in New Orleans. He was 67.

A native of Newton, Mass., Cade taught at Southern Miss for more than 20 years, beginning in the mid-1970s. In addition to his work as a professor in the department, Cade at one time managed the university's radio station, WUSM-FM.

Cade was also a popular media figure in the Hattiesburg area for his role as "Engineer Bob" on the children's television variety show by the same name, which was broadcast on WDAM-TV from 1959-1969.

Randy Swan, news director at WDAM-TV in Hattiesburg, said Cade's television show made a lasting impression on him as a young man and on a generation of other area residents. "His show was one of the first live shows produced at WDAM. He was just a jovial fellow that all the kids loved," said Swan, a Hattiesburg native. "I still run into people who, 40 years later, still remember that show and what an impression he made on them."

"Bob and I were friends and colleagues for more than 30 years," said Dr. Gene Wiggins, professor and director of graduate studies in the Southern Miss School of Mass Communication and Journalism. "He cared for his students and would spend many extra hours outside the classroom working with them. He will be missed."

Jeff Rassier, program manager at WUSM-FM, the university's radio station, was one of Cade's former students. "I've known Bob for 20 years, and he was the most likeable professor I was ever fortunate to study under," he said.

"He would share with his students his experience working in the field of television through stories of his time at WDAM," said Jane Collins of Long Beach, another of Cade's former students. "He was just a great guy."

Survivors include his wife, Dr. Ruth Ann Cade; two daughters, Alice Ferguson of Breaux Bridge, La., and Kathy Swan of Purvis; and a sister, Diana Gibney of Sarasota, Fla.

Visitation is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 19, at Hulett-Winstead Funeral Home in Hattiesburg, with interment scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 20, at 10 a.m. in Glenwood Cemetery in Yazoo City.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM