Cincinnati Public Radio

Remembering Kevin Rowinski:

Kevin's responsibilities included serving as the audio engineer for many interviews for Around Cincinnati and other WVXU productions. Several of the station's volunteer contributors and staff members recorded these remembrances. Produced by Lee Hay.

With heavy hearts Cincinnati Public Radio mourns the passing of our friend and colleague Kevin Rowinski.

Kevin's audio production work was broadcast on both WVXU and WGUC and he was one of the local voices heard evenings and weekends on 91.7.

Kevin was generous with his time, dedicated to his job and caring in nature. A fan of the Cleveland Indians, Xavier Musketeers and Cincinnati Reds, he was always ready to discuss his favorite players and the latest game.

We miss his smile and his friendship and express our deepest sympathies to his family, joining in their sorrow.

Kevin came to Cincinnati Public Radio following the purchase of WVXU from Xavier University. He had been working for the station since starting there as a student.

Kevin Rowinski passed away on Tuesday, April 19, 2016. Kevin was the beloved son of Gary and Kathleen Rowinski and dear brother of Debbie and Brian.


As a teacher and colleague of Kevin, I was always impressed with his positive outlook, "can do" attitude, and his dedication to the task at hand. As a student, he was committed and eager to learn and tackle new challenges. I was pleased that he came to work at WVXU, and his work at 91.7 has touched countless thousands of listeners. Kevin remains in our hearts, and no one or nothing can take away the memory of his smile, his work ethic, and the joy that he found in far too short a life and the strength he continues to provide to all of us. All of us who knew him have all been elevated by his being part of our lives.

George Zahn - WMKV Radio

Kevin Rowinski was one of the most optimistic and kind people I know. When I first started working at CPR, he was one of the first to go out of his way to find me in my office and introduce himself. After that, he regularly would drop by in the afternoons to chat about some of the interests we both had in common including Pleasant Ridge Chili and the Marx Brothers. He always took the extra step to help me when needed and was a joy to work with. I will miss his presence around CPR as a co-worker, and I will miss him in life as a friend.

Jessica Lorey

Kevin always impressed me with the dedication with which he did his job. His was not an easy schedule because it involved being at the station on the weekends and, in the last year or so, evenings too. He never complained. And, you could always count on him. He made it a point to stop by my office regularly to keep me up to date on what he was working on and the production tasks he had completed. I never saw him in a bad mood or unwilling to help wherever he could. He knew his sports and enjoyed talking about a wide variety of teams. His collection of t-shirts told us all of his allegiances to the Indians, the Musketeers, the Reds and more. I recently asked him which team was his favorite and it was no surprise that the Indians were at the top of his list. He also wore his "station logo wear" proudly. We have missed his presence these last few months and I'm heartbroken that we are not going to be welcoming him back as we have been waiting to do.

Chris Phelps

I've depended on the expertise and kindness of radio engineers since 1973—my first year working in radio, when I was still in college. Kevin Rowinski exemplified the best in that rare and vanishing breed. Though we didn't work together often, when Kevin would stand in for Bruce Ellis it was smooth sailing. Radio engineers are unsung and vital—those of us who sit in the studio talking to just a microphone welcome the knowledge that there is a real person listening and caring enough to help us correct our mistakes. Kevin was always upbeat and he had that valued ability to put the announcer at ease with just the right blend of humor and patience. I will miss his gentle laugh and smile.

Evans Mirageas - The Harry T. Wilks Artistic Director, Cincinnati Opera

My Pal K-Ro.

"Hey Kevin, want to go to a ballgame?" I would ask.
"Of course!" was always the answer.

No one could keep score and hold a conversation at the same time as he did.
With a scorebook dating back to when he was a kid in hand, Kevin was a true baseball fan.
He'd root for the Reds, his adopted team, but he was a Cleveland fan in his heart. We'd share stories about games, seasons, players and feats that occurred well before either of us were born, almost as if we had witnessed it ourselves.

He was a gem...

He also re-defined kindness and thoughtfulness. He would always ask about you. "How are you doing?" "Can I help you with anything?" And, "Tell me what you're doing this weekend."

In the studios, Kevin always made himself available.  This past year, we had a trustee of a foundation visiting, and he had brought his little granddaughter for a tour of studios. I brought them into Studio B so that the pair could pretend to interview each other. Kevin quietly, and without being asked, recorded the inter-generational conversation. Within an hour, he had edited two copies for me to give to each of them as a surprise. He understood the importance of what we had just witnessed. It was beautiful.

One of the last times I saw him, he apologized profusely for not being able to attend my dance competition. "You're gonna  do great," he said with a smile. So, I danced my solo for him in his hospital room, to which he commented with a big smile, "See, I was right!"

Kevin, I appreciate people and experiences more now thanks to you. Our mutual friend Howard summed up our love for Kevin best when he left a ticket under the name "Kevin Rowinski" at the ballpark will call the day after Kevin's passing.

I will be doing the same in May when Cleveland comes to town.

Conrad Theide

It's hard to think about Kevin without thinking about baseball.  As a fellow Cleveland native, I shared his enthusiasm for the Indians and the Reds.  We also shared northern Ohio stories. 

My favorite story about Kevin is how he came to my aid a few years back.  I was in the process of preparing some stories for an awards' competition.  It was the old days, we had to put them all on separate CD's so we could send them out to be judged.  I came in on a Saturday to try to sort through it all.  Kevin was working that day and offered to help.  He took what would have been hours and hours of work for me and just got it all done in an hour or two, handed them all over to me -- labeled and ready to go.  He so saved the day. 

He did that on many occasions.  He was often on  the board on the weekends when news would break.  I'd call him frantically shouting all sorts of directions at once.  He handled it well and didn't let all of the urgency shake his calm.   

I will miss his kindness, his voice and his friendship.

Maryanne Zeleznik

I can't tell you how many times I sat in the studio with K-Row's face on the other side of the glass watching and listening while recording the interview. We spent an enormous amount of time together in the studio. I started calling him K-Row to distinguish him from the other Kevin we work with and he loved the nickname. He was an astute sports fan and we had many spirited debates about this game or that player. He is already greatly missed.

Mark Perzel

As a co-worker, K-Row was extremely diligent and thorough - and always willing to chip in to do more whenever it was needed. However, I'll always remember Kevin's wit and humor. He and I shared a love or MST3K, especially Manos: Hands of Fate. As Torgo would say, "He has left this world, but he is with us always. No matter where we go he is with us."

Jim Nolan

There was hardly a time when I walked by Kevin's office that I didn't stick my head in the door to talk about our favorite subject – baseball... I will miss that. Kevin was unrelentingly cheerful, a good-natured person whom others were just naturally attracted to. I'm proud to call him my friend. God rest his soul.

Howard Wilkinson

Kevin always had a smile and something nice to say. He especially could talk your ear off about sports. He worked hard and his passing has left a void at the stations. He had a beautiful soul and he is profoundly missed.

Tana Weingartner

For more than a decade I had the pleasure of working with Kevin. I will miss him. What I liked most was his positive attitude and willingness to help. I never heard him say an unkind word about anyone. He would come into the studio frequently and we would talk baseball. His adopted team was the Reds, but his heart remained with the Indians since he was from Cleveland. He had an incredibly brave attitude about his illness and knew God would be with him.

Ann Thompson

It's hard to imagine working here and not having Kevin around. He's been here the 10+ years I have, though he was with WVXU when it was still at Xavier. We had the rare distinction of both being Kevin R's, which meant many inadvertent emails from our co-workers when they used autofill and didn't check to see which Kevin R came up. It took me no time at all to realize when this happened because Kevin handled audio and technical things, meaning I didn't even know how to interpret what I was reading.

During the years that Cincinnati Edition was a prerecorded weekend show, Kevin would handle the board each Friday morning for segments I produced with Betsy Ross and Chris DeSimio. While we would await Chris' arrival, especially during baseball season, we figured that a reference (from the avowed Dodgers fan) to the "Cincinnati Communists" would be forthcoming, and we were rarely wrong.

Kevin worked some crazy hours, handled a multitude of audio tasks, was always available when we had guests visiting the studios, and always had a smile on his face. He will be missed and my heart breaks for his family.

Kevin Reynolds

While Kevin wasn't our usual recording engineer, he often came to the rescue when we had a last-minute request or an unexpected scheduling change. He was always a pleasure to work with: calm, easy-going, and always wearing a steady, quiet smile. I'll miss working with him. I'm joined by Evans Mirageas and the rest of the Cincinnati Opera team in offering Cincinnati Public Radio our sincere condolences on the loss of a valued colleague.

Ashley Tongret - Cincinnati Opera

Kevin was a great person to work with and a good friend as well. I don't ever recall seeing him have a bad day; he was always cheerful and optimistic. And it was always fun to talk sports with him. I had many a conversation with Kevin about Xavier basketball, the Bengals, the Browns, the Reds, the Indians and the Cavaliers.

Great sports fan and wonderful co-worker, I'm going to miss him a lot.

Mark Heyne

Kevin was always calm, kind and willing to help in any way he could. Though he worked on the production side of the hall, our paths crossed often during fund drives. I'm blessed to have known him and I will always miss his smile and his sense of humor. Without Kevin, every day will be a little more stressful and a little less fun. He's reminded me that every day is a gift and not promised. From now on, when I have the chance to go to a Reds game, I'll take it. And when I do, I will think of Kevin.

Sherri Mancini

Cincinnati Public Radio