Remembering Gregg Scharnau
We are mourning the loss of a great friend and co-worker at KDAT and the other Townsquare Media stations in Cedar Rapids today. Gregg Scharnau was a fixture as afternoon drive host and program director at 94.1 KRNA for something like 18 years and for several of those years, also held down the fort hosting middays 9 a.m.-2 p.m. here on KDAT. I feel compelled as a friend and current midday host to share a few words.
Gregg sent me an e-mail in July 2016 to let me know his time here at Townsquare Media Cedar Rapids was coming to an end. He had been ill, with cancer, for some time. We all knew, but he was not publicizing it outside the station. The e-mail consisted of a few kind of words telling me what a great broadcaster he thought I was and more importantly, thanking me for the great conversations we had had over the years, while working together. Some of those conversations often involved one of my favorite bands, Bon Jovi. So much so that this last e-mail's subject line was simply (in true "Shark" fashion) a humorous and attention-grabbing "Jovi!". Complete with exclamation point. If you don't know, "Shark" was the nickname he went by as an abbreviation of his last name, Scharnau.
Gregg was dedicated to his job and the radio business. He didn't just clock out at the end of his shift on Friday. I often saw him putting in extra time behind the scenes, or on the air when I would come in for my weekend shifts on KDAT. Those were the times when we had our best conversations like the Bon Jovi chats I mentioned. He was also a dedicated family man. I often got to see everything that he held dear on display all at once, as he would often bring his four kids in to hang out as well. We had fun and I am going to miss him.
A celebration of life was held for Gregg Wednesday, December 28 at Theatre Cedar Rapids. You may also donate to a special education fund set up for his children through Hills Bank in Marion. It’s the “Dylan, Lia, Henry, and Josephine Scharnau Education Fund.”
I'm sending my personal condolences and those on behalf of the KDAT team to Gregg's wife Susan, his kids Dylan, Lia, Henry and Josephine and his parents as well as the rest of his family and friends.
May he rest in peace. Gregg's full obituary can be found below.
Gregg Justin Scharnau, age 49, was born January 30, 1967, and passed to heaven on Tuesday, December 20, 2016. A resident of Marion, Iowa, Gregg grew up in Dubuque and had also lived in Illinois and Arizona. He was the youngest child of Ralph and Ruth Scharnau, and brother to Andrea and Keith.
As a football player at Dubuque Senior and University of Dubuque, he created many friendships and memories. His career in radio broadcasting began during college at KATF/KDAT, and he later worked at WZOE, KCRG, KDAT, and KRNA. Gregg valued his radio colleagues and mentors.
In 2001, he married Susan Thomas and welcomed Dylan Ivan, Lia Xiao, Henry Kai, and Josephine Lily. Gregg was a loving father and devoted family man. His children carry with them his love, determination, humor, and kindness.
Gregg is survived by his wife; children; parents; sister; brother; nephews, Adam and Eliot; in-laws, Jim and Bonnie Thomas; brother and sister-in-law, Jeff and Tina Thomas and nephews, Harrison and Tucker and niece, Lucy; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. Gregg was preceded in death by his sister-in-law, Alison Heal and grandparents, Charlie and Marie Cotter & Walter and Ruth Scharnau. Gregg is buried at Oak Shade Cemetery in Marion.
Family and friends are invited to the celebration of his life which will occur on Wednesday, December 28, 2016, at Theatre Cedar Rapids at 7 p.m. with a reception to follow. His family sincerely thanks his entire medical team for their innovation and compassion. They are also grateful for the unceasing love and steady resolve of their thoughtful family and friends. In lieu of flowers or gifts, a memorial fund has been established in his children's names ("Dylan, Lia, Henry, and Josephine Scharnau's Education Fund") at Hills Bank in Marion, Iowa.