When I was in high school Ken Turp was hosting a sports show on WOBM and at the end he would ask a trivia question with the first correct caller winning a poster or some other tchotchke.

Well I was not only a regular caller but a regular winner and after some time I was basically banned from calling in. I took it as a compliment.  That was in the early 70s and at some point Ken and the radio station parted company.

Someone else took his place as sports director and I actually replaced that person when I started at WOBM in July of 1979.

When I heard last week that Ken had passed away at the age of 76 one of the first thoughts that came to my mind was I wish we had a better relationship.  Many people assumed I replaced him at the radio station (which I did not) and there may have been some bitterness on his part even though I often told him how much I enjoyed listening to show and the many guests he had when he was on the radio.

Ken Turp (L) at the 2014 All Shore Classic with Phil Villapiano (Lou Vircillo)

Of course only old-timers like me would remember him from his radio days because starting in the 1980s he became a familiar face on voice on local TV.  First it was Clear Cable and later Adelphia Cable where Turp would regularly broadcast local football, basketball and wrestling on Channel 8.

It was never what he did for a living, but rather filled a passion he had from his days growing up in Phillipsburg and later Forked River where sports was always a big part of his life.

Ken graduated from Central Regional High School and Rider University and he helped create and coached in the Ocean Gate Summer Basketball League which was a staple for many years.  He is a member of the Central Regional Athletic Hall of Fame and in 2014 was inducted as a contributor into the Shore Football Coaches Foundation Hall of Fame along with his TV partners George Jeck, Bob Strangia and Ron Emmert.  It might have been the last time I saw him.

Ralph Kenneth “Ken” Turp was predeceased by his parents and is survived by three cousins.  You can offer condolences by visiting andersonandcampbell.com.  If you would like to honor his life please consider a contribution in his memory to either the Forked River Presbyterian Church or the Popcorn Park Zoo.

Ken Turp (right) with legendary UCLA basketball coach and friend John Wooten (photo provided)