Chattanooga Commissioner, newsman Steve Conrad dies at 87 - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Election registrar, news anchor Steve Conrad dies at 87

Steve Conrad in the 1960s Steve Conrad in the 1960s

VALDOSTA, GA (WRCB)- Steve Conrad, a familiar face and voice to Chattanoogans for several decades, died Tuesday in Valdosta at the age of 87.

Conrad was Channel 3's first news anchor when the station signed on the air in 1956.  He, along with several other station employees made the jump to television from WAPO radio.  Ramon G. Patterson owned both stations, and installed some of his top radio personalities into his television programming at Channel 3, first known as WRGP.

After two years at Channel 3, Conrad switched places with his WDEF Channel 12 counterpart Mort Lloyd.  From 1958 until 1967, Conrad was the evening news anchor on Channel 12.  He left that position to run for the office of Commissioner of Public Works in Chattanooga.  He won the 1967 city election, and was re-elected to the post in 1971.  In 1975 he became a marketing executive with the Chattanooga Times, and returned to Channel 3 in 1980 as news director.  He later served for almost 10 years as Hamilton County's election registrar before retiring in 1995.

Here is the obituary for Steve Conrad, provided by McLane Funeral Home in Valdosta:

Steven F. Conrad, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather and community servant, died on August 9, 2011 in Valdosta, Georgia. He was 87 years old and his son, Kevin, was by his side.

He was born on April 15, 1924 in the Bronx, New York. He served in the United States Army in the Pacific Theatre for three years, being awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service during the Leyte campaign in the Philippines during World War II.

After graduating from Northwestern University in Illinois in 1947, he went into radio and later television broadcasting starting in Green Bay Wisconsin and ending in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Having worked as a news director and anchorman for WDEF-TV for ten years, he was elected Commissioner of public Utilities and was re-elected to another four-year term.

Following a four-year stint with the Chattanooga Times Newspaper, Mr. Conrad served as head Registrar of the Hamilton County Election Commission. Chief among his many services was his active membership at the Lutheran Church of the Ascension in Chattanooga where he was lay assistant to the pastor for almost 30 years.

After living in Chattanooga for 44 years, he and his wife retired to Ocala, Florida for 14 years and then moved to Valdosta in 2010. He is survived by his loving wife, Marian Schwein Conrad, to whom he shared the union of marriage for 62 years, son and daughter-in-law, Kevin and Delthia Conrad of Valdosta, Georgia, daughter and son-in-law, Lynne Conrad and Martin Marvet of Seattle, Washington, two grandchildren, Staci Skiles of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Peter and his wife, Rebecca Conrad also of Chattanooga, four great grandchildren, Kayla, Trevor and Lucas Skiles and Riley Conrad, all of Chattanooga. His only brother, Ray Czarnik, his mother, Kasimira Bialkowski Czarnik, and his father, Peter Stanisloff Czarnik, predeceased Steve.

Steve Conrad was a loving family man, passionate community servant and fearless champion of those in need. A memorial service will he held in the chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home on Friday, August 12, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Burial will be at the Chattanooga National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that remembrances be sent to the Siskin Children's Institute 365 Club, serving children with special needs and their families. Mailing address: 1101 Carter Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402 (, or to your favorite charity. Carson McLane Funeral Home and McLane Crematory are serving the Conrad family in Valdosta. Condolences may be conveyed online at

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