CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Local radio personality "Wally Witkowski," whose real name was Tom Bolden, has died in a Nashville hospital at the age of 59.  He had battled a variety of illnesses for several years, although he was still working until a few weeks ago.

With longtime partner Jim Reynolds on a one-hour daily show called "The Village Idiots," Wally was a larger-than-life, outspoken comical presence.  The show airs weekdays at 9:00 a.m. on Talk Radio WGOW-FM (102.3).

Long active in local advertising sales and promotional businesses, Bolden became "Wally" in the early 1990s doing traffic reports for the radio station each morning.  Often stammering, especially on "w" sounds, just saying the name "Wally Witkowski" was a way of getting laughs.

Partnering with Reynolds almost 20 years ago, the pair had great chemistry, giving each other no slack, and never backing down from controversial opinions on politics, pop culture and religion.

Among the show's regular features, listeners looked forward to "Weekend with the Witkowskis," Wally's humorous take on Tennessee Valley weekend events, and the "Village Idiots Chamber of Commerce," welcoming new and unusual businesses into the Chattanooga market.

Standing at 6-foot-6 and weighing in well over 300 pounds, Wally's loud voice and welcoming personality made him a favorite at remote broadcasts and community events.  He was a regular presence at UTC events, and a strong supporter of charities including the Special Olympics.

Here is additional obituary information from Heritage Funeral Home: 

He was preceded in death by a brother, Bob Bolden.  He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Gay; his son Bill (and his wife Ann), daughter Katie, grandson Sullivan Grady Bolden, brother Tim Bolden (sister-in-law Dennette) and niece Kendall Bolden.

A Celebration of Life will be held Friday April 12 from 2-4 p.m. at Heritage Park, 1428 Jenkins Road in Chattanooga.  No formal visitation is scheduled.  To share words of comfort with the family, visit

To contact David Carroll: