YANKTON - Radio pioneer Wynn Speece, known for more than six
decades as "The Neighbor Lady," died Monday at a Yankton hospital
at the age of 90.
As "The Neighbor Lady," Speece shared recipes, household tips
and personal anecdotes with radio listeners.
Speece, a Marshalltown, Iowa, native, started at Yankton
station WNAX in 1939. Her program started two years later and
continued until December 2005.
In 64 years of broadcasting, Speece was welcomed into the
homes of homemakers and farm wives throughout the five-state area
covered by WNAX. She offered helpful household hints, and her
signature was the recipes she shared with her listeners. Through
the years, Speece has made numerous personal appearances, written a
number of cookbooks and become a household icon in the area.
Speece began working at WNAX shortly after graduating from
Drake University with a degree in theater.
"I was hired not as an air person but I did book work for two
years," she said in a 2005 interview. "I think they used those two
years to check on me, and then in 1941, they asked me to do a show
about recipes and decided to call me the Neighbor Lady."
In the 2005 interview, Speece said her career was more of a
joy than a job because of those who listened to her show.
"It was one of those lifetime things that was so satisfying
and such a pleasure to do," she said. "I reached out to so many
different people and made a lot of personal contacts. I went to
different organizations and talked with people throughout the
five-state area. It was very satisfying work through all the