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Hornell radio legend, Timothy Thomas (Justin Case, Unkle Justin) from WKPQ passes away at 56

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By JOHN ANDERSON

There’s no denying the “old guard” in Hornell, the Evening Tribune and AM 1480 WLEA radio, were the go-to sources for news for decades.

But when it came to music, interviews, crazy guests and shows, everyone was tuning in to hear Timothy Thomas on 105.3 WKPQ. He went by Justin Case and Unkle Justin and when he screamed we were listening to the “50,000 white hot watts,” we knew it was something big.

We had no idea what it meant, but it sounded big! He was funny, he had self-depreciating humor and he loved Hornell and the Southern Tier. When Justin Case had a local band on, or promoted an event, you went.

When famous rock stars called in, you knew it was because Tim Thomas was also a rock star.

From Tribute Archives, Timothy “TeeSquared” Thomas, age 56, passed away Friday morning, January 27, 2023 at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, surrounded by family.

The obituary said Tim was born April 27, 1966 and was the son of Neal and Leslie (Waite) Thomas. He was a graduate of Livonia High School and went on to graduate from the New School of Contemporary Radio in Albany. Tim has worked as an Alcoholic Rehabilitation Counselor, EMT, and worked in various capacities for The ARC of Steuben.

The obituary correctly states his name Unkle Justin “existed to shake up the status quo of morning radio in the Southern Tier. He developed a staunch following by speaking his mind and pushing the envelope of what is acceptable to say on an FCC governed radio station. When he wasn’t giving ulcers to WKPQ’s leadership, Unkle Justin could be found giving back to the community by organizing, shamelessly promoting, or donating time to local charities and nonprofits. One of his biggest passions was using his platform at the radio station to promote local artists and musicians.”

Tim is survived by his two sons, Jason Thomas of Cape Coral, Florida, and Geoffrey (Megan) Thomas of Avoca; grandchildren: Avaleigh, Cameron, Kendall, Natalia, Hunter, and Samantha Thomas; sisters: Karin (Larry) Fugle of Livonia, Kathie Henderson of Homosassa, FL, a brother, Joseph (Sara) Thomas of Fairport; his God Daughter, Dorothy (Chris) Bacon of Canisteo; as well as several nieces and nephews. Tim is also survived by his special friend Shirley Priest of Livonia.

He was predeceased by his parents Neal and Leslie Thomas as well as his 4-legged companion Grady Thomas.

Per his request, there will be no calling hours or service at this time. A celebration of life will be held this summer with more details to follow

Here is a short video from that trip, it’s so cool to hear and see a local DJ talking about local events. I have so much respect for the few stations left that still do this:

Here is a the full video Patrick Barry posted from the trip to Hornell and full interview on 105.3 WKPQ:

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