Legendary Grand Rapids Air Personality Aris Hampers Dies
February 10, 2023
Veteran Grand Rapids rock radio personality Aris Hampers passed away February 5 at age 73. Hampers spent nearly 40 years in the format and is best known for his time at WLAV-FM, which he helped launch, in the 1970s. Throughout his career, he also worked at WFFX, WCUZ, WKLQ, WBFX, and WMAX, according to Mlive.
“A sad day for LAV and our listeners. Aris Hampers passed away over the weekend. He was a radio titan in the city of Grand Rapids, being a major figure for WLAV for many years,” the station posted on its website. “Aris Hampers was the very fabric of WLAV and his legacy will live on in Grand Rapids. Our hearts are heavy.”
Hampers wrote in December of 2019 of losing his voice due to cancer. In February of 2016 he started to notice a change in his voice. Doctors did a scope of his through and found nothing. His voice continued to deteriorate for the next three years.
In the winter of 2018, doctors found a 1-1/2 inch cancerous tumor on his windpipe. The tumor had damaged Aris' voicebox/larynx to a point it could not be saved. Aris told us of the news in December the following year, stating that he "may be broken, but I'm still here".
He was a West Michigan native, graduating from Grand Rapids Public Schools’ Ottawa Hills High School and Western Michigan University.
Hampers is survived by his brother Dean (Valerie), nieces Viviana (Rob) and Marisa (Theodoros), five great-nephews and great-nieces, cousins Maria (Peter), Jim (Vasiliki), Helene and Andrew Christopoulos, and several loving cousins and wonderful friends in the community and beyond. Funeral services are scheduled for Friday (2/10). Burial service will be private for the family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.