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Broadcasters Mourn Chip Formby’s Passing

Scion of a legendary Texas broadcast family with deep roots in the Texas Panhandle and passionate music lover and adventurer, the man known to friends and fans as the “High Plains Drifter,” Larry Clinton “Chip” Formby, signed off the air for the final time on July 12. He was 67.

General manager of KPAN AM-FM Hereford, Formby joined the stations founded by his father Clint in 1978 and owned and operated the stations in partnership with his brother, Scott.

Formby was a graduate of Texas Tech University (which he always said he “attended on the eight-year plan”) with a BBA degree, minor in economics.

During his time in Lubbock he was a member in the band, “Chicken Lips.” He pledged Phi Delta Theta where he made many lifelong friendships with his fraternity brothers.

The Formby family has owned the stations since 1948 and have always attributed their success to their talented and dedicated staff.

In addition to managing the stations and handling on-air shifts, Formby also served as news director, engineer, website/IT director and NOAA cooperative weather observer in Hereford.

During his time at KPAN, he oversaw the continuation of Hereford High School Sports being broadcast and sent them worldwide on the KPAN website.

He brought computer automation to KPAN and oversaw the installation of a wind turbine at the downtown studios of KPAN in 2008.

He also was an integral part in making KPAN become the National Weather Service cooperative observer for Hereford in 1981.

Under his direction, the stations started regular Tejano music programming to meet shifting audience needs.

He served several terms on the TAB Board of Directors (representing Small Market Radio) and was a strong advocate for Texas Broadcasters – never missing a TAB Convention & or legislative event.

He leaves behind his wife Lisa and two sons – Jonathan and Lane – who both have worked at the stations.

His father, Clint, served as TAB Chairman in 1969 and passed the great principles and responsibilities of a local broadcaster to his son and grandsons.

Formby was an avid adventurer and took every opportunity to escape to the mountains, coast, golf course or the lake with his friends and family.

He was also known for his with a wide-ranging love of music – everything from Buddy Holly to the Grateful Dead.

He was preceded in death by his sister Linda Kay, mother Margaret and father Clint. He is survived by his wife Lisa Formby of Hereford, his sons Jonathan and wife Kayla of McKinney, Lane and fiancée Courtney Mitchell of Houston, and granddaughter Riley.

He also is survived by one sister (Brenda “Ben” Formby of New York City), two brothers (Marshall and wife Betty of San Antonio, Scott and wife Kathy of New York City), two nieces (Alison Haley of Lubbock and Lauren Formby of San Antonio) and many adopted sons who were friends of the boys.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the Arbor Day Foundation or to the Humane Society of Deaf Smith County P.O. Box 2145 Hereford, Texas 79045.

Services have been entrusted to Mendez and Mullins Family Funeral Home of Hereford, Texas.

Funeral services have been scheduled for Monday, July 20, 2020 at First Baptist Church Hereford at 10:30 AM.

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