Allen Weatherly, 64, executive director of the Arkansas Educational Television Network since 2001, died this morning. He’d been undergoing treatment for a heart ailment, a friend said.
Peggy Weatherly posted notice of his passing on her Facebook page:
My best friend and the love of my life departed this world early this morning. Please pray for our children and grandchildren as we navigate a life without Dude. He told me soon after we met that he just wanted to leave a positive mark on this world. You did that, Allen. You did that.
I couldn’t agree more. Allen was kind, amiable and motivated by a higher purpose. He volunteered to provide AETN assistance on our annual issue highlighting top Arkansas high school seniors because excellence in education seemed such a good fit with AETN.
Roller-McNutt Funeral Home in Conway said it will be handling arrangements.
Weatherly was serving a second term on the national board of the Public Broadcasting Service. He came to Arkansas in 1993 after working for 13 years with Ozarks Public Television.
You can find more of his record here. It notes:
With a special interest in the importance of history, culture and heritage, Weatherly has worked to provide more useful services to the people of Arkansas. During his tenure the network has: increased education services to the state, including online professional development for educators; helped produce programming and training for the network’s Ready To Learn service; archived testimonies from Arkansas World War II veterans in the innovative outreach project “In Their Words;” won multiple awards for local productions; been honored by the American Psychological Association as one of the five best places to work in the United States; and received the Arkansas Governors Work-Life Balance Award for three consecutive years.
His love of history made him a huge fan of Ken Burns and his work and he had been laying groundwork for local program to complement Burns’ coming documentary on Vietnam. He was also a blues fan, in the audience every year at the King Biscuit Blues Festival.
The resume doesn’t note that the calm air of public broadcasting doesn’t mean it’s without political currents to navigate. The network is overseen by a politically appointed board and there are invariably controversies about programming and comments of guests on local programs. In the current era, public support for public broadcasting is often a topic of debate. Weatherly weathered all these with grace.