TV and radio personality John Psota dies at age 91

For thousands of Salisbury residents, his was the voice of a generation. Smooth. Authoritative. Inviting. Friendly. Fun.

John William Psota, who everyone knew as Johnny Williams, managed somehow to convey sophistication with a dash of cool in the way he broadcasted as an announcer and disc jockey on Delmarva’s airwaves, mostly in the 1960s.

Psota, 91, of Millsboro and formerly of Salisbury, died Oct. 17 at Atlantic Shores in Millsboro. He was born in Long Island, N.Y., on Dec. 28, 1923.

During World War II, he was a B-17 togglier in the 8th Army Air Corps., 303rd “Hell’s Angels” Bomb Group, and completed many missions over Europe. After the war, he owned AA Taxi in Smithtown, N.Y., before entering the Cambridge School of Broadcasting in New York City.

In 1953 he married Sylvia Helen Pearson and they then moved to Salisbury in 1958.

In Salisbury, “Johnny Williams” was an on-air radio and television personality with WJDY and WBOC. He organized the Wicomico County Youth Organization, hosted “The Johnny Williams Show” and provided many avenues for area teens to be entertained through “record hops” and other activities including summer dances at the Pier Ballroom in Ocean City, “teen splashes” at the Elks Club and a teen nightclub called “Sudden Sound.”

In 1971, he left radio and entered the restaurant business; he owned Johnny’s Subs and Pizza on 69th Street in Ocean City. In 1990, Psota returned to his love of broadcasting, working at WLVW, WSUX, WSSR and WJWL.

He was the longtime voice of the Johnny Janosik’s TV and radio commercials.

As a promoter, he worked to bring quality entertainment to the Wicomico County Youth & Civic Center. He retired in 2008. People recall that his passions were music, writing, baseball, travel and making people smile.

Civic clubs and nonprofits were important to him. Psota was a member of the VFW, Community Players, American Legion, Optimist Club, Delmarva Scouts Council, lifetime member of Elks Lodge No. 817, a Friends of the Salisbury Zoo board member, past president of the Wicomico County Republican Club and past member of the Wicomico County Republican Central Committee.

He is survived by his daughter, Josie Gutierrez and her husband Dan, of Avondale, Pa., and his son, John David Psota, and his wife, Barbara, of Salisbury. Also surviving are four grandchildren: Joseph and Steven Gutierrez, and Ryan and Evan Psota.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 61 years, Sylvia, his parents, Joseph and Josephine Psota, sisters Frances and Rose, brothers Joseph, Anthony, and George.

On Saturday, Oct. 24, a memorial service was be held at Holloway Funeral Home in Salisbury.

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