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In Rembrance of John Charles Putnam

February 6, 2021


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of John C. Putnam, a beloved longtime member of the KXCI family. Together with John’s surviving family and friends, we share loving memories of many years spent connecting, building community, and sharing music with John, who relished hosting Mele O Hawai’i every week.
As those of you who listened to Mele O’Hawai’i might know, Ohana, or “family,” is very important in Hawaiian culture–as it was to John–used to express love and commitments extending beyond blood relations to community members, friends, and colleagues. We invite you to join us in honoring John over the next two weeks through the re-broadcast of archived editions of Mele O Hawai’i as well as through tributes from KXCI DJs such as John’s good friend Betsi and others on Saturday.
There is another Hawaiian word, Imua, that comes to mind at this moment. It means “to go forward with strength, courage, and strong spirit.” This is our wish for John’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult time.
Please reach out to Cathy Rivers [email protected] / 520-979-0412 or to Amanda Shauger [email protected] / 520-990-3623 with questions or to share thoughts about John.
You are precious. Imua.
John C. Putnam was born on August 14, 1947, in Honolulu Hawaii. He had a deep love for the Islands and all their music and traditions. He attended and graduated from Punahou High School and enjoyed attending many of their reunions. After high school, John enlisted in the Air Force and served for four years. His love for music and the theater led him to attend and graduate from the University of Arizona Department of Fine Arts in Theater Production. Upon graduation, he worked at Old Tucson for a number of years. As the computer generation took hold, he decided to attend Pima Community College and earn an Associate’s degree in Computer Technology. From there he worked at Raytheon until they instituted a reduction in force. Upon retirement, he returned to his passion for entertainment production and volunteered for over 15 years with KXCI radio. He not only used his skills to assist with their technology but had a regular show highlighting his love of Hawaii music.
He was predeceased by his parents, Thomas and Denzel Putnam, and his son Thomas Putnam. He was so grateful for his friends and Michelle Owens and Wendy Grahm who also helped him during his health challenges and his many friends and colleagues at KXCI radio station.
He is survived by his son Alexander Keoni Putnam and his ex-wife, Arlene Kutoroff.
Donations to KXCI Community Radio can be made in John Putnam’s honor by sending checks payable to KXCI to:
220 S 4th Ave
Tucson AZ 85701
Add “In Memory of John Putnam” in the memo line, for gifts made in his honor, or give online at
Messages of support can be sent to
Alexander Keoni Putnam or Arlene Kutoroff at
6510 E 12th St
Tucson, AZ 85710


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