Hector "Happy Hec" Gauthier was the voice many Fall River area residents heard first thing each morning as they stumbled out of bed to begin another day. He was the voice of Fall River.

That voice has fallen silent.

Happy Hec passed away unexpectedly on Friday, November 24, 2023, following a very brief illness. He was surrounded by family and awash in the prayers and good wishes of a community that adored him. The feeling was mutual. He was 81.

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Broadcasting his morning program from the WSAR radio studios for more than four decades, Hec became a part of the lives of generations of listeners. Many grew up listening to Hec on the radio. When it snowed, kids and their parents tuned in to Hec for the latest cancellations.

His professional and calm demeanor guided us through challenging times, such as the 1982 fire that destroyed the Notre Dame de Lourdes Church on Eastern Avenue and the horrors of September 11, 2001.

Fall River Radio Legend Happy Hec Gauthier Has Passed Away
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media
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Hec shared our joy when his beloved Boston Red Sox won the World Series after a decades-long drought and when the New England Patriots finally won a Super Bowl. He shared our disappointment when things didn't go so well.

Happy Hec was a "regular guy." He was everywhere in the community, not hob-nobbing but pitching in to make Fall River better. He was one of us. Approachable. He truly cared, and that's something you can't fake.

Hec's radio career began in Connecticut, but he quickly returned to Fall River, where he and his wife Maureen, whom he adored, raised a daughter, Lisa. He was devoted to his family and was as proud as any grandparent could be of his grandson CJ.

Upon Hec's passing, his daughter Lisa posted to her Facebook page, "My dad was an amazing person. He was kind, generous, funny, loving, but, most of all, he was my HERO."

I was a part of Hec's morning program for 12 years. He always found the positive in every situation, never passed the buck, and never had a negative thing to say about anyone.

He was a giant and one of the few remaining local radio legends from a bygone era.

Rest in peace, my friend.

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