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William Issiah Phelps Jr. Broadcast Entrepreneur
William Issiah Phelps Jr., 53, an Internet radio and low-power television station entrepreneur, died July 21 at his home in Greenbelt after a heart attack.
Mr. Phelps began his career on local radio stations WOL, WMMJ (MAJIC 102.3), WINX, WSID and WHIT as Billy Dee, Alexander Goodfellow, Tom Collins, Bill Clark, Bill Fox and Bob Scott. He moved into radio station management in Georgia and South Carolina. He returned to the Washington area in 1990, founding Hyattsville's Segway Media, a media production company.
In 2003, he founded a multimedia advertising company, Radio Music Productions, and began broadcasting over the Internet, where he developed the "Billy Dee's Timeless Classics" show and the "Higher Ground" gospel show. His Jammin 995 Internet radio station featured music and interviews with top singers.
The next year, Mr. Phelps acquired three low-power television stations, WIAV TV (Channel 58) in Greenbelt, WRAV TV (Channel 8) in Ocean City and WQAV TV (Channel 34) in Atlantic City.
He was born in Washington. He graduated from the District's School Without Walls in 1974 and from the University of the District of Columbia in 1994.
Among his awards was the Best New Air Personality in 1993 from the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters.
His marriage to Lee Phelps ended in divorce.
Survivors include his wife of nine years, Louise Blackburn Phelps of Greenbelt; his parents, Jerolyn and William I. Phelps, both of Washington; and two sisters, Jacqueline Diggs of Waldorf and Donna Wanza Dickie of Tallahassee.
-- Patricia Sullivan
Sandra Wilson Sales Associate
Sandra Wilson, 66, a sales associate for the fabric-store chain Calico Corners and later a corporate trainer for the parent company, Everfast Corp., died July 22 of cancer at her home in Warrenton.