A Houston radio pioneer has passed away.

KPFT programmer Ayn Morgan died Sept. 23 in a motor vehicle accident. She was 39 years old.

Regular KPFT listeners may recall Ayn Morgan’s KPFT program The Chestnut Tree, a blend of ambient sounds, experimental music and more. Internationally recognized for its sound, The Chestnut Tree was the only program of its kind anywhere on Houston radio. She formerly hosted another trailblazing program, the Spoken Word Show on KTRU. Ayn Morgan also served in a variety of capacities at KPFT, including as an afternoon engineer and as producer of The Progressive Forum’s weekly calendar.

In addition, Ayn Morgan was a prolific artist. From her work with wood and metal, which can be seen in a variety of Houston outlets, to her music and visual art, Ayn Morgan offered Houston a distinctive aesthetic.

KPFT General Manager Duane Bradley wrote the following:

She was such a special being, someone who cared deeply about so many things, important things and those seemingly trivial things often overlooked by others. Her program, The Chestnut Tree, was one of the most unique offerings on KPFT, a station filled with the unusual, the rare, the controversial and the provocative. Some of the most far-flung arrivals in the KPFT mailbag came from folks around the world who came to know and appreciate Ayn and her dedication to her show.

We mourn her, we grieve for her family, we find ourselves caught short by her sudden departure. And we hope we will, perhaps, derive some small solace from thinking fondly of her when we notice that small feather in the lawn or the shape of the shadow of that leaf in the afternoon sunlight, or the way the sky looks just before it becomes light enough discern colors every morning. I think she would like that very much.

Ayn Morgan is survived by a husband and son.

The Bradshaw-Carter Funeral Home has set up a page for Ayn Morgan’s arrangements and for remembrances. A public viewing will happen Tuesday, 12-5, at its West Alabama location.

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