TOP PHOTO: Stacey “Honey Bee” Mayton was in her element at WLAF.

By Jim Freeman

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – The woman who called everyone “Honey” has left us. Health challenges forced Stacey “Honey Bee” Mayton off the air at WLAF in late 2019, and last week those health challenges took her from us.

A little more than 10 years ago, and by chance, Stacey began volunteering at WLAF as part of her public housing commitment. Lilly Kidwell volunteered here at the time and told us one of her neighbors, Stacey, would like to help.

We learned quickly Stacey wanted to do more than just answer the phone and greet visitors. “Find me something else to do” she would say. We also learned she called everyone “honey.” From that came a fitting and lasting nickname of “Honey Bee.”

Honey Bee began wading into more areas of the radio station’s operations than we ever thought she would in her initial days. She soon went from volunteer to full- time employee. As it turned out, she just had a knack for about every job at WLAF. She was particularly good with the computer, editing and especially making people feel welcome either in person or on the phone.

Someone called one day with the wrong number, and in classic Honey Bee fashion, she responded “Why that’s OK honey, you call here anytime.”

In Honey Bee’s early days on the air, a faithful listener complained one day of how Honey Bee sounded. I assured her she was improving, and that the thought of letting someone like Honey Bee go was non-negotiable. Even in her first months here, she had already proven to be a valued part of the team.

Many of Honey Bee’s former workmates and friends shared thoughts upon hearing the news of her passing.

“Oh, my gosh. I hate that. She will be missed,” said Les Martin, voice of the Football Cougars on WLAF.

“I was so saddened and heartbroken to hear of the passing of Honey Bee. I couldn’t believe it. So many good memories of her. It won’t be the same! She was a great one. Many memories working with her in the station and on the road,” Noah Smith.

“Honey Bee was one of kind. It is not often you meet such a gentle soul. She will be missed” said Susan Sharp-WLAF.

It wasn’t often Honey Bee was up for a photo. However, on this day, April 5, 2017, she could not say no, and never could, to Jim Freeman’s granddaughter Kailyn. Kailyn had no interest in coming to the radio station unless Honeybee was there.

“I saw that Honey Bee passed. I’m so sorry. She was so friendly to me, and I will miss her,” Robby O’Daniel, La Follette Press Editor.

“I just saw where Honey Bee passed away. I hate to hear that,” said Dwane Wilder, Clinton Courier News.

“Sad news about Honey Bee. She sure loved working at the station. Every time I came on, I always said “Honey Bee, are we on” just to give her credit by name. I would do the same when I went off saying “Honey Bee, is it time to go? Tried to lift her up that way,” said Jerry Chadwell.

Since 2019, I tried a time or two to fill Honey Bee’s position. I came to the conclusion that there was only one Honey Bee, and I am a lot better for knowing her. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/22/2022-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF KAILYN BRADEN)

7 Replies to “‘Hey, honey. How are you?’- Stacey “Honey Bee” Mayton”

  1. Praying for her family and friends. She was a very special lady. I loved her dearly. I loved talking to her always. She will be greatly missed.❤️❤️🙏🙏

  2. Hello this is David Graham formerly of ‘The Sports Report’. I feel safe in saying there will never be another kind heart ed, person like Honey Bee. She always had a greeting for me with, ‘You got some sports for me honey’. And of course I did. But when I would take a program to the station and HB was there, you couldn’t just drop it off and go, you had to talk a while and she always had a question for me. She always and I mean always wanted to learn and learn she did. As I said, she will be missed greatly by those who knew and loved her and will never, be forgotten. Our heart felt prayers go out to the family.

  3. This was a beautiful article about my dear cousin. I can’t believe she’s gone. I’m glad she enjoyed being a part of WLAF. Ron Perry, Cincinnati, Ohio

  4. An amazing lady. I wish I could be more like her. She had more compassion than anyone I’ve ever known. The way she loved, comforted, and helped others is an example to us all.

  5. I knew Honey Bee while giving a sewing class. She was so much fun and always ready to help everyone. Sure miss that beautiful smile.

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