07/06/2015 01:21 EDT | Updated 07/06/2016 05:59 EDT

Stan Carew, host of CBC Radio's Weekend Mornings, dead at 64

Stan Carew, the host of CBC Radio's Maritimes program Weekend Mornings for 18 years and a broadcaster for nearly five decades, has died at the age of 64.

He was found at his home on Monday. Carew suffered from serious health problems.

In May, Carew announced he would be retiring on Sept. 27.

"It's time for me to give up the best job I've ever had, as host of this radio program," he told listeners.

Doug Barron, the associate producer and technician on Weekend Mornings, said radio was Carew's life and he tried to leave broadcasting several times, but he couldn't stay away for long.

"Stan's a radio person. That's his thing. He was born to be on the radio," Barron said.

"No matter what was going on in his personal life, when that on-air light went on, he was in his element."

After his retirement, Carew planned on devoting his time to music — something that took a back seat to his radio career.

As a musician and songwriter, he released four albums since 1997. His band the Magpies spent five years performing benefit concerts at small and large halls across the Maritimes, but disbanded in 2012.

'Consummate performer'

In recent years, John Campbelljohn wrote songs and performed with Carew. He said Carew was a very talented songwriter.

"He contributed lyrics that just shook me and made me feel real good," Campbelljohn said Monday.

Former CBC Radio host Costas Halavrezos played with Carew in bands in the past and says he was a natural on stage.

"When he stepped on stage, he turned it on. He was the consummate performer. He loved to work the crowd and we just deferred to him on those matters," said Halavrezos.

In the lead up to Carew's return to music, he hired an agent and planned on playing community centres and house concerts throughout the Maritimes.

Although his radio career was coming to an end, Carew had said he was looking forward to continuing the bond he had with his listeners.

"I'm going to miss talking and listening to you on Saturday and Sunday mornings, but I'm looking forward to seeing you face to face, wherever you live in the Maritimes," he told CBC Radio listeners.

Stan Carew, the actor

Carew worked in radio for 47 years, with the first 10 being in commercial radio and the final 37 with CBC.

Carew briefly attended Saint Mary's University as a teen, but said he spent more time playing cards in the student union building than in class and flunked out at 17. His father managed to get him a summer job with the coast guard.

In the fall of 1968, with his friends back in university, a friend of Carew's sister told him that the radio station CHNS needed someone to train as an operator. He worked in radio ever since.

Carew also appeared in dozens of film and television productions, including movies that featured Harrison Ford, Sissy Spacek, James Caan and Cybill Shepherd. His television credits include Trudeau and Trailer Park Boys.

Besides working with CBC in Halifax, Carew also spent time with the CBC in Saint John and Toronto. He was also the host of the network shows The Entertainers and Prime Time. He was frequently heard on national newscasts such as World at Six and World Report.