WHEELING, W. Va. (WTRF)
At 7News, we continue to think about our beloved retired chief meteorologist Dr. Dave Walker.
Doc died suddenly on his way to Mexico, just weeks after retiring.
As we shared our favorite stories about him among ourselves, we realized everyone else might like to hear them too.
“Doc was unique,” said Aaron Myler, 7News meteorologist. “One of the first times I met him, I came into the weather center and he was sitting in the chair, munching on a tomato just like an apple.”
“For a long time, I thought that the only things I ever saw him eat were carrot sticks and celery,” recalled Roger Lyons, WTRF general manager. “So at one point I finally said to him, ‘Do you ever eat anything else?’ And he said ‘yes.’ And a couple days later, he brought me a tomato.”
“You know, Dr. Dave was a very unique person,” said Tom Gaudino, WTRF local and national sales manager. “And as much as people said he did things a little differently than most people, nobody ever said anything bad about him.”
“It was April Fools Day,” recalled Colin Roose, 7News anchor / reporter. “I was a producer at the time, and it was my first day. And he did his whole first weather in Spanish. Nobody knew. Even in the prompter. It was all in Spanish. And I thought it was hilarious until I got a frantic call from my boss!”
“Whenever I asked him to stretch weather, if we didn’t have enough stories and I needed more weather, he always said he was a human accordion,” recalled Ryan Tichenor, 7News executive producer. “If I needed him to do five minutes, he would do it. He was always such a part of the team.”
He kept a secret for Kathryn Ghion after she fainted on the set early in her pregnancy.
“Doc helped me keep that secret for a few more weeks before I told everybody in the newsroom and I was able to tell my family and tell all of you in the Ohio Valley but I think that speaks a lot to who Doc was,” Kathryn recalled. “He was so kind.”
“He actually went into the nursing home to see my mom,” said News Director Brenda Danehart. “He took his wife Lulu. I’m getting a little teary-eyed. But he took Lulu to see my mom in the nursing home. I mean, what kind of a guy was he. He was so special.”
“I hope to have a long career but I don’t think I’ll ever meet a meteorologist like Dr. Dave,” said Colin Roose.
“We were absolutely blessed to have Dr. Dave as our friend and as our chief meteorologist for the last 16 years,” concluded Roger Lyons. “And when I say friend, he was a friend, to anyone and everyone.”
“The person you saw on TV who you felt was your friend was the same person we saw every day and we said that a lot when he retired, but it was 100% true,” added Kathryn Ghion.
“You just couldn’t help but like him,” concluded Tom Gaudino.
“His retirement was tough, saying goodbye to him then,” said Brenda Danehart. “But saying goodbye forever is even tougher.”