KVUE TV’s Thea Williams 1965-2010
KVUE TV’s home page has a small post and video today saying a somber farewell to a longtime friend who will be remembered by many in Central Texans:
“KVUE is saying goodbye to a dear friend and colleague.
“Our Daybreak and Midday executive producer Thea Williams passed away Wednesday night after a lengthy illness.
“Thea was a talented journalist and was widely respected for her high standards and great compassion. She was a leader in the newsroom, a mentor to young journalists, and most of all, a dear friend.
It is never easy to say goodbye. Thea lived every day with true grace and kindness.
“Our prayers are with her family and her two children.
“Her impact on all of us will not be forgotten.”
Patti Smith, KVUE president and general manager, informed the staff this morning.
“For those of you who were lucky enough to have worked with Thea, you know that she lit up the room with her presence. She was the guiding force behind KVUE’s Daybreak and Midday for many years and her contributions to this station will never be forgotten,” Smith said. “Above and beyond that, Thea was a wonderful friend to many, both inside and outside this building.
There were many times I’d be in the public representing the station at an event and I’d be approached by someone that had contact with Thea and our newsroom. They were always complimentary about Thea and would usually say, ‘Oh, I love Thea!’ We all did. Her laughter and friendship will not be forgotten; her impact on us all will not be forgotten.”
Williams joined KVUE 15 years ago as a producer. She was a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin. She also had her master’s degree in journalism, and she taught classes at Austin Community College. Prior to KVUE, she worked at WJXT TV in Jacksonville, Florida.
“She was the only person to call me “Franco,” and get away with it,” says Frank Volpicella, KVUE news director. “She always had a smile. She always was positive. Always a bundle of energy. I don’t believe she ever uttered anything negative about anyone.”
Here’s a little-known fact: “She hated squirrels. She was very afraid of them. Sometimes she would walk through our courtyard, and have to run back inside out of breath, because she saw a squirrel,” Volpicella says.
She was also a pack rat like many journalists. Her desk was always jammed with stuff. Journalists claim they never know when they might need something in there.
Williams had been battling breast cancer. “She courageously battled against her illness. She was very spiritual and religious. I know her faith helped her considerably during her illness. It is a difficult day at KVUE news. Everyone is deeply saddened,” Volpicella said.
Thea Williams was 45.
(c) Jim McNabb, 2010