KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Don Harman, meteorologist for WDAF Fox 4 News, passed away Nov. 29, 2011.
A public tribute to Harman will be held Saturday, Dec. 17 from 8-9 a.m. in the Grand Hall at Union Station.
Harman has been the weekday morning meteorologist at Fox since April 1999.
He was known for his sense of humor and for his love of all things weather.
“We are very saddened by this tragic loss,” Fox 4 President and General Manager Cheryl McDonald said in a statement sent to other media outlets and posted on their website . "Don wasn’t just our Meteorologist, he was a part of our family and we loved him. Words cannot express how deeply he will be missed.”
Chief Meteorologist Mike Thompson said, "I never ran into anyone around town who didn't smile when they heard his name, that's the bottom line. We've been seeing that all day long."
Thompson said Fox 4 had received a flood of condolences from viewers on Facebook, Twitter and email. All of the correspondences, he said, were greatly appreciated.
Toby Cook and Heather McMichael shared the anchor desk with Harman in the early 2000s. Both shared fond memories about their time together with Harman.
McMichael said Harman had an uncanny ability to make everyone laugh without saying a word. His silent humor made every day an adventure.
Harman's genuine nature is what Cook will miss most.
He said, "There wasn't anything about him on the air that he wasn't like off the air. It was a genuine humor, care for friends, a genuine care for wanting to give people a smile and the weather at the same time."
"I was with some Fox 4 friends last night with Don's family and about five minutes into our conversation, we were all laughing out loud.," Cook said. "And I'm sure there were some people around who thought that was a little strange but you couldn't tell Don Harmon stories without laughing."
"He was funny without pushing it. He didn't try to be funny, he just naturally was," said Cook.
Harman had more than 15 years of broadcasting experience. He began working in television as a meteorologist for WTAP-TV in Parkersburg, West Virginia and also worked at KIMT-TV in Mason City, Iowa and WOWK-TV in Huntington, West Virginia.
Harman grew up in Ohio and graduated from Miami of Ohio with a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautics and a minor in geography.
During his time at Fox 4 News in Kansas City, Harman spent many hours working with charitable organizations and sporting groups. He could often be found teaching children about weather and science at Kansas City's Union Station.
Union Station's manager of marketing and public relations, Tony Cook, explained, "He was always great with kids and was just an inspiration in passing that kind of education along to the kids."
Harman is survived by his wife Monica and their daughter Avery. He was 41 years old.
A police report states Harman died by suicide.
The full statement from Fox 4 can be found below:
FOX 4 tragedy costs the life of popular morning show Meteorologist
Wednesday, November 30th 2011
"Don Harman, a beloved meteorologist and personality on the FOX 4 morning show passed away Tuesday evening. To all of us, Don was like family, and the news comes as a great shock to all the folks he worked with here at FOX 4.
"President and General Manager Cheryl McDonald said “We are very saddened by this tragic loss. Don wasn’t just our Meteorologist, he was a part of our family and we loved him. Words cannot express how deeply he will be missed.”
"Don brightened our mornings for more than 10 years and he made his mark on Kansas City television. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, and we ask that in this time of sorrow that you respect them and their need for privacy in their moment of grief."
Harman's family has set up a fund that will benefit local Kansas City area charities.
Don Harman Memorial Fund
Benefiting local Kansas City charities
c/o Tightwad Bank
1160 SE Highway 7
Tightwad, Missouri 64735
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
The devastation in Oklahoma is all too familiar to people in Joplin, Mo., who experienced their own EF-5 tornado two years ago on May 22, 2011.