Friend and colleague Darlene Rodriguez remembered WNBC reporter Katherine Creag as "an extraordinary human being" on Friday, two days after Creag's sudden death at 47 following 10 years with NBC's New York affiliate.
Creag was a beloved fixture on WNBC's "Today in New York" morning show, known for her kindness and abundant energy.
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"She was an extraordinary reporter as you all know, and the viewers know, but she was an extraordinary human being," Rodriguez, the "Today in New York" co-anchor, said on TODAY Friday. "As a mom on this (morning) shift, I admired her and I was in awe of her because she had three kids and she was all the things that a great mom could be."
The Emmy-winning reporter was born in Manila and affectionately called "Kat" by her friends and colleagues. She covered everything from Super Bowl parades and extreme weather to tragedies and breaking news.
"Kat was a light," Rodriguez said. "She had this very special spirit and energy about her. She came into your space, you were just immediately uplifted because no matter what, she was always in a good mood."
Creag is survived by her husband of 14 years, Bill Gafner, and children Jack, Gemma and Josie.
"She was that mom that I think we all love, where she's at class and she's doing all the things that the stay-at-home moms do because she was just that supermom who was very present and involved in every aspect of their lives," Rodriguez said. "She never was sweating that small stuff, and I think as a mom and as a working mom, we could appreciate that. She was always happy."
The boundless energy and joy that she exuded on camera didn't change when the cameras went off.
"She was like what you see," Rodriguez said. "That smile was huge, and she loved to hang out. We didn't think she was really human sometimes. She was able to go to a party on a Tuesday night and still show up for work and do an amazing job on camera and tell the story with that human touch and that compassion.
"She was a great friend to everyone, and she really made everybody feel like you were special to her."
Many of her colleagues shared their remembrances of her on Twitter Thursday. The cause of her death has not been released.
"Kat was the most genteel person I’ve ever met in this industry," her fellow WNBC reporter Myles Miller wrote. "Her smile, her laughter, and her tenacity made her truly one of a kind. Every text I sent to her began with 'Tita,' which is Tagalog for 'aunt' because in my heart she was family."
Her workdays began at 3 a.m. and occasionally included reports for TODAY. She also enjoyed watching concerts on the plaza at Rockefeller Center with Rodriguez.
"Kat taught me how to have more fun, how to enjoy life," friend and colleague Tracie Strahan said on TODAY. "I don't know how to convey how loved this woman was, and how loving she was to so many people."