Texas news station mourns weather forecaster with 'heart of gold' who died by suicide

Kelly Plasker, a weekend weather forecaster for NBC affiliate KCBD in Lubbock, Texas, died on Sunday, the station said.
/ Source: TODAY

This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.

A local television station in Texas is mourning the loss of a weekend weather forecaster who the station said died by suicide on Sunday, just over two years after her teen son took his own life.

Kelly Plasker, 42, was a member of the First Alert Forecast Team for KCBD, an NBC affiliate in Lubbock. She worked at the station for three years, where she became "a bright spot in our weekend mornings, and in our lives," according to a tribute by KCBD.

Kelly Plasker, a weather forecaster at an NBC affiliate in Lubbock, Texas, died by suicide on Sunday, the station said. KCBD

"Her sudden death early this morning has broken our heart," KCBD anchor Kase Wilbanks said before a video tribute that aired on Sunday night.

"In her three years on air, she showed us her passion for weather, which came through in her forecasts that kept us all safe and prepared for the day ahead," the video tribute said. "She showed her heart and her love, for which we will all be thankful for. From the KCBD family to Kelly, we share our sympathies. We’re grateful for the time we shared with Kelly and the joy she shared with us."

Two years ago, Plasker shared on KCBD that her son, Thomas, had died by suicide at 19, just two weeks before his 20th birthday.

"It's very difficult for those of us who knew him to comprehend why," Plasker said at the time.

The station referenced her son's death as well as a Facebook post Plasker wrote shortly before her death.

"Now, this weekend, our sweet Kelly took her own life, a cry for help that she made very public on her Facebook page," KCBD wrote in its remembrance.

KCBD vice president and general manager Dan Jackson issued a statement about the heartbreak over her death.

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic and sudden loss of KCBD weekend morning forecaster Kelly Plasker," he said. "Kelly was a dedicated member of the KCBD weather staff, well-liked by viewers, and admired by her co-workers. Our deepest sympathies go out to Kelly's family in this time of great loss.

"We would like to thank the many viewers who have reached out through our social media channels in kindness and support to honor Kelly's memory. Grief counselors have been made available to all members of the KCBD family struggling with this heartbreaking news."

Plasker's KCBD colleague Sharon Maines also shared a tribute on Facebook.

"My friend (and co-worker) died this morning and I’m absolutely heartbroken," she wrote. "Kelly Plasker had a smile as big as Texas and a heart of gold. She loved big and hurt deeply. Her heart was broken from the suicide death of her son Thomas, and then her father’s sudden death just months later. Her grief was a daily struggle but she put on that smile and persevered. If any of you are struggling please please please talk to someone. There are so many broken hearts today. Prayers for Kelly’s two children and her family and all of us who loved her."