Popular 42-Year-Old NBC Affiliate Anchor Leslie Swick Van Ness Dies Suddenly During Florida Family Vacation
Lesley Swick van Ness, a popular former news anchor in Illinois, died suddenly Monday. She was just 42 years old.
According to the Muddy River News, Van Ness suddenly fell ill last Thursday while vacationing with her family in Naples, Florida.
The cause of her sudden illness remains unknown. No official cause of death has been released.
Gray Television executive Jennifer Dale realized this statement following Van Ness’s passing:
It is with a very heavy heart that we share some devastating news with you. Lesley Van Ness, who we have been so fortunate to have as part of the Gray family, passed away this (Monday) morning. Lesley had been on vacation with her beautiful family in Florida when she fell ill and was hospitalized last Thursday.
Lesley and her husband Tom have two precious young boys. Please keep all of them in your prayers. We will keep everyone posted on arrangements.
Before her passing, Van Ness worked for NBC affiliate WGEM. She started there as a reporter in 2003 according to the news station.
She then moved rapidly up the ranks. She went on to serve as weekend anchor in 2006 and weekday evening anchor in 2008. In 2016, she become a recruiter for WGEM.
WGEM has more:
Former colleagues remember the 42-year-old as a leader in the newsroom, a force to be reckoned with, and a trusted member of the community.
“She was a powerful personality. She could walk into the newsroom and instantly take over. She just had a commanding presence about her. Sitting on the news desk was an awesome experience,” said Matt Schmidt who was an anchor at WGEM from 2007 to 2014.
“She wasn’t afraid to do the dirty work and wasn’t afraid to work the extra hour, especially if it was something that was really impacting the community,” said WGEM-TV meteorologist Brian Inman.
According to her obituary, Van Ness’ funeral will take place at St. John’s Anglican Parish in Quincy at 10 a.m. Monday.
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Author: Cullen Linebarger