Wisconsin TV News Anchor Commits Suicide.
- “Neena Pacholke, our beloved morning anchor passed away suddenly Saturday.”- WAOW said in a statement
A Wisconsin TV News anchor, Neena Pacholke has died in an apparent suicide.
A Wisconsin TV news station says it is “absolutely devastated” after one of its morning anchors – who was described as having a “big heart and a contagious smile” – passed away suddenly over the weekend.
Neena Pacholke’s sister, Kaitlynn Pacholke told the Tampa Bay Times that her 27-year-old weekday anchor sister at WAOW in Wausau, died after committing suicide.
“She was just like a little ball of sunshine, and her smile was massive,” Pacholke said to the newspaper. “And she could just make you feel like you were the most important person, whether she knew you for five minutes or her whole life. … We would be out at coffee and someone would recognize her, and she would lighten them up the way she’s made me feel the last 27 years.”
Pacholke, a former University of South Florida women’s basketball player, was engaged at the time of her death, the Tampa Bay Times reported, citing her sister.
“Our prayers are with the Pacholke family during this extremely difficult time. Please keep them in your thoughts,” USF women’s basketball coach Jose Fernandez wrote on Twitter.
Reacting to her death, the TV station, WAOW, wrote, “Neena Pacholke, our beloved morning anchor passed away suddenly Saturday.
“The entire team here at News 9 are absolutely devastated by the loss as we know so many others are as well,” it added. “Neena loved this community and the people who lived here. She was a kind person with a big heart and a contagious smile and we will miss her greatly.” the statement said.
Fox News said Neena Pacholke wrote on her personal website that her job as morning co-anchor and midday anchor has “brought me completely out of my comfort zone and I have loved every second of it, including that 2 a.m. alarm clock!
“Getting to start thousands of people’s days each weekday morning in central Wisconsin is a privilege and something I don’t take lightly,” she said. “They rely on us for the breaking news happening in our area in addition to counting on my co-anchor and I to bring laughter into living rooms to start the day right!”
Many people, friends, strangers, and colleagues online are also reacting to the death which has been trending worldwide, raising discussions around clinical depression.
Dave Burton wrote, “Certainly doesn’t look like the “face of depression.” What people never understand about depression is it’s never what you see on the outside. Always check in on people. We lost a good one yesterday, former USF basketball player and morning news anchor Neena Pacholke. RIP”
In another Facebook post, Tim Elliot wrote, “Neena messaged me once several years ago — curious about a possible job opportunity at NBC15. In my very limited interaction with her, I could tell she had a great personality and I appreciated her as a “go-getter” to just reach out and say hello.
“She seemed like she was made for the morning news.
“This is just awful. My heart goes out to all of her family and friends and to our news colleagues in Wausau 😦💔”