NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — This week a NewsChannel 5 alum Joe Case died after complications from a recent surgery.
Alumni from NewsChannel 5 have many fond memories of their former colleague.
It was never unusual to see or hear laughter coming out of the studio at NewsChannel 5, according to the station’s former anchor Harry Chapman.
"Joe is the kind of guy who would be in a group of people and say something that would kind of stir the moment up. He would smile and walk away and just kind of see what developed out of that,” Chapman said.
Chapman remembers him as the prankster of the group during his time at NewsChannel 5 from 1985 to 2000.
“We had somebody on the staff that was a little bit paranoid one time and he thought that the weather map was backwards. Joe, cut and pasted the map so it really was backwards,” Former NewsChannel 5 chief meteorologist Ron Howes jokingly said.
Ron Howes played a role in hiring Case. He said there was something about Case's professionalism while working in Jackson, Tennessee, that really stuck out.
Viewers saw his joy really shine while reporting in the field for Talk of the Town.
“That was his real strength I think was people. He liked people he liked talk to people and they like to bring out the stories that people had to tell,” Howes said.
Case was a jokester, but also someone dedicated to keeping people safe and inform.
Case played a key role in the station’s coverage of the tornado outbreak in 1998.
“I never will forget Joe and I were on the set and we were both fixating on this monitor that showed our Skycam downtown. That tornado was approaching the downtown area,” Howes recalled.
Howes also remembers locking eyes with Case after realizing the tornado was going to hit the station and it eventually knocking the signal off the air.
“It was very dark and only the lights of the monitors on that computer system. The rest of it is a well told story with Chris Clark at the transmitter and the pad of paper,” Ron said.
Those tornadoes ended up taking lives and left the city of Nashville with millions of dollars in damage.
It was a devastating time for the city, but residents recovered.
Recently Case, underwent bypass surgery for his heart and as he was recovering at home he died suddenly of complications.
It was a shock to both Howes and Chapman.
“It's just hard to imagine that voice and that smile being silenced,” Harry said
“Losing Joe was like losing a member of our family,” Ron said.
He leaves behind his wife Pam, who also is a NewsChannel 5 alum, three children and one grandson.