Jerry Taft, the longtime meteorologist from Chicago’s ABC7, died Thursday at the age of 77, according to the station.
Before retiring in 2018, Taft served as a meteorologist for the channel for 33 years.
In the announcement from ABC7, which extended condolences to Taft’s family, former colleagues shared favorite memories of the man who got into meteorology because he was interested in flying airplanes.
ABC7’s morning meteorologist Tracy Butler recalled how numerous Chicago-area meteorologists would gather and give weather updates ahead of an annual March of Dimes fundraising walk.
“Jerry spearheaded this for years and I know he is so well respected by meteorologists in this city and around the country, as well,” she said.
Traffic and transportation anchor Roz Varon focused on Taft’s laugh: “I can hear it. I will always hear it. You will never forget it because it was so infectious. He’d start laughing, you’d start laughing and you couldn’t stop laughing.”
He was remembered on social media, too.
WBBM News Radio’s Pat Cassidy honored his fellow Chicago media personality, tweeting, “I’m totally distraught by the death of Jerry Taft. We were part of the Good Morning Guys team on country music WMAQ 40 years ago. He always had a sunny disposition and was very serious about his meteorology. RIP Jerry.”
Viewers also posted tributes, with one calling Taft “the best meteorologist” they’d ever watched.