News of WAOW anchor Neena Pacholke’s death left her family and colleagues stunned, and she was remembered for her contagious smile and happy-go-lucky demeanor.
“Neena Pacholke, our beloved morning anchor passed away suddenly Saturday,” 9 WAOW said in a statement. “The entire team here at News 9 are absolutely devastated by the loss as we know so many others are as well.”
Pacholke, who grew up in Tampa and played basketball for the University of South Florida, was engaged to be married at the time of her death, her older sister Kaitlynn Pacholke told Tampa Bay Times.
“She was just like a little ball of sunshine, and her smile was massive,” Kaitlynn Pacholke said Monday morning. “My sister was by far the happiest person I thought I knew.”
One of Pacholke’s last posts on Twitter was a retweet from author Jon Gordon about positivity and believing the best is yet to come.
“We are not positive because life is easy. We are positive because life can be hard,” Gordon wrote in the original tweet. “Give yourself (and others) grace. Speak life and encourage others. Look for the good today. Remember your WHY. Believe the best is yet to come.”
“She was a kind person with a big heart and a contagious smile and we will miss her greatly,” the station said.