KANSAS CITY, Mo. – FOX 4 was saddened to report Saturday afternoon on the death of longtime WDAF weatherman Dan Henry, who died at the age of 89.
Sunday we talked to some of Henry's former colleagues, including longtime anchor Cynthia Smith. Smith said Henry was just the same off the air as he was on TV, and people asked her about it a lot. But Henry had a lot of talents off-screen too.
“Some people see him as a weather presenter, humorous and a great communicator, but he was one smart cookie. He was also a great engineer. The last time I was at his house, he had built a replica of a famous castle in Ireland. I think at one point he built a car and an airplane. He was always tinkering with things and loving it,” said former WDAF-TV anchor Cynthia Smith.
Cynthia Smith also provided FOX 4 with an old ad, which reads: “WDAF - Kansas City's monumental news team.” The ad of course included Henry on the "Mount Rushmore of news.”
Henry worked at WDAF radio and TV from 1959 to 1992.
FOX 4's Phil Witt was a longtime colleague of Henry’s. They worked together for nearly 15 years. Witt says Henry was a humorous guy, but he could change in an instant when he needed to be serious.
“He turned from this master showman into a serious weather journalist. If a storm was coming, it was never to scare us or threaten us, just to keep us informed so we could be safe,” said Witt.
FOX 4’s chief meteorologist Mike Thompson recalled a time when Henry was learning the new weather computers, instead of using the old magnetic maps.
“We got this new computer system and Dan’s first concern was ‘can I draw cartoons on this thing?’ and he figured out how to do it. That's just the kind of guy he was,” said Thompson.
Everyone at FOX 4 also appreciates all the memories being shared on our FOX 4 Facebook page.