‘Good and kind­hearted’

The Kansas City Star (Sunday) - - REMEMBRANCES - By TRACI AN­GEL

He was killed July 20 in his Kansas City home by an in­truder. A giv­ing heart: Those who knew Nick Dutcher re­mem­ber a young man with a con­ta­gious smile who em­braced life. Those qual­i­ties at­tracted peo­ple to him at and away from work at KSHB-TV, where he was an as­sign­ment edi­tor who reached out to an au­di­ence through a Twit­ter ac­count and took phone calls from view­ers, among other re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. His car­ing spirit touched Mar­i­lyn Ricci when he con­tacted her to help with Call for Ac­tion Inc., a hot-linebased in­ter­na­tional con­sumer ad­vo­cacy group. Ricci said Dutcher con­vinced her when the two met in 2002 that even as a 22-yearold he was a long­time and com­pe­tent vol­un­teer. He even rat­tled off a list of pre­vi­ous af­fil­i­a­tions. He had vol­un­teered with the Op­ti­mist Club and elec­tion board. And when he learned of a dog that was se­verely abused, he wel­comed it into his home. He in­her­ited the giv­ing spirit from his mother, Re­becca Dutcher, who died in early 2009, said his aunt, Judy Reid. His mother gave of her time when Dutcher was grow­ing up. She as­sisted with a hot line for chil­dren who waited at home alone for their par- Who: Nick Dutcher, 30, as­sign­ment edi­tor for KSHB-TV. When and how he died: ents to re­turn from work. Easy to love: Dutcher had an abil­ity to com­fort peo­ple and put them at ease, said his for­mer co-worker DeAnn Smith. He helped her through tough shifts, even on his days off. On bad days he re­turned to the sta­tion with a Sonic milk shake. “Ev­ery day he found some­one to say some­thing nice to, to let them know how spe­cial they were,” Smith said. Dutcher of­ten called Ricci “Mom” or “Grandma.” The two had a tra­di­tion of go­ing out to eat for his birth­day. One time he drew a laugh from Ricci as they stopped the car and Dutcher reached for a mi­cro­phone to jok­ingly in­ter­view a sculp­ture along Ward Park­way. Dutcher of­ten called Ricci to ask her how to spell words or share with her a pleas­ant ex­pe­ri­ence. “He was such a smil­ing, happy kid,” Ricci said. On the scene: The weather, which he of­ten would pass along as part of his Twit­ter re­port, fas­ci­nated him from an early age. Reid, his aunt, re­mem­bers at­tend­ing a tee-ball game in which the sky quickly black­ened. Dutcher saw the ap­proach­ing storm and kept look­ing to his mother in the stands. “He was giv­ing his mom devil looks with his eyes like, ‘Tell them to call the game,’ ” Reid said. They did even­tu­ally stop play­ing, but it wasn’t fast enough for Dutcher, she said. As a young­ster, Dutcher could re­peat the fore­cast word for word from a tele­vi­sion meteorologist, Reid said. His news sense evolved into his role of main­tain­ing a Twit­ter ac­count that gave fol­low­ers break­ing de­tails. Dutcher was look­ing to ad­vance his ca­reer. He had taken broad­cast jour­nal­ism classes and had hoped to move to Florida, his aunt said. “He was such a good and kind­hearted per­son,” Reid said. Sur­vivors in­clude: His aunt. Last word: As a Call for Ac­tion vol­un­teer, Dutcher took on tasks that were not even asked of him. “He def­i­nitely went above and be­yond,” Ricci said.

Nick Dutcher is re­mem­bered by his TV col­leagues for his abil­ity to put peo­ple at ease.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.