Remembering the Northlanders we lost in 2013

By KBJR News 1

December 30, 2013 Updated Dec 30, 2013 at 11:42 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - In January, former meteorologist Chris Snider passed away from cancer.

In college, Snider interned here at KBJR 6 and Range 11 and did fill in weather. He went on to be chief meteorologist at another station before giving up TV to do mission work.

Chris Snider was only 29.

UWS theater professor John Munsell died in February after 34 years of teaching budding actors at the campus.

By summer time, Munsell's former students were already performing soap opera style radio shows in his honor.

During World War Two, Adam Klosowski of Sturgeon Lake was a B–17 waist gunner.

His plane was shot down in October, 1944.

Klosowski then spent four months in a POW camp before escaping.
He spent the rest of his life teaching Northland school kids about service to country and inspired his nephew, Ray, to go on to become an Air National Guard general.

Adam Klosowski passed away in March at the age of 92.

Saint Louis County Commissioner Steve O'Neil's friends gathered to pay tribute to him in July.

They praised his efforts to provide housing to low income people, creating smoke free workplaces, planting trees, fostering kids and his work as a county leader.

Cancer felled O'Neil at the age of 63.

Gordy Caza of Cloquet was probably in the wrong place at the wrong time when he was 17. The time was December 7, 1941 and the place was Pearl Harbor.

Caza was an army truck driver when his base in Hawaii was shot up by the Japanese on the first day of World War Two.

Gordy Caza passed away in September at the age of 89.

The great experiment of World War Two was known to most of us as the Tuskegee Airmen. The all African American unit fought segregation and the Nazis at the same time.

Joe Gomer of Duluth was a fighter pilot with the Airmen.

Gomer passed away in October at the age of 93.

Dick Wallack was one of the Northland's top news anchors in the 60's and 70's.

Those who knew him behind the cameras sometimes called Wallack our region's Lou Grant; hard boiled on the outside and tender on the inside.

Wallack was a Korean War Marine Corps veteran of the Chosin Reservoir battle. But, his softer side was revealed when he passed away in November at the age of 82.

He requested people donate to animal shelters in his honor.

Jack McKenna was one of the Northland's first TV meteorologists, signing on to WDSM TV in 1954.

McKenna learned meteorology in the Army Air Force in World War Two and would become immensely popular as a weatherman for 35 years.
He passed away just a few weeks ago at the age of 91, leaving only a few of the pioneers of Twin Ports TV left.

Dave Anderson