Former KDKA-TV weatherman and local broadcasting legend Bob Kudzma has passed away. Kudzma was the chief meteorologist at KDKA for 34 years.
The New Hampshire native began his broadcasting career in 1968, doing weather for KDKA.
Kudzma was trained as a meteorologist in the Air Force.
Bob died on Thursday. He was 81.
Kudzma also drove a school bus in the Bethel Park School District.
KDKA Radio Morning Show host Larry Richert worked with Bob during his time at KDKA TV. He said he learned of Bob's passing Thursday morning when Bob's son-in-law called him.
Larry, who was trained by Bob, handled weather duties at the television station after Bob retired.
Richert told Rick Dayton the story of Bob driving the school bus. "He always wanted to drive a school bus - we thought he was kidding. He drove a bus in the morning, came in did the noon weather and went back to drive the bus in the afternoon."
Larry said KDKA TV did a story on Bob's bus driving at the time and they asked a little girl what he was like as driver. Larry said the little girl told the reporter that "He got lost."
"Part of, what I think, one of the two greatest weather promos for any station in town was him doing 'fix the weather Kudzma,' which came on the heels of the success of the Godgather movies," recalled Larry. "It was so iconic, that if you were around then, you would remember."
Larry fondly remember Kudzma for his sense of humor, "real dry and real funny."
Even though he wasn't from Pittsburgh, Larry says Bob, who was from the New England area, really connected with the audience.
"I think the audience here kind of accepted the fact, okay, he's not from here like Joe DeNardo was from here, and he and Joe battled over the years. With Bob, he had that way of not overdoing it. There's a tendency to overdo and sensationalize the weather," said Larry. "And Bob would have kind of a wink to the audience, like 'I got ya, I got ya.'"
He also said Bob never acted like a big shot.
Larry shared that Bob and his wife Sharlene, over the years took in children as foster parents. "What could be more important. It takes a special kind of person to do that kind of thing," said Larry.